Adhesives for Cabinet Re-Facing

What's a suitable adhesive for attaching a new plywood end panel to an existing cabinet? September 22, 2005

I am in the process of building new base cabinets for a kitchen where the owners are keeping their old wall cabinets. I was unable to find any 3/4" material that had the same grain, but I did find it in a 1/4" plywood, so I decided that in order to match the wood grain of the old cabinets,
I have to skin the outside finished ends with 1/4" plywood (birch).

My question is this - what is the best method to glue the 1/4" plywood to the 3/4" unfinished plywood? I tried using yellow glue, but its very difficult to get good contact uniformly. I know I could use contact cement to get better uniform contact, but is it a good long term solution?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
It works on plywood laminate - and what else would you do? This is how re-facing goes. I don’t know the clients, but the way the housing trends go you should ask yourself if a perspective home buyer in ten or fifteen years even be using the existing kitchen.? I am suggesting that you look at the possibility that the longevity of something like this is fairly subjective.

From contributor V:
I don’t think there is anything wrong with contact cementing a .25" skin-on.

From contributor F:

I use PVA and FSV, a fast tack PVA emulsion for most ends, 2 ply veneer, 1/4" ply and 1/4" one sided melamine. These allow moving the applied end for good location and fit and in the end I have a non creeping hard glue line. Clamping can be tricky once in a while, but a couple of well place blocks seem to solve all of these problems. The clamps can be removed in twenty minutes with FSV and about an hour with PVA, some time sooner in my hot dry climate.

From contributor M:
I don't think I would use contact cement. There is a big difference in the expansion rates for the two items. I've been told that under no circumstances should contact cement be used to apply veneers, so I would think that rule would apply in this case.

From contributor V:
Veneering is when you adhere very thin (.0625" or less basically) solid wood pieces to a substrate. Contact cement is not used in better work of this nature. When you are using veneered plywood, the veneering is already done. I think a lot of people confuse laminating with veneering. From what I read in the original post, the questioner wants to attach plywood to plywood (similar expansion). I would not hesitate to use contact cement to adhere .25" plywood to other plywood, MDF, or particle board.