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Best Adhesive For Thin Wood Veneer?


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Best Adhesive For Thin Wood Veneer?

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What is the best adhesive to use on thin wood such as shingles or veneer for flooring? I posed this question on the Greenleaf Forum recently, and the answers were as varied as the species of wood available.

Some liked to use hot glue, but the drawback was the longevity and the fact that getting burned was common. Some liked to use rubber cement, but others pointed out that eventually it dries out and loses it's bond. Some said contact cement, but others reminded us that you only get one chance to position it correctly. Once it's touched to the other piece, you're out of luck. Also, the smell was terrible. Still others said regular wood glue, securely clamped until the glue cures. Yet some said they had bad experiences with wood glue not drying clear and wood still curling in spite of clamping. Then there was the super glue camp, also pointing out the mess and the expense.

What this told me is that we've all experimented and didn't like some of the results with different products. But do we all have our favorites in spite of certain risks?

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I had a terrible time finding a good solution with Encounters Gifts & Grub. I had thin veneer strips from HBS that I wanted to use as clapboard, wainscoting and paneling. Plus, there were all of the shingles! I had a lot to do, and needed whatever it was going to be to work!

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I started out with Tacky Glue and quickly realized that the only way to prevent curling was to put a thin sheen of it across the piece then get it down immediately and clamp it. That's okay if you have a lifespan of 1000 years and can wait for glue to dry. Even the clamping quickly method sucked. When I lifted the clamp off I now had oozed glue to clean up. Tacky is not a good candidate for sanding, either.

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Then I tried contact cement. Oh it stuck! To me and everything else within a 10 foot radius. And, if you aren't a pristine crafter, you'll end up like me with little rubberized gobs sticking out between your seems. :0(

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I tried Quick Grab. I was just as messy with that. I couldn't get it applied fast enough! I'd put out a little squirt on waxed paper, try to get the cap back on quickly before the oozing became too incessant, then try to spread it on the wood before it became too crusty to stick. I always somehow ended up with it on my fingers and didn't realize it until I had touched something. At $7 for that tube I'd have needed to be a millionaire to get all my wood attached. <insert sad sigh>

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In my pout, head on the table, 1000 mile stare, I just so happened to look at my wallpaper paste. It was sitting at eye level. It said "A Stikflat Glue". What? Could it be?!? It was the one and only Grandmother Stover's. I've been using that on wallpaper for ever! And it makes other stuff stick flat? At this point I really had nothing to lose.

I took an old paint brush and painted a nice, thin bead across the wood strip. I stuck it on the wall. It stuck. I stared at it for what seemed like a full week. I never caught it curling. After several cocktails hours, I tried to pry it off. Nope! It was not coming off! Success! I used it to glue the rest of my veneer without a problem. It was easy to wipe off any excess with water, dried clear, and over three years later is still holding on great! Plus, it's like $5, and goes a loooong way!

Okay, so I thought I might get an answer from the collective genius of the forum. Some magic product I had never heard of, and it would change my life. Not so much. It seemed everyone was just as dissatisfied as I had been. So, for the Alki Point flooring, I decided to experiment again.

I used what I had on hand, because I assume most miniature enthusiasts would have the same type of adhesives, too. Quick Grab Tacky Glue, Titebond Wood Glue (the clear drying kind), and good old Grandmother Stover's.

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I have a pack of very thin veneer to use on my project, so what better to experiment with. I cut several long and several short pieces using my rotary paper trimmer. I took a piece of the 1/8" plywood from the Greenleaf kit (cut out left over from window) to use as the gluing surface.

Then I added the adhesives to the long and short pieces, and affixed them to the plywood scrap. I pressed each of them a few times, but didn't want to clamp them. What would they do on their own without any force over time?
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They have been drying for a couple of hours now, and the results are pretty much as I expected.

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The Quick Grab Tacky - dried with edges curling up
The Titebond - Significant curl initially, drying somewhat flatter but still not flat
The Grandmother Stover's - Never curled, Stukflat, Stayingflat!

Please do your own experimenting and please share your comments! I'd love to hear about what has worked (and not worked) for you!

I know what I'll be using for the wood floors on the Alki Point! Good old Grandmother Stover's!
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I don't think you mentioned this one, Quick Grip. Non water based so it won't warp the wood. For roof shingles, I don't spread it out on wax paper, I just apply a horizontal line of it on the roof and quickly attach the shingles. For flooring I just attach it directly to the veneer, spread it out a little and apply.

http://www.beaconadhesives.com/cggrip.html

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I use a good carpenter's wood glue for wood because that is what works for me.  I use Elmer's all-purpose white glue (NOT school glue) for the acetate inserts and to hold self adhesive vinyl flooring and iron-on wood veneer strips until I can get the iron onto the latter, for the same reason.  I find that adhesives, like tools, are an individual thing.  What works for one person might not work for another.

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I love to use tite bond by elmers or pro bond. There's no water in it so it keeps warping down and it adheres so well cause it's resin based. I use Quick grip for the shingles too! For well over 10 years without any customer complaints. :cucumber::cucumber::cucumber: That Garage is so nice! Your doing fabulous on it!

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Great tip, Tracy! I found it on Amazon for only $4.79, and free shipping if you have Prime. I'll pick some up on my next order and give it a try!

http://www.amazon.com/Elmers-E7503-Professional-Multi-Surface-Weatherproof/dp/B00ARDVTZU/ref=sr_1_4?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1446961865&sr=1-4&keywords=pro+bond

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I would have never thought to use wallpaper paste....I'll be using a billion veneer strips for my next project, and was just thinking about this. I've used Quick Grip (it's much, much cheaper at Walmart) but still have the issue with odor, mess, glue boogers, etc. I wonder if any of the wallpaper pastes would work? And I wonder why? Maybe because they dry slower? Some additive in the glue?   

