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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Aug Sun 31, 2003 6:44 am 
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Hello! I have a Stromberg-Carlson Treasure Chest that I am restoring, and I've run into an issue that I have never tackled before. On the top of the wooden cabinet, there is a bubble in the veneer about the size of a half dollar right in the middle of the panel. This radio has heavy burl walnut on the top, & I would really like to display it. Is there any recommended procedure for removing the bubble? I figured I could inject the area with wood glue using a syringe, but how do I make sure I get enough glue in all the right places and not too much glue that it leaves a lump? If I thin the glue too much do I risk lifting more veneer? What is the best type of glue to use? I would really like to do this right the first time, because this is not a radio that I want to ruin. Any tips or past experiences with this would be much appreciated.<P>Nicholas<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Aug Sun 31, 2003 2:09 pm 
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Hello<BR>I had this on a radio. I tried heat and damp to reactivate the old animal glue. It did not work because I did not use enough damp, I think. The idea is that you soften the glue and then clamp the top or pile weight on it 'til the glue sets again.<BR>It is only a possible method if you are going to refinish the cabinet.<BR>I have heard of folks injecting glue with a hypo syringe. Not tried it myself. I did try sltting the bubble with a scalpel and injecting glue. I tried Superglue with a very fine nozzle. It sort of works but does attack the finish. Maybe white glues and clamps would have been better. What happened in my case was that as I fixed one bubble and proceeded down the refinishing road more appeared!. If the cabinet is stripped you dont see them 'til you get some lacquer on and some shine. Really the whole venner on this side was not well fixed.<BR>I took it off in the end and put new venner on. Also, did the other side and top so it all matches.<BR>Looks beautiful now.<BR>Gary<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Mon 01, 2003 12:11 am 
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The finish on my set has previously been removed...someone put an oil finish on it. Not too pretty, but easy to remove! I had thought of slitting the bubble, but then wouldn't you leave a dark line in the veneer? I suppose you could get around this using a wood filler in the slit but I haven't found one that works on small cracks yet. <P>BTW - does anyone reading this post use paste wood filler thinned & brushed on? I heard this works well but haven't tried it yet. I only wish I could find a good wood filler, but all of the store bought ones I use are marginal... Someday...<P>Nicholas <P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Mon 01, 2003 1:01 pm 
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Hello Nicholas<BR>Yes! Slitting would leave a mark but being as the cabinet had quite a number of scratches I would not have worried about it. I would have filled it (grain filler probably) and left it at that. Generally, I know longer go for trying to make every wound invisable. Firstly it takes a lot of time and it is rarely totally succesful. Secondly it can make the piece look simply too new... a few marks and wounds under the new finish does not detract for me, but adds authenticity.<BR>I too have not found fillers I am really happy with. I use a paste grain filler which I thin with a mineral spirit based wood stain, of the appropiate colour. A couple of goes with this generally comes out OK. As for bigger wound filling I go for car body filler, particularly near an edge, where it hangs in better. Yep! you have to spend time touching it in with acrylic paints before toning etc.<BR>I have never heard of a brush applied filler. The paste grain filler I use is rubbed on across the grain with a cloth. It is important to clean off the excess after it has 'set up' cos it dries very hard and abrasive. It wears out the sanding paper and my elbow.<BR>Gary<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Mon 01, 2003 5:45 pm 
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Hi,<BR> I usually make a tiny hole with a #43 drill bit and force elmers wood glue inside with a syringe we use for shots on horses, grind the point off of course. Clamp overnight and done. Can fill the hole and blend to color.<BR> Ken<BR> <P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Mon 01, 2003 7:10 pm 
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I just finished up a Crosley 167 that had bubbling on the top veneer. I was stripping it anyway so ruining the finish was not a big deal. After stripping I first tried ironing it, hoping to re-activate the hide glue and adhering the veneer back to the substrate. It looked good, clamped it, and waited a day.<P>Unfortunately, after a day it was obvious that the glue did not hold. So, I used an x-acto knife and sliced some cuts into the veneer parallel with the grain (the top of this radio was poplar/birch). In fact, I cut right on the grain lines. Then, used a syringe and worked hide glue under the veneer, clamped, etc. This worked fine. I did need to sand the top down a bit, but you can't see that any work was done.<P>I filled with Bartlett's wood filler, which I get at Rockler. I have been using this stuff about a year now...I would not do a radio without grain filling anymore. This stuff just works so well...<P>Peter<P><P>------------------<BR> <A HREF="http://www.plasticradios.com" TARGET=_blank>http://www.plasticradios.com</A>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Tue 02, 2003 11:25 pm 
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HI Peter,<BR>Sounds like that Bartlett's would be the ticket for a job I am facing with torn veneer across the grain after clamping to remove a warp in a top section of a Travler 701. I was <BR>thinking if I did the thinning routine and sanded it into the torn crack it might just hide it ok after refinishing. I really don't want to reveneer as it is a matched grain walnut and would be too difficult to match. I tried to do a Google search for it but no luck. Where do you buy it at? <P>------------------<BR>DecotronixDan


