Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 173 January 2020 Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Finishing: Veneer Repairs
By Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher

Way way back I hired a great finisher that learned the art of furniture repairing and restoration while he was in prison. When meeting him for the first time it was hard to imagine this guy being in the slammer where he learned quite a bit about the different techniques of repairing and restoring furniture. One of these techniques was quite a game changer for me and for everyone else I've taught it to. It couldn't be simpler...smashing veneer repairs.

My original technique was to copy the repairs I would find on old and antique furniture with veneered surfaces. I would cut out the damaged areas and replace it with the same veneer or something close to the original with the grain running in the same direction. I would carefully inlay in the pieces to match the "V" I cut when removing the damaged areas.

Then along came my new hire and the technique he showed me was eye popping! He went to the other side of the chest I was working on and pointed out a spot where a small piece of veneer had been chipped off. After finding a very close grain match of veneer that covered the entire area he applied glue to the void, laid the patch in place, and gathered a scrap block, a piece of wax paper and a C clamp. Next, he placed the wax paper over the area so the clamping block would not become glued to the surface. He applied the block and clamped all of it down with a large C clamp for a lot of pressure to make sure the veneer would be "smashed" into the void. After a couple of hours we took the clamp off and to my surprise all that was left to do was to lightly shave off the area around the repair with a chisel, followed by a light sand with 320 paper. The patch virtually disappeared making touch up a breeze.

Using this technique also allows for repairs in difficult areas like the middle of veneered headboards, table tops, etc.

Click here to visit the Highland Woodworking Finishing Department

Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at anoelfurniturere@bellsouth.net.

Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood finishing seminars:

January 22, 2020  Finishing the Finish
February 8, 2020  Finishing 101
February 19, 2020  French Polish Workshop
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