Pliant Wood Veneer

I have a small confession to make. Throughout the articles on the chest, the night stand, and the headboard, I mentioned using hardwood plywood to build the projects.

That's not entirely accurate. When we originally designed these projects, wre intended to build them out of oak, then at the last minute, we decided to use Honduras Mahogany instead.

The only problem is that Honduras Mahogany is not available as plywood. So, what we had to do was make our own "plywood" using flexible veneer and high-density particle board.

Flexible veneer is not your ordinary veneer. This stuff is incredible. It's only Vet" thick (which makes it very flexible) and it comes in book-matched sheets that are mounted to a thin paper backing.

To mount flexible veneer, first cut the particle board to rough size (about 1" larger than needed in both dimensions). Then cut the flexible veneer to fit the particle board. (This veneer can easily be cut with a scissors.)

The recommended procedure to mount the veneer is to brush contact cement on the particle board and the veneer. This can be a bit of a mess. We've found this task is much easier with a paint roller,

I buy the cheapest short-nap paint roller I can find to spread the contact cement. The roller puts down a thin even coat, and yet it's cheap enough so that when I'm done I just throw it away.

iron-on adhesive. Another method for mounting flexible veneer is to use a relatively new- product: hot-melt glue sheets. These are literally sheets of adhesive mounted to a peel-off paper backing. (It's the same type of adhesive found on the back of iron-on edging tape.)

To use this adhesive, cut it to the same size as the flexible veneer, placed in on particle board, and place the veneer on top. Then use a household iron to heat the adhesive to the melting point, and roll the veneer down as adhesive cools.

A 3'x2' sheet of this hot-melt adhesive costs $2.59, which may seem a little expensive. But I've found that in some cases (particularly on small projects) it's less costly than contact cement.

You can cut hot-melt sheets to the exact size you need so there's almost no waste. With contact cement, I usually buy a can, use part of it, and the rest goes to waste sitting around for months before the next project.

SOllliCES. The hot-melt glue sheets (as well as a variety of flexible veneers) are available from Bob Morgan Woodworking Supplies, 1123 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KT 40204. Phone (502) 456-2545.

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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