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Wed 03, 2003 4:00 am 
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Hi Dan,<P>It sounds like you have a large crack to fill? Bartlet's is grain filler, used to fill open pored woods such as walnut. It's a liquid so it won't work real well to fill a large crack or crevice. However, it is availble at my local Rockler, could try <A HREF="http://www.rockler.com," TARGET=_blank>www.rockler.com,</A> though it sounds to me like you need the other kind of wood filler - the stuff for large cracks or chips?<P>Peter<P><P>------------------<BR> <A HREF="http://www.plasticradios.com" TARGET=_blank>http://www.plasticradios.com</A>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Sat 06, 2003 8:42 am 
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Hi Peter, The crack I have to fill is actually a tear in the veneer. It isn't large, just long across the whole top of the radio. It is as if you tore a piece of paper in half and then laid the two pieces next to each other so that they appear as a whole but you can still see the jagged line of seperation between them.<BR>Maybe the heavier stuff would work but I think thinning it would be necessary to make it blend in somewhat. Comments or suggestions?<P>------------------<BR>DecotronixDan


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Sat 06, 2003 9:25 am 
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Location: Vieques, PR, USA
I hesitated on replying on the "Treasure Chest" issue because a curve can be a bear.<BR>But, Dan, take a look at this veneer problem... <A HREF="http://www.sparkbench.com/gmralbum.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.sparkbench.com/gmralbum.html</A> <BR>and the photo here is the final result.<BR>If I had had a good colored filler it would be darn nigh invisible. Its not perfect, but given where I started from I'm amazed that it came out so well. This didn't involve skill...I was going for broke before re-veneering the whole panel.<BR>My suggestion would be a tinted paste grain filler and careful not to sand thru the veneer. More important, get it smooth and level and don't focus on the crack. Plain ole wood filler would be too bulky. It might not look so good at the moment but six months later you'll be proud of it.<P>-Bill<P> <IMG SRC="http://www.sparkbench.com/gmrdone.jpg"> <P><P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Sat 06, 2003 4:17 pm 
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I am very impressed with the results of that restoration! You definitely put alot of effort into that one. In the captions below your pictures, you said that you developed a glue bubble because of bad clamping, and then you were able to iron it back down eventually - did the veneer require clamping after you ironed it also? I guess I am just trying to figure out how to clamp flat panels of veneer properly. My original thought on clamping was to take two flat pieces of wood & place them on each side of the panel you are clamping, and then put as many clamps as you can fit on the wood & tighten them down as much as possible. I have not had good results with this method (bubbles). Maybe I used too much glue or should have used a thinner glue... If anyone has any more sucessful ideas I would be really interested in hearing them. <P>Nicholas<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Sat 06, 2003 6:51 pm 
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Ironing the glued piece eliminates the need for clamping because the adhesion is (relatively) instant. When you have a whole pile of flakes as I did its the only way.<BR>I iron most all veneer work anymore, even edge chips. Instant gratification.<BR>Had I ironed the original bubble on this set after inserting glue I wouldn't have had this major problem.<P><BR><P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Sat 06, 2003 7:03 pm 
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Hello - I think I will have to experiment around on a few scrap panels first, but your technique might just work for the treasure chest bubble (it is all flat panels). I assume you are using steam, but what temperature works best? I would guess you would want the iron hot enough to set the glue but not so hot as to burn the wood. <P>Nicholas<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Bubble in the veneer...
PostPosted: Sep Sat 06, 2003 11:32 pm 
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I'd avoid steam. Part of the reason that burl on the GMR 'dissolved' was because I dampened it logically thinking it would help soften the glue.<BR>If you're skittish about the heat, use a thin piece of cloth like an old t-shirt. If you use that you'll be hard pressed (pun intended) to scorch the wood.<P>------------------<BR>


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