You can prevent bubbles and blisters in a veneered panel by applying glue the right way!
The rule of thumb for glue application is that the surface of the substrate should be evenly covered with veneer glue. The easiest way to to this is with a decent glue roller. This tool will roll out a smooth and even glue line which will prevent bubbles from occurring in the cured veneer panel that are caused by pockets of excess glue.
A simple tool like this is an excellent means of applying a thin, even coat of veneer glue. It works well with Heat Lock, Ultra-CAT, and regular Better Bond veneer glue.
The glue roller has a one-piece plated metal frame mounted to a medium density foam rubber roller. This is not a disposable roller. Just rinse it in warm water while the glue is still wet and you can use it over and over again.
Not for use with solvent-based adhesives.
Tip from Joe
Be sure to clean the roller immediately after use. For water based adhesives, use warm water. You'll find that adding a bit of liquid soap will really help.
Keep in mind that you won't be able to get the roller completely clean. It will get "seasoned" after its first use and will never quite be the same. A professional painter will tell you that a paint brush works best after its been seasoned. This glue roller is the same way. After it has been seasoned, it will work even better and subsequent cleanings will be much easier.
I have a glue roller that is at least 4 years old and its a bit crusty looking but it still puts down the ideal amount of adhesive. If you are very particular about your glue roller, here's a tip... dip it in water before you use it. This will make it easier to clean and it will extend the life of the roller.
Review by William Kneller
The roller worked great. It smoothed out the glue to the correct thickness and it wasn't messy.
Review by Jim Fitzgerald
I ordered the 4" and the 6" rollers both. Great product. Used the 6" roller with the Heat Lock glue and it works great. The roller is not to hard or to soft, just right. It does a beautiful job.
Review by Mark Henry
This roller works very well in applications of glues, it is cleanable for many times of use. Then you can change the applicator as it wears out with new and continue gluing. I recommend this tool in you veneer work, maybe 2 or 3 of them!
Review by Allison Baer
This roller seems expensive to me but I still come back and buy a few once or twice a year because there isn't a better tool for putting out a smooth coating of glue. Things get hectic in my shop and I keep forgetting to clean the roller before the glue starts to harden... so here I go again buying more. These do work very well and I have tried other rollers and adhesive trowels but the others put on too much glue and they leave behind a lumpy surface. These work perfectly though.
I can say that the shipping cost was not bad at all and though it took a few days to arrive, I know that they are shipped very quickly because they send you a tracking number a few hours after you submit the order to them. Go ahead and buy a couple extras because you will want to keep using these if you do any veneering at all.
Review by John Grace
The only product for applying veneer glue evenly and quickly. Made in the USA!
Review by Nicholas Santorineos
I was skeptical and almost didn't get this roller. I have always used a mini paint roller, but honestly there is no comparison. This little roller kicks butt.
Review by John Hall
I can't believe how well these rollers work. And with easy clean up they are always ready. You won't be disappointed.
Review by Jeremy Huber
I have not used this for veneer, yet but for edge gluing it works great. Just run a bead of glue down one board and use the roller to spread the glue on that edge and transfer it to the mating surface. Perfect amount of glue on the joint, a small continuous bead of squeeze out along both sides of the joint. I can't wait to try it on th veneer for this project.
Review by Max Neu
These rollers do a perfect job of spreading glue evenly! I do recommend buying extra rollers. I found that I rotate them throughout the day if I am doing a lot of veneering. If I clean one, I alway's have a clean dry one ready to go, then just keep rotating them.
Review by Daniel Rudy
Don't even think about it, buy it. You will thank yourself later.
Review by John Hall
I have just started working with veneer and have had a terrible time with the glue ups. I tried spreading the glue with paint rollers, rubber rollers, notched credit cards just to name a few. I ran across this site and decided to try this roller. It works amazing. I have glued up three projects with it and it not only was easy to use but spread the glue very evenly.
Review by Joe K
I was going to use to small foam roller from Home Depot but since it came in my starter pack, I said what the heck. Well worth it. It has a more "stiffness" so it's much easier to get the glue on evenly. A little soap and water when your done and it cleans right up. I used both the CAT glue and Better Bond.. no issues.
Review by Reggy Poundstone
Titan works fine with this roller. Two gallons of Titan were ordered about a month ago and they arrived very quickly along with this roller and a few replacement rollers. I've gone through the first gallon of glue and I've still got plenty of life on the roller. It did get a bit more firm after the first use but it still rolls out a coat of glue as well as I could expect.
My neighbor suggested that I try this website because he has had very good service from the owner of this business. The owner answered my questions via email on the same day that I sent my message. I really the way your site is set up!!!
Review by Bob Gabor
The glue rollers that I recently bought are fantastic! They aid me greatly in applying the right amount of glue.The easy clean up is my favorite feature. Woodworker friends who visit during a glue-up are really impressed too! I just placed an order for more accessories. Thanks.
Review by Russel Garfield
I just placed an order for more of these rollers. My previous two rollers lasted for well over a year (with nearly daily use). Last week, the phone rang while I was gluing some MDF with the rollers. I got tied up on the phone for too long and the glue dried on the roller thus ending its life.
For the money, you cant beat these glue rollers and I dont think I could go without them. I've seen some high tech rollers that were $119 each. These types have a hopper on top and they're hard to find. The problem is that if you were to leave the glue roller without cleaning, you'd be out a serious chunk of change. So with my days of constant interruptions, I prefer this roller. If it gets messed up, there's nothing to cry over and I'll just get another one for 10 bucks.
