The veneers must be laid one sheet at a time, for built-up patterns taped together cannot be laid by this process, as will become evident. A fast worker could no doubt lay a sideboard top without using the heated iron, but the veneer sheet would have to be very amenable, and it is wise not to attempt large areas without the iron until proficiency is achieved. The usual practice is to coat the groundwork or substrate evenly with thin glue, swab the outer surface of the veneer sheet with hot water to prevent it curling up once it touches the glue, add a few dabs from the glue-brush to lubricate the heated iron, lay the veneer on the glued surface, smoothing it out from the centre to exclude the air, and heat a section with the iron, lightly swabbing the veneer to prevent the iron sticking. As the glue starts to flow with the heat from the iron the surplus must be squeezed out towards the edges with the veneering-hammer, but the iron must not be too hot or steam will be generated and the veneer will stretch. A good test is to hold the iron an inch or so away from the cheek where it should feel hot but not uncomfortably so. There is no one method of handling the veneering-hammer: it can be held in one hand or two, pushed or pulled, but the movement should be zigzag (280:3) and wherever possible away from the centre. The amount of pressure applied will, of course, depend on the type of veneer, for thick spiteful veneers may require two-handed pressure and mild veneers only light pressure
with one hand, but the strokes of the hammer must always overlap and must be repeated until each patch or section has cooled off and bonded before moving on to heat and press the next section. It is a good plan to lay a sheet of used abrasive paper on the bench near by, for the iron will rapidly blacken with burnt glue and should be cleaned on the sheet from time to time. Figures 282A, B show methods of holding the veneering-hammer, and a commonly adopted procedure of laying is depicted in 280:2, starting at A and following in the order shown, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., working with the grain as much as possible, for hammering across the grain will stretch the wet veneer and subsequent shrinkage across the width will be considerable. Figure 280:3 shows another method favoured by some workers, working from the centre outwards, but here again there are no strict rules and much depends on the nature of the veneer and the speed of the worker. Excessive use of water should be avoided, with enough just to keep the veneer supple and the iron from sticking. Small local patches or blisters which refuse to stick can often be persuaded with a weight applied, covering the blister with a scrap of paper to prevent the weight sticking. Persistent blisters can be detected by tapping with the finger-nail; and if the glue has set the blister should be slit with a sharp knife along the grain, fresh glue inserted, covered with a scrap of paper and weighted down. If veneering is done without the aid of a heated iron the groundwork should be warmed, the veneer swabbed with hot water, the groundwork quickly spread with thin glue, the veneer applied and smoothed over with the palms to exude the air, and hammered down as already described. When the panel is dry, and 24 hours should be allowed for this, it should be closely examined for blisters, either tapping with the finger-nail or sweeping the finger-tips over the surface, when the presence of blisters will be indicated by a slight whisper. The pein of a Warrington pattern hammer can be used for narrow widths or small patches which require extra pressure.
Was this article helpful?