Shoes – Footwear – Shoes – Exotic
So, what exactly is hammer veneering ? Veneer hammer, hot glue pot and finished panel. HAMMER TIME Hammer veneering can be a mysterious and slightly intimidating technique if you aren t already familiar with it.
The name itself adds to the confusion- hammer veneering. The hammer isn t used like a hammer at all, but instead it s used like a squeegee. There isn t any hitting or tapping , but instead, pushing and pulling, working the veneer down into a layer of hot glue.
But I m getting ahead of myself- the first step is to clean the surface from any toothing debris left behind from the last step 2 . You did tooth the surface, didn t you? No?
Good news- that s perfectly OK . It helps, but it s not essential. Speaking (again) of toothing a surface, in yesterday s post 3 , I talked about using a modern day toothing iron instead of an antique toothing plane to scratch the surface; did it make a difference, not using a vintage plane?
Not really, or perhaps a better way to say it- not to me. If you set a toothing iron, in a modern plane, and take a fine cut, you ll be able to tooth the surface of the substrate and the veneer ( if required ) much the same way a toothing plane would. Yes, the grooves may not be as deep as some coarse toothing planes, but some vintage irons were extremely fine.
And this last point is crucial- toothing a surface isn t only for creating a better glue bond- it s as much for flattening and preparing the surface to make sure it s flat. Wood workers of the past used toothing planes for many of the same reasons we use toothing irons today- to deal with difficult grain and eliminate tear-out. ( and yes, to create a mechanical bond between the surfaces through a series of scratches ) If I needed to dress the surface of a veneer, using a standard iron would run the risk of tear out- and ANY amount of tear-out, in a thin piece of veneer could be disastrous . Due to the thickness of the stock, you can t afford to have ANY tearing, so toothing planes and modern toothing irons, are ideal for surfacing thin veneer stock.
The serrated iron won t take a heavy shaving and run the risk of tear-out. They certainly CAN, when used in a Jack plane and set for a heavy cut, but that s not what I m talking about here. Whatever tool you use (or don t use) to tooth the surface, once complete, clean off any small particles so they don t get trapped under the veneer.
Small particles under the veneer can cause trouble! THE PROCESS Begin the process by quickly spreading a layer of hot glue over the entire surface of the substrate the veneer will cover. Lay the veneer FACE DOWN in the freshly applied glue and, spread another layer of glue over the entire BACK of the veneer.
Carefully flip the veneer over and, using the hammer like a squeegee, begin working all of the air, extra glue, and bubbles out from underneath it. After working the surface for a few minutes with the veneer hammer, you ll start to hear crackling sounds as the glue begins to set. This is when you should stop hammering. ( squeegeeing ) Take the work piece and lightly tap around the surface, listening for any noticeable changes in pitch.
Hold it up to a light source and try to determine if you have any air bubbles, voids or cracks underneath or on the surface. If you do find a bubble, you can use a fine knife and make a tiny slice in the veneer to let out any excess air. Use a syringe, if necessary , to inject some extra glue into the area to try to stick down the problem area.
Once everything looks good, clean the squeeze-out off the edges before it fully cures and using a card scraper, clean off the surface. ( If you go back and watch the last video post 4 , you ll see all of those steps in action. All except the glue bubble, I ve never had any ) IN CLOSING Hammer veneering is a great technique to add to your furniture making arsenal- ( Tweet that ) 5 you don t need a lot of special purpose tools or a whole lot of materials to get started. It s a fun and fast way to create visual interest, either through marquetry or parquetry, or , making pieces from exotic species you may other wise never be able to make using solid wood.
There are many reasons to work with veneer, and I hope you ll try the hammer veneering process. It really isn t difficult once you get started and will add another dimension to your work. Do you enjoy working with veneer?
If so, do you use hammer veneering as a technique ? Have you experimented with vacuum bags or standard glues and cauls? I d love to hear some more feedback from you- leave me some comments below and join the conversation.
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