Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rosewood Console #2

8:26 AM Comments 0

Rosewood Console Table: Rosewood Veneering

Veneer 001a

With the three surfaces sized to the correct width and length it was time to add a couple of layers of conversion varnish to the MDF.  This may seem backwards or counter intuitive, but with a PSA (peel-and-stick adhesive) backed veneer, the PSA will only stick to a sealed and clean surface.  It will not stick to raw wood or any unsealed surface.

We sprayed two nice coats of conversion varnish onto the top and under sides, about six coats on the edges, and allowed everything to dry for 24 hours before beginning the veneering process.  The 24 hours we allowed for drying time was to make sure the varnish had completely off-gassed before sealing it in with the veneer.

Veneer 003a

We began the veneering process by laying out all the pieces we would need, paying special attention to grain flow, and cutting out each piece 1/4″ oversized using a straightedge and a utility knife. The veneer itself was made up of three layers of material, the Santos Rosewood veneer, a paper backing as thick as the veneer, and the PSA layer.

Veneer 005a

Applying the veneer to the substrate was pretty straight forward.  Simply remove the backer paper to expose the PSA layer, lay it onto the surface, and smooth out. It was, of course, a lot more stressful than that, because with only an 1/8″ overhang on each side there was not much room for error.

We began by making a few cuts to the backing so we could remove it in small pieces, rather than in one large pass.  Next, we laid the veneer on the surface and evened up the overhangs. Once that was completed, we lifted up one end of the veneer, peeled away one slice of backer, and slowly laid the veneer back down, making sure to prevent any air pockets from forming.  Once the PSA layer touched the sealed surface it was instantly connected.  There was no pulling it off and trying for a second time if you laid it down crooked.

After we applied the entire surface of veneer to the substrate, we used used a tool called a veneer hammer, which you can see in the picture above, to apply as much pressure to the surface of the veneer as possible, smoothing out any bumps and ensuring every square inch of the PSA was adhered to the substrate.

Veneer 007a

After 4.5 hours of cutting, peeling, adhering, and trimming veneer (including one errant fingertip), we had three fully laminated console table surfaces.  It is a bit difficult to see in the picture, but the grain of the veneer is continuous from the end, over the edge, along the length of the top, and over the opposite end.  The grain on the side is also continuous with the grain on the top.

All in all, it makes for a very beautiful looking table top!