The Original "Heat-and-Bond" Veneer Glue!
Heat Lock™ is the woodworker's solution for small or irregularly shaped veneering projects. Designed specifically for iron-on veneering, this adhesive bonds raw and paper-backed veneers to porous substrates such as wood, plywood, MDF and particle board with an ordinary household clothes iron. Having you been looking for iron-on wood veneer but found it too expensive and has limited species availability? If so, Heat Lock solves the problem by allowing you to bond almost any wood veneer to your next project.
To use Heat Lock, simply apply a uniform coat to the substrate and the back side of the veneer. The substrate must be porous. Allow both pieces to dry. Then place the veneer onto the substrate and use a clothes iron (set on medium/high) to "re-activate" the adhesive binder. Apply even downward pressure giving the full veneer area ample time to heat up and bond. Allow an additional 1 to 3 hours for full bond strength.
Heat Lock is not suitable for crotch grain veneers.
This item can not be shipped outside of the USA and Canada.
Better Bond Heat Lock™ is Ideal For:
Tips from Joe: Heat Lock is a superb adhesive and takes only a small amount of practice to master. I recommend experimenting with veneer scraps before tackling your first project. Be sure to keep the iron moving at all times and, of course, be careful to avoid burning yourself. For best results, apply two coats of Heat Lock to the veneer before ironing. Lastly, an old cotton or flanel Tee shirt between the veneer face and the iron will prevent the veneer from burning. Bookmatching or any other veneer seaming technique can be difficult with Heat Lock due to the method of application. If your project involves a veneer seam/joint a vacuum press would be ideal. Check out the Heat Lock FAQ before ordering. Heat Lock is not suitable for use with crotch grain wood veneers.
If you're ordering veneer glue, don't forget a glue roller. It's worth every penny.
Freeze Protect Option
This adhesive is not freeze/thaw stable. Because of the exceedingly cold winter that is being experienced in Maryland and across the US, we highly require the freeze protection option at the top of this page. With this option, we will ship your adhesive in a thermofoil wrap with package warmers to minimize any chance of freezing.
Review by Matt Douthit
Performance exceeded my already high expectations. I used Heat Lock and paper-backed Ash veneer on a domed chest and I got perfect results. I had no prior veneer experience and everything went smoothly for me. Take your time, use a liberal amount of heat and you will have no problems. Really AWESOME product. Glue roller worked nicely also. My only regret is I bought a pint rather than a gallon.
Review by Josh A.
As a novice I approached the initial veneer projects with a bit of trepidation! Especially after a few failed attempts using yellow glue, I researched well the glue availability and found this site and Better Bond. After six months of using Better Bond Heat Lock I can attest to not only its convenience and ease of application, but to its holding power after a few months. It is fast and economical. For those instances where the vacuum press is not an option, I find I am using it more and more.
The products I have bought from this site have arrived in good condition, shipping is always fast and excellent follow up to questions about the use of the products.
Review by Jeff Maxim
After reading all the reviews, and a little suspicious they may have been written by the manufacturer, I can say Heat Lock lives up to its claims. I had to apply an emergency veneer on the face of a 9' wide curved-front reception desk. I had used 1/4" mahogany ply for the face, which I sanded through (!!!) and from now on I will forgo the ply with difficult corner miters and veneer with Heat Lock instead.
Tips I picked up:
- I poured then troweled out the glue (thick and viscous) with a 4" knife with 1/8" x 1/8" square knotches then rolled to proper thickness with Joe's roller (essential - get it).
- Wet day in dry Colorado and it took an hour to set up in a warm shop.
- Dry to the touch does not mean inactive. I set the veneer on the substrate and they stuck before ironing. Had to rip it off, sponge down built-up glue, wait for that to dry, and get a new piece of veneer. Bummer, but, the fact that I could salvage it is a plus for Heat Lock! Also I got a sense of the adhesion, which was strong.
I recommend putting a paper barrier (I used rolled paper masking) between veneer and substrate for registration and being careful to pull the paper well ahead of the iron. The bond felt solid and strong instantly. The glue did not gum up trimming tools. I'll be using the product from now on.
[Note from Joe: I would never (EVER!) write reviews for my own products.]
Review by John M
Does just as the name says. Near effortless. Nice tight seams and you can stain right after you have finished veneering. I went straight from bottle to substrate to roller. No waste.