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Hi Jodi, I was just reading your blog post which led me to your forum post; I learned the hard way not to use wood glue for siding (too watery, buckled ALOT). I have been using Aleene's tacky and faithfully applying masking tape to keep each layer down so it won't buckle while drying. Takes longer, but I'm much more satisfied with the results. I will have to check out some of the other glues mentioned here, but I do tend to get stuck in my ways. (Get it, "stuck"? :p )

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3 hours ago, stickyfingers said:

I would have never thought to use wallpaper paste....I'll be using a billion veneer strips for my next project, and was just thinking about this. I've used Quick Grip (it's much, much cheaper at Walmart) but still have the issue with odor, mess, glue boogers, etc. I wonder if any of the wallpaper pastes would work? And I wonder why? Maybe because they dry slower? Some additive in the glue?   

I wondered the same thing so I tried Wallpaper Mucilage on the barn flooring. Tt was terrible! Not only buckling the wood, but then not staying adhered at all. I guess it must be water based?

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6 minutes ago, rbytsdy said:

Hi Jodi, I was just reading your blog post which led me to your forum post; I learned the hard way not to use wood glue for siding (too watery, buckled ALOT). I have been using Aleene's tacky and faithfully applying masking tape to keep each layer down so it won't buckle while drying. Takes longer, but I'm much more satisfied with the results. I will have to check out some of the other glues mentioned here, but I do tend to get stuck in my ways. (Get it, "stuck"? :p )

The tape is a great tip! Do you find that a thinner or thicker application of the Tacky glue makes a difference? I know that having patience is a giant factor in all of this. I am working on that part!

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I cut veneer strips to .5" wide and then had lengths from 6" down to 1.5". The floor with both kits combined was about 20" x 12". It took the better part of the day to get them all down, and just to be safe I would get an area down and then put a lead weight on it, Even tho there wasn't much curling at all with the Grandmother Stover's, I still let caution rule and weighted down with waxed paper, plywood sheets and as much weight as I could fit on the surface. Here's what it looks like this morning, before any sanding and filling. Since the veneer thickness was inconsistent, it will take a little sanding work to get it smooth.

Hopefully, it will finish up nicely!

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1 minute ago, havanaholly said:

Your veneers are very pretty.

Thank you, Holly. I ordered them from Amazon, and the reviewers said you never know what they will put in the package. I am pretty happy with my pack. I'm going to leave this floor natural, but some of the veneer sheets in the package are really light and would look better stained.There are enough sheets to do ten 11" x 17" floors. They cost the same amount as buying two Houseworks 11 x 17" flooring sheets. Getting eight for free is motivation enough for me to do a little work!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003F0G60A?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s02

 

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I always use plain white woodglue, applied in a very thin layer. I put a pile of books on top for several days, untill I'm sure it is dry. 

Never had any problems doing it this way. If the veneer tends to curl up I just put back the pile of books for another couple of days. easy peasy.

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I just thought of another fly in the ointment...many brands of wallpaper paste have silicone in them. This would make finishing the wood (paint, stain, varnish, poly, etc.) much more difficult, as silicone will not allow any other finish to stick. Yikes!

You know, the traditional glue used for veneer is hide glue.

 

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26 minutes ago, stickyfingers said:

I just thought of another fly in the ointment...many brands of wallpaper paste have silicone in them. This would make finishing the wood (paint, stain, varnish, poly, etc.) much more difficult, as silicone will not allow any other finish to stick. Yikes!

You know, the traditional glue used for veneer is hide glue.

 

Please read everyone, before you try wallpaper paste. Wallpaper Mucilage DID NOT WORK WELL AT ALL. 

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1 hour ago, stickyfingers said:

...the traditional glue used for veneer is hide glue.

 

Hide glue is what shoemakers use to hold leather parts together.  I grew up with the smells of tanned leather and hide glue; my stepdaddy was an orthopedic technician who made prescription orthopedic shoes.  Before I discovered iron-on veneer I had very good results with contact cement, but I was very careful about placing the strips first flush with a wall and then flush with the preceding row.  I used an old tablespoon to burnish the strips flat and weighted them down with stack of books for a couple of days to get them nicely flat before the sanding and staining.  I really like the iron-on strips!

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  • 1 year later...

I was happy to find this thread, I just bought some veneers at Woodcraft and wasn't sure what glue to use. Normally I cut basswood strips for flooring but I wanted to try something different. I got a 1/16" thick cherry veneer and a Wenge thin veneer that looked really cool. If it works out this will definitely end up less expensive than cutting basswood. The wenge looks like bark, it's so different I couldn't resist trying it...cashier said "watch for splinters with that"...it's a dark chocolate, rougher texture. Maybe I'll try that on the ceilings. One method I didn't read is hot glue plus super glue. I'd prefer to use wood glue tho. 

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My husband brought home a aerosol container of a brand named Helmintink 1685.  It is fast drying contact adhesive. They use it at the shop. Only use it out of doors.

I might end up laminating my eyelids in the process???? I am going to glue the veneer to a 1/8 th piece of basswood and then cut out planks.

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Funny this topic got brought back up today, as I spent a good amount of time today cutting veneer into strips for wood planks. I'm going to be adhering mine to brown kraft paper first as the floors are painted white. Mine happens to have sticky adhesive on the back, so I'm debating just sticking mine to the paper. Hmmm... Disadvantage to that would be I can't slide them into place to make sure they are tight together. I may have to ponder that for a while longer...

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Why can't you paint your floor first?  I like the iron-on veneer because I can slide it around as I need to with the glue bead, and then iron it into place; and whilst the adhesive is still hot from the iron I can tuck the strip more snugly, if needed.

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