Review by Miles U.
Yet another great product that Joe offers here. Works like a champ and didnt allow any bleed-through. I got a perfect panel on my very first pressing!
Review by Michael Browning
This roller is perfect for applying veneer glue as well as yellow glue on board edges. I bought a dozen so I'm always prepared with the right tool. The 4 inch version is more handy for edge gluing than the 6 inch which is better for spreading veneer glue on larger surfaces (obviously). These things clean up very easily. In fact it takes me less than 30 seconds to clean it. There is something unique about the soft rubber that makes it put down a flawless coat. What ever it is, I'm loving it.
Review by Mike Markowski
I have to agree with the other reviews. The roller is definitely worth the money. I've found nothing quite as good as this one. My shop once used a roller that cost $120 for spreading glue. It had a hopper on top that created a huge mess and cleaning it was a royal pain in the rumpus. One of my friends tried the roller offered here and had only great things to say about it. There isn't really anything that I would change about it except the price but we all know that if you want something good, its not going to be free.
Joe's customer service is also worth a mention here. When I first ordered some supplies from him, I had several questions. He answered all of them within a matter of 45 minutes via email. How sweet is that? His email was genuine and thorough and he even took the time to send me some links to pages on his website and others that would further my understanding of my own questions. Recently, I called Joe to find out about a paperbacked veneer. Of course, it was him (Joe) who answered the phone. He spent at least 15 minutes talking to me and answering my questions. I cant begin to explain how easy he is to talk to. Its like talking to your best friend. On top of that, he doesn't push any products on you. If there is something you are looking for and he doesn't have it, he will tell you where to get it even if it's one of his competitors. I ask you, who else do you know that does that? Kudos!!!
Review by Tim Sproul
Works just like advertised and shown. Have some 'blotting' paper the first time or two you use so you can easily remove excess glue, if needed.
Review by Herbert Stansbury
Worth its weight in gold by saving me so many headaches that I had before I switched to the betterbond glue and this roller.
Review by Brad N.
Once again, Joe knows whats best! This roller makes applying Heat Lock glue very easy. It does need to be cleaned up after each use though (duh).
Review by Tim Ruben
In our shop, we had been using a slew of other tools to lay glue onto the panels. A paint roller works well but occasional leaves areas without enough glue. Then you have to spend 10 minutes cleaning the roller cover. It wasnt fun.
BUT... this tool puts down a good coat of glue and cleans up in about 10 seconds.
Review by Jason Andreasen
"Ditto". As everyone else has mentioned, this tool does what it claims - evenly spreads a thin layer of glue. When you're done, toss it in a bucket of water for a few minutes, rinse it off and its good as new.
Review by Aaron Shoemaker
This is probably my favorite tool when I do a veneering job. It does what everyone says it does. It makes the glue go down perfectly. I dont think I ve had a bad panel from the vacuum press since I bought the roller. This website is probably the best place to buy the tool. Some other retailers are selling a smaller tool for more money.
Review by Bernie Forman
I have to admit, I only bought this tool because of Joe's recommendation. I've been emailing him a lot about my first two veneer panels which came out so-so. He said this would eliminate the problems I found in the panels.
Well.... sheesh... he was right. My last 3 or 4 panels came out perfect. Normally, I dont remember to write or offer reviews but tonight I have some free time and thought I should share my experience with Joe and his website.
If you are new to veneering and you've got an expensive veneer to lay down, I highly suggest this glue roller.
Review by Tom Kelley
I am tremendously thrilled with the glue roller. I know it sounds odd to be "tremendously thrilled" with such a simple device but it has worked out so well. When I first learned to veneer (through Joewoodworker.com) I had occasionally screwed up some panels. I would get these strange ripples in the veneer and would have to scrap the panel and try it again. Eventually, I figured it was worth trying the glue roller. It was definitely worth it. The cost of the roller far exceeds the costs of a failed panel if your using a decent veneer.
I dont take chances anymore. I use the tool everytime I do a panel and just dunk it into a bucket of water when I'm done. By the time I get the panel into the press and settle down, then I remove the roller and wipe it dry.
I suspect even professional woodworkers would get great use from this tool. Its a great find!
Review by Jack M.
I should have bought this tool along time ago. I have had a few botched panels since I've been veneering. But after I started finessing the glue with this roller, the problems completely stopped. Sometimes I would get glue blisters (too much glue) and sometimes I would get veneer popups (not enough glue). The roller gave me the exact amount of glue and the panels come out of the press perfectly now.
Joe... thanks for the great advice and this great website. You have turned me into a better woodworker. Veneering has opened a whole new door for me.
Review by James Donolstein
Actually, this is a very good product. I use it everytime I do a veneer panel and its never failed me. The important part is that you clean it before the glue dries on it.
I just dunk it in a small tupperware bowl and let it sit a few minutes, then I wipe it clean with a papertowel.
Review by Phil Harrison
Worth its weight in gold! Why didnt I buy this thing sooner?
Review by Greg Tominko
This glue roller is a life saver. I could have saved so many failed panels if I had only used this tool to begin with. Get one and save yourself the headache!
WORTH EVERY PENNY!
Review by Don O.
The glue roller is definitely a tool I couldnt do without. After I started using it on my projects, I noticed a huge increase in the quality of the finished panels. It eliminates the chance of getting glue bubbles and bleedthrough. I just lightly roll it across the panel to spread the glue out (not putting much pressure on it) and lay the veneer. I recommend this product to all veneer users.