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Veneer Repair



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Veneer Repair


Antique Sewing Machine

The pictures below show the veneered lid of an antique sewing machine with extensive damage to the quarter-sawn white oak veneer.  It was so bad that it probably should've just been either not repaired or just given a new top.  You can find antique sewing machines on the web for about $100.00 in real good shape.  However, on pieces of sentimental value, where the client really wants them repaired (this one was the client's grandmother's), we prefer to work with the original wood if at all possible.

Upper left is the machine cabinet as it was before we started work.  Upper right is a picture of the peeling veneer. 

Above left is the lid after gluing down what was there and sanding smooth.  It was pressed between two other boards using maybe a dozen or so clamps.  The edges had to be delicately re-edged by a router with a bit that closely matched the original curves.  Above right is the finished machine, after all repairs were made.  Notice on the left some lighter-colored finger shaped pieces of veneer.  These were replacements for missing chunks of the original veneer.  They are a little bit different color because the patches were simply regular white oak and were difficult to match to the patina after stripping.  However, the client needed to draw the line somewhere because costs were starting to get too high for the budget.

Veneer repair can be hit and miss, unless the entire section is replaced.  It is also really hard to make sure any patch is flush or level with the surrounding veneer, and it is hard if not virtually impossible to match grain and patina.  We've managed some pretty nice repairs, even at that.

Round Oak Table

Top left is water damage that turned the veneer dark.  Top right is the color removed but some curling because of the process used. 

The top left of the above pair of pictures is the same area after gluing the curls down, sanding, and coloring.  Right is after finishing.  Notice that we managed to match the patina.  These two pictures are with both halves of the table pulled together.  If you look closely, at the bottom of the top half of the table (on the right-hand picture it is just below the copyright statement), you can see another repair where we replaced missing veneer and got a nice match.

The pictures above show another repair, which is not as easy as it looks.  What was done in this instance is the end piece of veneer (top left picture) was shaved off, trying to leave as much of a base as possible.  Then a new piece of white quarter-sawn oak veneer was glued in place (top right).  The problem is to get the veneer at the exact same level as the original.  Very tricky, and to our knowledge only possible with our gluing process. 

In the above left picture the piece was colored, and in the above right picture you can't tell where the repair is at unless we showed you.

One more repair for the veneer section is this oval patch where we had to glue down a curled area and trim the edges (top left - the edges had curled up and some parts had broken off).  Above right is where we installed a patch (again, not as easy as it seems because it has to be level).

Above left is with color added (dye stain) and above right is after finishing.  Standing at a normal distance (the photographs are close ups) without knowing where it is most people cannot see it.  Even when it is pointed out it is still difficult to detect.

Click on the button below to see more veneer repair projects.

More Veneer

Call 243-2929 for an estimate on your veneer repairs.


Copyright 2006 The Chair Doctor of Grand Junction
Last modified: 03/25/11