Review by Rick Godfrey
HeatLock = great product! Much easier to work with and much stronger than contact cement. Read the tips section, apply 2 even coats like paint, iron hot enough you can't hold your hand onto the wood etc... I didn't use wood veneer in my projects much but I do now. Really like the results. Thank you Christine and Joe
Review by Michael Lange
I began using this product about 5 years ago. Since then I have not had a piece of face edging wood veneer on cabinets or shelving even hint of delaminating. Once you iron on your strip of face veneer it is there forever. It has also been a solution to small curved projects(up to perhaps 8 sq ft)which would not be able to stand the pressure of vacum. By the way I am a professional cabinet maker and have made my living as such since 1976. I strongly recommend you try this product, you will never use hotmelt iron on edging again!
Review by Randy Tahnu
I can't begin to explain how easy it was to use this glue. I admit to knowing very little about veneering and only bought this glue to try out with some old veneer I bought many, many years ago. It worked great on the first try. The panel was veneered and set into a small box I made for my wife. Overall, I think this is the best product for part time woodworkers. If I can make this product work, anyone can!
Review by Bob Joitfer
I'm so happy to write a review for Heatlock because Im so happy to have found a product that works exactly as it says it will. Im new to veneering and I didnt have the money or time to put into a vacuum press since I probably wont get a chance to veneer too many projects. I just wanted to veneer a small curved lid for a treasure chest that I built for my wife. I thought the veneering part of the project would be something I would regret but instead it was my favorite part.
I started by softening the veneer and then I followed the website instructions. The whole lid was completed in about 20 minutes and the project was varnished later that evening. The next day, my wife was all smiles as she ran her fingers across the veneered top which was birds eye maple. It was beautiful and Joe's Heatlock glue is what made it happen.
Highly, highly, highly recommended.
Review by Nolan Albrecht
Wow! After trying out a pint of this glue for a big project that I'm doing for a neighbor, I decided to buy two gallons. I know this is a new product for Joe to offer (I think he invented it) so I wanted to test it myself so I did a 5 panels, each 1 square foot. I tortured the bejesus out of each panel. I cooked one in the oven, drowned one in water, doused one with lacquer thinner, coated one with every chemical I could find in the shed, and the last panel I tortured with a chisel and my fingernail to see if I could pull the veneer off the panel. I consider this a most thorough test.
It passed! In fact it passed with flying colors. I couldn't get the veneer to come off the panel no matter what I tried. This is great stuff and I'm sure it will become a very popular product. Congrats to Joe for creating and offering a product that may change the way we all do veneer projects.
Review by Brad N.
Heat Lock does indeed work as described. I just used up my second pint of it and have had flawless panels after nearly every shot. Just for fun my wife scroll saws holiday ornaments and we decided to veneer a few boards before she takes them to the saw. We adhered birds eye maple to 1/2" thick solid walnut and the results were outstanding. VERY NICE PRODUCT!
Review by Auggie Jones
Worked perfectly on a desk top I did for my daughter. We used quilted makore and contact cement at first. Two days later - bubbles every where. Switched to this glue - perfection and the job is done! Now on to my next big project... veneered toy chests for the grand kids.
Review by David Nadolski
First time veneering a piece of non-adhesive backed veneer. Was a nice curley maple veneer on a hardwood substrate. Used veneer softner to first soften the wood, the applied heat-lock as instructions suggested...Great results, veneered the 23" diameter table top w/o a vacuum pump. Any unbonded areas...was able to reheat those sections and flatten with an iron. Great product.
Review by Michael Midiar
I bought this glue for a small project I was building for a friend. I didnt want to spend the time and money on a vacuum press so this glue seemed perfect. Some practicing was needed to learn the nuances of the glue but it didnt take long and I suspect most people would get a good job without any fuss. The nice part is that you can test the veneer (with water) and then just reheat any areas that didnt stick properly. Once the project was finished I decided to buy some extra veneer from Joe and made a few projects for myself. I'd recommend getting the glue roller that is offered on this site and some veneer softener too.
Review by D. Michael Korman
It works as advertised and saved me a bundle of money. I dont have a vacuum press and I can not justify the cost of a press when I only need 1 or 2 veneers each year. I used this glue on walnut burl and it took just a few minutes of ironing to get the veneer glued down to the board. I'm very happy with this product. It is expensive but worth it.
