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Expert's Corner — veneer

TIP: Stripping Veneer

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Stripping veneer is no different than stripping solid wood, with a few exceptions. First, avoid using lye or a stripper that contains water. Because of the thinness of the veneer, these might work through and loosen the glue bond. Solvent-based strippers shouldn’t cause any problem that didn’t already exist. Second, if you sand after stripping, which is usually a good idea to check that you have removed all the finish, do so lightly and with fine sandpaper. Otherwise, you might sand through, and a sand-through is almost impossible to fix. I recommend doing this sanding by hand with just your...

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Avoiding Blotching in Cherry

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Avoiding Blotching in Cherry

Cherry is a beautiful wood that is easy to work. But it is a problematic wood to finish because it has a tendency to blotch, even with just a finish applied—no stain. Everyone working with cherry wants to know the “secret” for avoiding blotching in cherry, as if there is one that they just don’t know. The real secret about cherry blotching seems to be that there isn’t any way to avoid the blotching. If the cherry boards or veneer you are using include blotchy parts, you are going to get blotching. The only way to avoid blotching is to...

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TIP: Cherry Blotching

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TIP: Cherry Blotching

One of the most often asked questions among woodworkers concerns methods of avoiding blotching in cherry. The questions are encouraged by countless articles in magazines purporting to reveal the “secret” method. Inevitably, these articles are disappointing because there is no way to keep cherry from blotching except to conceal the problem by adding color to the finish—in effect, making a thin paint. This is what most furniture manufacturers do when finishing cherry, with the result that the wood is muddied and doesn’t look much like cherry. In fact, the only way to totally avoid blotching with a stain or clear...

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TIP: Sand Through Veneer

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TIP: Sand Through Veneer

It takes quite a bit of effort to sand through veneer when sanding by hand. But machine tools can go through fairly quickly. The critical thing when you sand through is to stop! If the sand-through area is small enough, you may be able to fix it by painting in some of the grain and figure between coats of finish. Small areas are usually fairly easy to disguise. Large areas are impossible. So the question is, “How do you know when you have sanded through?” The answer is that the grain and figure of the wood disappear in a small...

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