Veneering Columns

Tips on gluing veneer to a four-inch-diameter column. October 14, 2006

I am looking for ideas or techniques on veneering 4" diameter columns with a burl veneer.

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor A:
With a paint roller apply yellow wood glue to both your burl and your column and let dry. Then iron the burl on. Follow with a piece of wood to smooth it out while it cools down - works great.

From contributor B:
If you have a vacuum bag, here are a few tips that will help with the burl and the tight radius:

1. You might need to use a veneer softener such as GF-20 from Veneer Systems or a homemade glycerin-based one (search the Knowledge Base here for the formula). Instead of drying the treated veneer flat, dry it on the column or spare column stock with a piece of waxed paper protecting the substrate; you'll be pre-bending the veneer so that it will take the curve better.
2. Use a split column and veneer each half separately, then join.
3. If you think you can get away without softening the veneer, you might want to make a 2-ply with a paper such as Yorkite. Press it flat with PVA and a caul. Before the PVA is fully set (about forty-five minutes to an hour) take it out of the bag; put it over the column stock and put it back in the bag until the glue is fully set. It will be pre-formed and ready to be pressed to your column with adhesive of choice.
4. This would be good application for paper-backed veneer.

From contributor C:
Some years back I read an article in a magazine about "Iron on veneering". I had a project that required some veneering so I decided to try my hand at the new technique. I had major difficulties with pieces that had joints because the iron would cause the leaves of veneer to shrink and resulted in opening the joint between the veneer leaves. Any cure for this?

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor T:
I have experienced this problem and worse. The cause was that the moisture content in the veneer was too high. I would suggest that you let the adhesive coated veneer and substrate dry thoroughly, several hours to a full 24 hours, before application. You must bring the MC of the veneer back down to 6%. I would recommend a slightly thinner coat of glue on the veneer and a thicker coat on the substrate. Use two coats of glue on very porous substrates.