Review by Kevin Smee
Joe, I was a little apprehensive with my first veneering project (a snare drum shell) and couldn't have been happier with your products. I bought a quilted maple veneer and used the Heat Lock adhesive to attach it. I was a little skeptical to try a product that you use a clothing iron to activate, but boy did it work well. I couldn't justify a vacuum press and the Heat Lock adhesive bonded really well. The Snare drum is done now and has gotten rave reviews on two drumming forums for it's wild quilted maple figure. Your web site was full of helpful information that made this project a success. Thanks again, Kevin
Review by Al Wooley
I would like to make a big positive feedback for this product for paper backed veneer as well as using this Heat Lock for unbacked veneer as well.
We produce custom speaker cabinets on a low volume and hand crafted look is very important to us , we control the quality of our products and this glue works great.
The thickness of the glue seals the end grain of MDF very very good plus bending wrapping veneer around a speaker cabinet with a radius of 3/4" this glue bonds very good.
The big plus is no fumes and if you have to stop and walk away and come back to the job in a hr, just turn the iron back on and continue were you left off.
Well done in putting out a product that first time veneer users can feel at easy using.
Just apply. Let both the veneer and your speaker cabinet dry 100%.
Thanks again great product I see a lot of DIY speaker builders using this product.
Review by Gabe Smith
I'd like to add an additional 5 star review to the growing list on the BetterBond Heat-Lock. I veneered a set of 4 ft tall Adire 281's DIY speakers and the matching large center channel a few weeks ago. This is a great adhesive for a beginner who has never veneered or pro who needs a strong, quick and easy bond. I am really glad I found this glue. This stuff worked amazingly well.
I was reluctant to use contact cement because the largest pieces were 48"x18" and pretty unwieldy to handle. I've done a decent amount of woodworking but this was my first veneering project so I wanted a more forgiving glue. I was using a paperbacked Quartersawn Makore which is about $4/sq ft. Needless to say a messed up panel could get pretty expensive especially if I had to buy a new sheet. I started on the small panels following Joe's directions of using a glue roller (highly recommended) and taping down the veneer. I let the glue dry for about 20-30 minutes. The panels do not bond until you apply the iron then they STICK. I was very impressed with the bond. Once cooled the bond was good, once cured (3hrs) the bond was great. The large panels were no more complicated. I just needed more glue. The corners were also no problem. Just concentrate some more pressue from the iron on them. I trimmed with a razor knife
Again, buy the roller for any substantial veneering with this Heat-Lock. Keep the roller in a gallon size ziploc between panels.
The only thing I would change next time is to put it in a bottle for easier application. I globbed it on from the jug and it was a little hard to gauge how much and slightly messy but even then it was no big deal. Water clean up was a piece of cake. How bout an applicator nozzle for the gallon bottle Joe? Great product, thanks again!
(Follow up from Joe: That's a great idea. I will check into it.)
Review by Herbert Tolaurti
I'm more than thrilled with this glue. I did some panels over the weekend for a small box and they all turned out very nicely. I didnt follow the instructions on the first panel and had some troubles. I then emailed Joe about it and got a very quick and friendly response. After I followed Joe's instructions (which are clearly written on the instruction sheet that comes with the glue) I had no problems at all. The veneer was walnut burl and the substrate was plywood.
Again, I'm very satisfied with everything Joe provided.
Review by Jason Homohlai
My father (a professional cabinet maker) is not one to try new things so I bought him a gallon of Heatlock and first tried it out myself. Within a half hour I produced a panel to show him. For the rest of the afternoon, the panel sat on a shelf in plain sight of the workbenches in the shop where his shop helpers spent the day checking it out. After work, everyone in the shop had formed a circle around my workbench as I showed them how easy it was. Non of us got out of the shop until well after dinner time. We were busy using up a full gallon by the day's end.
So today, I'm ordering 5 more gallons. We are very excited to find a great glue like this. It really works well. Everyone a Sunhill Cabinetry will have a gallon to take keep at their bench.
Review by Joseph Billanowski
Finally, some one with the sense to offer a product that speaker builders can really use! I've built a couple dozen speakers over the last few years and have always found that the veneering part is the hardest to do. I've tried vacuum presses, weights, clamps, and every other means to veneer my boxes and there is always something that causes anguish (glue bubbles, lifted edges, etc).
BUT... this adhesive makes life much easier. I veneered a pair of decent size speakers over the weekend with outstanding results. The veneer was so much easier to manipulate and the surface was smooth and solid.
I highly recommend this to any DIY speaker building hobbyists.