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Taming Wild Veneers

Can you tell me how to soften curly veneers so they won't self-destruct when I try to glue them?


You can use pre-made Veneer Softener to soften veneer or make your own.

Here's a simple concoction guest instructor Philip Lowe uses in his high-end custom shop

  • 1 pint water
  • 1 pint solvent alcohol
  • 2 tablespoons hide glue (the real thing mixed and heated for use, or the bottled variety)
  • 4 tablespoons glycerin (sold as an emollient in your drugstore's baby care department)

Get a pad of clean newsprint from your local art supply. Thoroughly wet both sides of your veneer with the softening mixture. On a flat surface, stack all the pieces with 4 or 5 sheets of newsprint in between, put a flat board atop the stack and weight it, lightly at first and then more substantially as the veneers relax. Replace the damp newsprint with dry sheets every half hour until no moisture is evident, then leave the weighted stack sandwiched with dry paper overnight. The flattened, flexible veneer will now glue up beautifully, and it will accept stain and/or finish flawlessly as well.

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