How to Lay Veneer

For surfaces greater than 200 x 200 mm (9 x 9 in), you need a veneer hammer, marking knife, straight-edge, toothing plane or coarse abrasive paper and block, roll of brown sticky paper, hot water and rag, hot thin Scotch glue (no other adhesive is suitable) and a glue brush.

Note that a veneered surface must be balanced on the reverse side, either by laying a cheap veneer or, if the veneered surface is held down firmly on an underframe and is 19 mm (3/4 in) or more thick, by a liberal coating of paint or polish.

Score the surface to be veneered, to give the glue a good key.

Cut the veneers roughly to size, so that when they are laid on the surface to be covered they overlap at every joint by about 20 mm (3/4 in) and give a wastage of about 20 mm all round the surface.

Sprinkle clean water on each side of the veneers. Stack them in a pile and hold them flat between two boards. After several hours, they will be pliable enough to lay.


Give the surface to be veneered a thin brushing with Scotch glue as a sizing, and leave it to dry.

Start the laying procedure by arranging the sheets of veneer in the order they are to be laid and marking the adjoining edges.

Place the surface to be veneered flat and spread glue on it in a band the width of the first sheet to be laid. Place the sheet face down on the glued area and glue one side, then turn it over and glue the other side of the veneer.

Move the veneer into position, overlapping the surface edges, and rapidly rub it flat to the surface with the veneer hammer until it is firmly bonded. Gently tap the entire surface with the hammer. Force out bubbles, which sound hollow, to the nearest edge.

As you lay each new leaf, make sure that its edge overlaps the previous leaf by about 20 mm. When the veneer is laid, use a marking knife and a straight-edge to cut through the centre of the overlap. Remove the waste and close the joint by rubbing hard with the veneer hammer, in a herringbone pattern towards the joint until the pieces meet.

Hold the joint in place with sticky paper until the glue is dried . Remove the paper later by soaking.

Remove surplus glue with a rag and hot water, after laying each leaf. Use a cabinet scraper to clean up.

Cut off the waste overlapping the edges of the surface after laying.

Small areas of veneer, up to about 200 x 200 mm (8 x 8 in), can be stuck on with resin- or PVA-based adhesive. Do not soak or use sizing. Hold the veneer firmly in place with covering paper and ply or block-board and a series of G-cramps.


Repair small areas of damaged veneer by cutting a matching boat-shaped veneer, slightly larger than the affected area .

Place the patch over the damaged area, line up the grain, and score the surface around the edge of the patch. Remove the damaged piece, taking care not to cut away more than the thickness of the old veneer, and scrape away the old glue. Remove all dust, and bond in the new piece.

Use Scotch glue on old furniture, and resin glue on modern pieces and when patching new plywood or blockboard.

Press the patch in and G-cramp or weight the area until dry. Use softening, with paper between it and the patch.

26. June 2011 by admin
Categories: Timber, Woodworking | Tags: , | Comments Off on How to Lay Veneer


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