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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: veneer removal

Posted By: James Schooley <furnitureissues@earthlink.net> (0-1pool247-81.nas2.sioux-city1.ia.us.da.qwest.net)
Date: 6/7/5 00:48

In Response To: veneer removal (Donald E. Adams)

Veneer will loosen with steam or white vinegar, the steam being the safer for the sub layers of wood, as it will dry quicker. The repairs are more complicated and may require some special tools.

Logic would lead one to believe that a little water would reactivate the old glue, but more hide glue is the answer. There is a liquid form now sold in bottles in the Hdw. store, so you won't need to go to all the trouble of getting a glue pot etc. My reason for using hide glue under loose veneer is that only more hide glue will effectively stick to old hide glue. To switch glues would require removing all the old glue first, and when sneaking a little glue under a loose patch may get a bit invasive if you want to sand etc. If the old glue is still present you may be able to reactivate if with a little steam and then re-stick the veneer with a low heat from a clothes iron, and then clamp. If the old glue is not going to work for you then use some vinegar to soften and remove, with an old tooth brush, rag, or what ever can gets you under the loose spot. Once dry, fold a thin sheet of fine sand paper and insert it in the loose spot and pressing lightly, slide the sand paper back and forth till the old glue is removed, then you can use another adhesive or more hide glue. Wax paper and glue blocks and plenty of clamps, a pad over the wax paper will alloy you to press in irregular surfaces. Liquid hade glue will be the best way to go unless you are ready to cook the glue pellets for hide glue in a glue pot, or a crock pot. Set a jar of half water and half hide glue (by weight) into a crock pot at 145 F. or close to it. Once the clue pellets and the water have set over night, then heat in the crock, about 2 hours, or till the consistency of hot syrup.

If there are spaces in the veneer that are lost, you will need to get some matching veneer and cut straight lines and 'V' shapes to fit new splices into. Try to match the grain as best you can, wet the surrounding area and the repair veneer with alcohol to see if the reflective qualities are the same. Some wood will appear dark with the light on the left and the next piece will do the opposite. Flipping won't help, find a matching piece for that spot or you will have reverse chatoyance and it will stand out in normal light.

Tape all the splits back together so that there is no place for the glue to squeeze through, apply a paste wax to the surrounding surfaces, using liquid hide glue, spread a layer of glue between the layers using a long thin knife. Press flat and wipe off excess glue with warm water on a rag, pad dry. Cover repair with a sheet of waxed paper and clamp or press flat with weight. Check after 30 minutes to see if all is well and that the veneer is staying flat and smooth, an iron set on low heat and thin cotton cloth, will help press the wavy veneer flat at this point, then replace waxed paper and the clamps. Don't over do it and crush the side panels. When dry, remove dried excess glue with a sharp tool and white vinegar.

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