Veneer is natural, beautiful and truth is, everyone loves it. But as with all natural materials, there are bound to be application issues as well as variations in the material itself which needs to be taken into consideration while using it in your design or home. Surfaces Reporter spoke to Mr. Akhilesh Chitlangia, MD Duro Pvt ltd who shares valuable tips while using veneer.
1. Veneer Samples may not always match the final order
While the sample and final product may be the same species, be prepared for some deviations in the inventory, being a natural material.
2. Veneer can be different colour and grain within the same wood species
One again natural factors come to play. Some species may have more colour variation while others less. Hence choose wisely.
3. Understanding Veneer terminology is key to buying the right product.
A thorough understanding of veneer terminology such as Standard cuts, figure Types, matching patterns such as ‘book’, ‘slip’,’butt’ would help you to select the right product. It is wise to be clear about the quality, cut, sequence matching, colour. The better you describe what you need, the greater chances there is for you to get the right product.
4. Always better to buy extra
When in doubt, it is always better to buy an extra sheet rather than having to come back and look for a matching veneer later because it may be difficult to find a match then. This will also eliminate the risks with wastage caused due to re-doing, off-cuts etc.
5. Use the right combination of glue with backing
The correct backing material is determined by the gluing method you use, the substrate you use and the stability and durability required for the application. If you are using MDF as your substrate, be sure to scuff sand it with 80 or 100 grit sand paper so it will absorb the glue. The penetration of the glue into the substrate is key to the strength of the bond.
6. Choose the right application method
There are a number of acceptable methods for applying veneer. From the time honoured craft of hammer veneering to modern vacuum press veneering, each method has its advocates and applications where it works best.
7. Don’t spend on premium veneer for zero visibility areas
It may be a good idea to save money by spending money on premium veneers only on the high visibility areas. Lower grade veneer may be able to do the job well for areas such as shelves, backs, insides and underside of cabinets and furniture.
8. Balance both sides of the panel
Veneering both sides of the panel with a backer or a balance veneer will tackle the tendency of the veneer to warp after it is removed from the press. A backer veneer is often called a ‘balance’ veneer because it balances the number of layers on the plywood from the centre or other substrates.