Table top with 1/4" "veneer" over plywood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-26-2014, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Table top with 1/4" "veneer" over plywood

I've built several canoes and kayaks using wood strips. I was thinking of using the same technique to make a table top by gluing sapele wood strips onto a plywood base. Will there be a problem with wood expansion and contraction?
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-26-2014, 09:04 PM
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Conventional wisdom is that the thickest veneer to apply to ply is 1/7" or so and it vital to apply to both sides. It's usually put on perpendicular to the outside layer.
I have done a few table tops with 1/7 veneer on both sides.
It is a bit of work jointing the pieces but can be done pretty quickly with a shooting board and blue tape to glue the 1/7 inch pieces together for applying to the Baltic birch or other quality plywood. Careful glue application is important so not to have too much glue to escape the large area. A fine toothed spreader allows for the ideal amount of glue a lot like used in gluing tile flooring.
You are just thickening the plywood. If the layers are too thick the glue can't withstand the forces built up with wood movement with seasons and humidity changes. The 1/4 inch boards in canoes are not glued to boards with perpendicular grain so they are free to expand/contract with unnoticed distortion.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-26-2014, 11:01 PM
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I don't know about sapele but I did that with red oak one time and it didn't work well at all. The oak shrunk and caused gaps in the joints at first and then the joint with the plywood started to fail causing the oak to cup. I eventually had to take it off and put sheet veneer on it which has been fine for decades.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Gal
I've built several canoes and kayaks using wood strips. I was thinking of using the same technique to make a table top by gluing sapele wood strips onto a plywood base. Will there be a problem with wood expansion and contraction?
I would find out the movement expected with sapele. I have never used it. Also 1/4" is probably not considered veneer. Too thick, and will most likely behave like any other glue up. There will be expansion and contraction. How much? Depends on the wood.

Al

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post #5 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 08:53 AM
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I've I were going to use a strip method of building a table, I'd just use thicker strips, personally. I wouldn't bother with the plywood at all.

Is that a great auk in your picture?
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 09:16 AM
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This thread reminds me of a question I have been wanting to ask.

Would it be ok to make a glue up as is being talked about in this thread and then run the piece through a drum sander to bring the veneer thickness down a 1/16th or so?

This would be instead of thicknessing the veneer before the glue up with a sled.
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ttharp View Post
This thread reminds me of a question I have been wanting to ask.

Would it be ok to make a glue up as is being talked about in this thread and then run the piece through a drum sander to bring the veneer thickness down a 1/16th or so?

This would be instead of thicknessing the veneer before the glue up with a sled.
It would depend on the drum sander. If there is a lot of space between the feed rollers the veneer will likely curl up sanding it in two. I haven't done it but some folks use spray adhesive and apply the veneer to a scrap piece of wood to run it through a planer or sander and then strip the veneer off with solvents.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul
It would depend on the drum sander. If there is a lot of space between the feed rollers the veneer will likely curl up sanding it in two. I haven't done it but some folks use spray adhesive and apply the veneer to a scrap piece of wood to run it through a planer or sander and then strip the veneer off with solvents.
Why would it curl? Are you concerned the heat would release the adhesive?
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ttharp View Post
This thread reminds me of a question I have been wanting to ask.

Would it be ok to make a glue up as is being talked about in this thread and then run the piece through a drum sander to bring the veneer thickness down a 1/16th or so?

This would be instead of thicknessing the veneer before the glue up with a sled.
I once glued up thick leg blanks and didn't want the glue line to show on 2 sides. I had a hard time planing ( I don't have a drum sander ) a piece thin enough to glue to the leg blank ( think veneer ) to cover up the glue joint. I did exactly what you describe and it work flawlessly and still is holding up after 2 years.

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post #10 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paarker
I once glued up thick leg blanks and didn't want the glue line to show on 2 sides. I had a hard time planing ( I don't have a drum sander ) a piece thin enough to glue to the leg blank ( think veneer ) to cover up the glue joint. I did exactly what you describe and it work flawlessly and still is holding up after 2 years.
My brain and gut says if you can do it with a sled then it should work already laminated. I would think the only downside would be wasting some wood. I could be wrong never have done it. Would love to hear more thoughts on this.
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ttharp View Post
Why would it curl? Are you concerned the heat would release the adhesive?
What I was concerned with was running the veneer through a drum sander without gluing it to something. The greater the distance between the feed rollers the more chances the veneer would raise up between them.
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul
What I was concerned with was running the veneer through a drum sander without gluing it to something. The greater the distance between the feed rollers the more chances the veneer would raise up between them.
Oh. Yeah I get that. I am talking about glueing it to the plywood like the OP and then sanding it down to a veneer thickness.
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post #13 of 17 Old 02-28-2014, 02:08 AM
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Every David Marks video I've seen where he makes shop made veneer, he thickness sands it to 3/32 and glues it to "apple ply" using plastic resin glue. Since he makes a living at it, I presume he has a really low failure rate.
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post #14 of 17 Old 02-28-2014, 08:16 AM
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Ttharp, I think it would work. I've not tried to do anything that thin, but I've definitely planed wood glue ups and they are fine. I don't know how much heat a drum sander would generate but I can't imagine it would be enough to delam the pieces if the glue is fully cured. Try a test glue up and let the glue dry for a couple days before sanding. I think you'll be happy with the results.

Roger, I think the idea is that yes gluing thin veneer to plywood certainly works. We all know lots of furniture built this way that last generations. The original question is basically "how thick can I go with the veneer?" Ttharps question was "glue first and then thickness the veneer or thickness first and then glue?"
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post #15 of 17 Old 02-28-2014, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ttharp View Post
Oh. Yeah I get that. I am talking about glueing it to the plywood like the OP and then sanding it down to a veneer thickness.
That should work alright as long as the veneer didn't get hot in the process. Heat usually softens spray adhesives.
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post #16 of 17 Old 02-28-2014, 10:41 PM
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As mentioned earlier in the thread, I have built a few tables by gluing 1/7 in thick re sawn wood to both sides. It is not to difficult to plane to 1/7 to 1/8 as long as the grain is straight and the blades sharp. I do use an arborite(plastic laminated) covered board in the planer to aid in sliding and allow the knives to cut that thin.
The only skill is in the jointing of the pieces to glue to the ply? Pretty quick with shooting board and blue tape.
I did/do it to extend some especially good quarter cut cherry I had in small quantity.
I think you idea of gluing on slightly thicker "veneer" and sanding it to the required thinness would work with a good drum sander.
I do use a drum sander to sand the "veneer" to the 1/8 thick if the grain is a bit troublesome like some cherry I had. It's a bit slower than the planer.
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-01-2014, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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frankp, to answer your question, the picture is a modified 14' Guillemot. I also built a 16" Guillemot and a 14' Great Auk.
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