Glue Choices for Wood-to-wood Veneering

Pros give advice on laminating wood and wood. March 17, 2005

I do all sorts of mica laminations but never laminated actual wood to a curved piece of wood. I would normally use contact cement, but my stash is old. I have new Titebond 3. Can I use this or will it finish lumpy? Not sure if yellow glue can be used for lams. The veneer is maple and is 1/16" thick.

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
I'd just buy a new can of contact cement. If you're too cheap to do that, the Titebond will work. If it's a large curved surface, I'd glue it up and use a vacuum bag to clamp it. If it's a small piece, I'd glue both surfaces, let them dry, and then put the pieces together and use an iron to create a hot melt bond between the veneer and substrate. I use all three methods - it just depends on how big the lamination is, and how easy it is to align the parts.

I wouldn't use contact for sure, unless it's a very small piece, or two ply or paper backed. Maple is a big mover. Is it raw veneer, with no backer?

From the original questioner:
It is raw veneer, and the arch is 54" in diameter. Arch is 2-1/2" wide with an oak top veneer on already. I bought one of those table aprons from Rockler and now I want to maple veneer it so it matches the table. I guess I will go get a can of contact cement.

Don't use contact cement if you're using a lacquer finish. The veneer will bubble the lacquers and make the contact release. No amount of ironing will help. Use yellow wood glue and clamp or vacuum veneer down.

Wood veneer has an entirely different set of characteristics than hpl and you will want to use the appropriate adhesive.

I would not recommend contact cement for any veneer project. In your situation, especially with maple, I highly recommend urea resin adhesive, a.k.a. plastic powdered resin (PPR).

PPR is not subject to spring back or creep in the ways that PVAs and contacts are. Maple, being highly tensioned, will want to move back to its original shape and form (straight and true). You want it to be curved and that is not its natural position, so you need an adhesive to make it stay there.

PPR is the glue used in the manufacturing of plywood. It is rigid, cures like concrete (it's permanent and can not be reactivated like PVA or contacts).

This concrete permanent bond type highly minimizes movement as the veneer stabilizes or tries to stabilize. If it can move, it will move, and this is known as checking.