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Joe Gorleski, Jr, – known far and wide as Joe Woodworker – is a retailer of fine wood veneers that can take a woodworking project from nice to Woah! For his first projects, Joe cobbled together a vacuum pump from plans he found online and by talking with other woodworkers.
From those humble beginnings, it didn’t take long for Joe to realize that he had way more veneer than he could ever use. While Joe’s website is impressive, his personal approach with customers can leave some people a little off guard. I like the warmth and character of pine for many projects and I think this country style bathroom was the perfect place to use it.
The first end table I made for the family room was a bit too small so I reversed the shape of the legs and added a few inches to the width and length. The dining room furniture was another project that was challenging from a design standpoint.
This is a simple project that nicely displays a quilt that my wife bought in Lancaster Pennsylvania.
This technique for applying wood veneer has been around for awhile and there have been as many successes as there have been stories of disaster. Lack of Adequate Heat - It is critical to allow plenty of time for the iron to reactivate the glue.
Drying & Curing - Once applied, Heat Lock has to dry before the ironing process can begin. Using the Wrong Adhesive - It is easy to find websites and articles with claims that plain yellow glue can be used for iron-on veneering.


A spritz of veneer softener on the surface will give the veneer some flexibility if it's very wavy, buckled, or high in moisture content. If excess glue has cured on the outside face of the veneer, you may find that Minwax Antique Furniture Refinisher will soften it up and allow you to remove the adhesive with a scraper. For tricky veneers that have a tendency to split under the heat of the iron, you want to try this alternative method.
Use the iron, with slightly less heat than previously used, to adhere the veneer to the substrate.
Bookmatching or any other veneer seaming technique can be very difficult with Heat Lock due to veneer shrinkage from the heat of the iron. To solve the shrinking problem, you can place a straight piece of clothes hanger wire about 2" away from the seam. My wife and I undertook this massive bathroom renovation in our home knowing we were giving up our entire summer to do it. I gave myself some freedom on the turned part since I knew I wouldn't have to duplicate it.
I kept it simple because I had recently taken a break from woodworking and wanted to get back into it with something easy. Each was a slightly different diameter which made it difficult to level the bowls side by side.
For for the heck of it, I knocked on the owner's door and asked him to think of me if the tree was ever to be destroyed.
Some species such as maple, bubinga, and hickory have a tendency to split when excessive heat is applied.


I bordered the cherry veneer top with walnut strips before I applied the cherry edge molding. The design work took at least 15 hours because I wanted to accomodate all of our home theater system without wasting space. Overall, this was a fun weekend (x2) project that gave me a great opportunity to use more of this oustanding veneer.
I could hardly believe it when he said he wanted it taken down right away and was actively searching for someone to do it. You can proceed with the ironing process as soon as the glue is dry but do not wait more than a few hours to complete your project. I used the Tamo in several areas (base molding accent, panels, mirror accent, sink offset base) to give the project some vibrance.
The most difficult pieces in this room were the chairs which were so frustrating, I almost gave up on it. I saw this pine board lying on the floor, grabbed a pencil and drew a pig shape on the board. If the glue is not strong enough to prevent the creeping action, the veneer will eventually bubble and delaminate. Essentially this means that many of the yellow glue success stories are really just temporary success stories.




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