A Forgiving Approach to Veneering Woodwork: Titebond and an Iron

July 24, 2019


A household iron re-activates Titebond glue for a goof-proof—and beautiful—woodworking veneer job


There are a variety of different ways that you can attach veneer to a substrate like this MDF. This is pretty cool. I've got these two book-matched pieces of walnut and I need to fasten them to the veneer here, and I'd really rather not mess around with cauls or a veneer press.

Contact adhesive can be a little bit dicey to use for a veneer, so I'm going to do the whole thing with yellow glue—a pretty easy procedure.


Getting the parts ready to glue

What I'm going to do to start with is just bring my veneers together, then we'll have a look at how the glue gets used. 

As I work on this, I'm just making sure that the seam is nice and closed. And this is just conventional masking tape I'm using.



Now, we're ready for the gluing step, and this is a little bit different maybe than what you've normally done with yellow glue. What I'm going to do is cover both surfaces by just painting the glue on.

And then, we're going to stand here and watch glue dry. We're going to let this yellow glue dry completely and then we'll be ready for the next step, which is where that household iron is going to come into play.

Same treatment on the back of the veneer.


Ironing the veneer

Now, we'll let both surfaces get dry to the touch and then we'll be ready for the next step. The glue on both surfaces is dry to the touch now, and the moisture from the glue got into the veneer and did a little bit of a wrinkle there, but I'm not worried about that, 'cause we're going to take care of that in the next step.

One of the things that's cool about this is that I can put these two surfaces together and they're just going to lay there, unlike with contact adhesive, where as soon as I make contact these are going to grab. So that gives me the opportunity to get the veneer over the substrate and get it where I want it, and it's just kinda sitting there.

The next thing we're going to do is use that household iron in order to get everything to adhere, but we wanna protect the veneer. I'm going to do that using that paper bag. Alright. Now, bag over the veneer. Tying the corner there, and with the iron on its hottest setting, we'll just start working this down. And as I go, I'm going to get out any wrinkles that developed.

The key to this is just keeping working your way across and what I keep checking here is to see if I've got any wrinkles or bubbles under there, that I wanna work those out as I go to get that veneer laid down nice and flat. And just let the heat of the iron, and a little bit of pressure from your hand do the work for you.


Check your work

And as you come in and you start to inspect things, if you find you have a spot that's not adhered yet, just come back with the brown paper bag and the iron, and hit it again. As a rule, with the application of veneer, what we do is we put it on oversize and then trim the veneer, or trim the veneer and the substrate, to get it down to the size you want.

So, let me peel this tape off here, and you can really see how cool the book-match of these two walnut veneer pieces is. And thanks to the yellow glue that we use to stick things together, and the heat of a household iron, it was very easy to get these veneer pieces applied to my substrate.


—This video is from Franklin Titebond, an advertiser of ProTradeCraft. Titebond's solutions-driven focus has produced an impressively broad line of revolutionary Titebond wood glues, flooring products, and construction adhesives and sealants. See all of Titebond's videos.


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