Ready, Fire, Aim! Uh - That Doesn't Seem Right

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When I start drafting a newsletter, I often begin by looking at recent emails from our customers to see if there is a trend that carries across more than a few. The theme for the last few weeks has been "putting the cart before the horse" and so I thought it would be a good time to write a few tips to help avoid this.

  • cat-backed-veneer.jpgSure, I want to sell you a vacuum press since it can transform your level of craftsmanship, but don't buy a press if your project can be easily and durably completed with contact cement and a paper-backed veneer. I cringe when I hear from a potential customer who is planning a one-time veneer project and they're ready to spend $500 on a system that will be used just once.
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  • Have a sense of whether or not the material to which you are applying the veneer is porous. Do this before you select a veneer for your project. This will help identify the type of adhesive you can use for your project. Generally speaking, water-based adhesives will not bond to non-porous surfaces such as metal, glass, acrylic, pre-finished surfaces, and any surface that has been contaminated with mineral spirits or silicone. For these types of projects, it's a good idea to consider a paper-backed veneer with the PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) option. On the other hand, there is plywood and MDF and particle board which are porous substrates so water-based adhesives will typically work well if correctly applied.
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  • If you are vacuum pressing your project, there are just a few things you'll need to know before you start that practically guarantee a successful panel. I've written about them on this page of the JoeWoodworker website.
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  • Most importantly, ask questions before you buy anything. I'm here to help and your questions are always welcome. It is so much easier to get answers first and think about those answers so you can ask any follow-up questions before you order. This will save you time, money, and perhaps a headache.

Plan ahead, think it through, and let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers,
Joe