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Friday, March 12, 2010

Veneering a Walnut Plant Stand

Recently I have been restoring a Walnut plant stand Ca. 1870. To view the first entry on this piece, follow this link:

When repairing the top of this table I noticed that the underside of the top had been veneered. The reason for this is that it is common practice to veneer both sides of a surface so that there is less of a chance that the surface will bow or move. If you ever look at the edge of a piece of plywood, you will notice that the plys are always in odd numbers. that is so there is an equal amount of tension on each side making the whole more stable. The same is true with veneering a table top. The problem here was that the top veneer was missing!
This table has had significant work done to it in the past so most likely the veneer was damaged and simply removed. The customer and I agreed to re-veneer the surface. Below are several photos of the process.

The first step was to prepare the surface by filling any indentations and sanding the surface to remove any old finish left over. Here is the prepared surface prior to veneering.
Here is the Walnut veneer chosen for the top.Once prepared, the top surface is coated with hide glue.The veneer was then laid in place and clamped for several days with ply wood and long blocks to make sure the entire sheet had good contact.Once removed, the sheet was glued to the top. You can see where the glue permeated the veneer in some places. this is sanded off before the veneer is finished.Here are two views of the veneered table with the veneer sheet trimmed to size. The veneer Will be stained lightly to match the color of the table before finish is applied.

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