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Removing veneer?

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Hi Bill,

It's not, I've moved it.

Is it wood veneer? If so when you remove it you will have plywood below which is not very attractive.
Not necessarily,

They were veneering wood hundreds of years before plywood was ever invented.

Use a steam iron and a damp towel to loosen the veneer. Keep it damp with steam and scrape it off with a putty knife. Sand off the glue residue and let the table dry thoroughly (a week or two). Purchase a new flitch from a woodworking store or a door making factory and store it in the same room with the table for that week or two.

Make yourself a veneer press - a couple pieces of heavy smooth sided plywood with a few hardwood battens and C clamps will do the trick. Clamp the battens together side by side with the faces flush and sand them so that there is a very slight crown in the middle.

Cut the flitch slightly over sized, apply hide glue to both surfaces to be bonded, align the flitch, place it, and then place a layer of wax paper on top to isolate it from the press and prevent glue squeeze out from adhering the press to the tabletop.

Sandwich the tabletop and flitch between the plywood clamps, place the battens - crown side down - on the surface and then clamp them in place moving from the middle to the outside. Tighten your 'sandwich' snuggly but don't over-tighten it and squeeze all of the glue out - you need a thin layer of glue there to hold the veneer in place. The slight curve on the battens will exert slightly more pressure in the middle and force pressure outward as you tighten the clamps on the battens. This will ensure the entire face is bonded without any air pockets.

Allow the sandwich to dry for a couple of days. Remove the press and wax paper, carefully trim away the excess veneer with a razor knife (unless you want to purchase a veneer saw), carefully sand the face smooth and the edges flush. Sand with the grain, going progressively finer with your sandpaper. Use a light touch or you'll sand through the veneer. Don't hurry or when you apply your finish to the tabletop the finish will look like crap. Buff it out with some 0000 steel wool, wipe it down with a tack cloth and then apply your finish.

Did I forget anything, Richard - it's been about 16 years since I've veneered anything.

When you're all done, consider the fact that you probably could have bought another coffee table for a fraction of the time and effort that you put into restoring that one.



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Did I forget anything, Richard - it's been about 16 years since I've veneered anything.

What you listed sounds good to me but I'm no expert on veneering and I wasn't into repairing or re-finishing antiques. I "created" mostly with solid, highly grained, hardwoods. When I needed "veneered" panels for more mundane cabinets I would browse the plywood racks at various specialty lumber yards until I found what I liked.

Frankly, the fact that the OP posted here would lead me to have serious doubts about his/her skill level and their ability to do this and have it really blend in seamlessly (no offense intended). If the piece is really worth saving and they want to restore it, then I would probably suggest they contact a few local antique stores and find a good re-finisher.

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