Flattening Wavy Veneer
by Sal Marino
The grain in veneer is particularly important
its effect on the figure of wood. Different types of irregular (highly
figured) woods may raise, crack or blister. Some of the best examples of
this are the burls and crotch veneers.
The first prerequisite for a good veneering job is that the veneer must
be flat, clean and dry. Because of the modern method in which veneer is
manufactured and the nature of some highly figured woods having no grain direction, they are most often supplied wavy or buckled.
The following procedure should be used to flatten wavy veneer prior to
bonding it to a surface. It's important to note that this
procedure should only be
performed on raw veneer
(without any backing).
Flexible or paper backed
veneer will be damaged if
you try to flatten it using
the technique described
Glycerin - is a common
wetting agent that slows
down the drying time of many
solutions. It can be
purchased at pharmacies or
online from woodworking
A Spray Bottle - same
type you would use to spray
Brown Craft Paper - Can
be purchased at stationery
supply stores, art supply
stores or home centers
Prepare a solution of 10 percent glycerin to 90 percent water. Pour this solution into a clean spray
bottle (the type used to spray plants). Set the spray nozzle to spray a
very fine mist.
Using the mist bottle with
the solution you prepared in
the previous step, mist both sides of the veneer. Place the dampened
veneer between two sheets of brown craft paper, (make sure there is no print on the paper).
Next, place the
veneer and paper between two panels. Any stable, flat panel material
like MDF, particleboard or plywood will do. Add a minimum amount of
weight to the top and leave overnight. Examine the next day, if the
veneer is still not flat, repeat the process using new craft paper, this
time the veneer should be flat enough so you can clamp it between the
panels. Once again leave overnight.
Once the veneer is flat, do not apply any more solution, but change the
craft paper every day for about 5 days allowing the dry craft paper to
absorb the moisture that you have added during the flattening process.
Keep the veneer clamped between the panels at all times until you are
ready to bond it. Make sure you have everything ready to go (glue,
clamps, roller etc.) before you remove the veneer from the clamped