Cross-Band Veneering with Hide Glue

Hide glue veneering with a veneer hammer is tricky. Tip: apply the veneers one at a time to the substrate, and let dry between layers. December 15, 2005

I'm replacing a desktop and I want to duplicate the original. It was poplar substrate, with two layers of veneer on each side, and the top layer in walnut. I will use hide glue and a veneer hammer. Should I glue the two veneers together first, perpendicular to each other, and then glue this to the substrate? Or should I glue the first layer on the substrate, and then follow up with the top layer? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor J:
Apply the crossband to the substrate; allow it to fully dry, and then apply the face veneer. If you were to glue the crossband to the face first it would curl and twist into an awful mess. If this is your first time veneering with hide glue, I would strongly suggest that you try out a few samples before tackling your desk. And try some pretty big samples, too. Hammer veneering is really cool and quite a useful skill but very tricky.

From the original questioner:
I'm familiar with hammer veneering, and have had great results in the past, but this is the first time on a solid wood substrate with cross-banding. I've got some really wide poplar for the secondary layer, and some beautiful curly walnut for the top. The fun part will be finishing the top to match the original desk.