View Full Version : Veneer restoration?

04-21-2005, 10:08 AM
Anybody out there who has done MAJOR restoration of veneer on a JBL cabinet? I'm talking about completely sanding or planing off the old damaged veneer, and replacing with new? Would you have any advice or recommendations regarding best techniques to remove the old? Any problems once you get down to the pressboard? How about recommended thickness of the new veneer? Any advice on a guidebook which you bound helpful in veneering techniques? Thanks much.

04-21-2005, 10:32 AM
Hi kworrillow. A response to your question could fill a book. Or many books. If you have never done any veneer work and you want the results to look good, you may want to check local cabinet shops to see if they would be willing to do it for a reasonable cost. But, I know must of us are die hard DIYers, so...

- If the veneer has only minor problems you may want to try a "dutchman." This is the technique of carefully cutting a way a small area and filling it in with a piece of new veneer of exactly the same size & shape. You can clamp it with a weight.
- If the veneer is bubbled, you can try injecting glue into the bubble and again, clamping with a weight.
- Lastly, if you really want to replace the veneer, don't bother sanding it off, just sand to a smooth, flat surface and reveneer. If there are serious low spots or missing veneer you can fill them with bondo or wood filler and then reveneer.

I hope this helps. Let's see a picture or two!


R Beardsley
04-21-2005, 11:14 PM
Reveneering is really quite easy, and requires very little in terms of tools - with patience being the most important. I use epoxy filled with sanding dust to fill dents and crumbled corners. This stuff is really tough and lasts forever.
Get the good stuff like West System if you use epoxy. If the old veneer is to be completely redone, sand first with a sanding block if you don[t have a good sander, being careful not to oversand nnear the edges. Make a paste of epoxy and sanding dust and fill the dents. If you have crushed edges, use either tape to create a dam at the edge or use a piece of wood covered with packing tape and clamp it to the edge. Don't overdo it and create a mound of goop that you have to remove later, as you can always add more later. I like to use a very course file to get the patched areas ground down close to where it should be - then sand smooth. If you sand without filing first, you run the risk of cutting into the surrounding wood before you get the harder epoxy flat.
Most veneers are available with an adhesive back, but I like to glue my own.
One thing that works is to do your own "iron on" adhesive. By rolling several thinned layers of aliphatic resin glue to both the cabinet and veneer and let it thoroughly dry. Then, using a an iron, place the veneer where you want it, start ironing at the middle and work outwards - making sure there aren't any air pockets trapped. Trim the excess by using a file CAREFULLY at the edges with a DOWNWARD motion so the veneer doesn't get lifted. You'll be surprised at how easy it is to do a good job. :blah: :blah: :blah:

04-22-2005, 12:30 AM
You can do a seearch on "veneering" and would probably like to look up this thread: http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=4353&highlight=heresy
Good luck

04-22-2005, 07:42 AM
What thickness of veneer do you use, assuming you are going to reveneer the entire surface? Most of the stuff I see is about 1/28" to 1/42" thick...but there are some folks offering a stiffer, 1/16" thickness (which I'd prefer to use, but am concerned about impacting the dimensions of the cabinet...which is why i thought you might need to remove the old veneer completely.

R Beardsley
04-23-2005, 09:22 AM
Thicker means more prone to cracking. Stay with a thinner (but not too thin) veneer with a backing sheet. I wouldn't worry about the additional thickness, unless you are going to a JBL speaker show and are worried about concourse juges having a micrometer. If there is such a thing, I haven't heard of it. Maybe someone here can enlighten me.........I know for a fact that the Widget and Giskard would probably be judges at such an event. Not much would get by them!