Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Veneer Repair Made Easy

Today, let's have a lesson in replacing the veneer on wall panels. This is how I did massive repairs on the 308 and 309, but that was before this blog started. For the 277, there was one corner of one of the panels that needed replacement. And since the walls are painted, matching is no problem.

First, I use a heat gun to lift the old veneer. Then the core is sanded smooth.

Next, cut out a piece of new veneer to fit exactly. I like this -- wood you can cut with a pair of scissors. This modern veneer has a paper backing so it doesn't split and can be worked easily.

Contact cement is used as an adhesive. This is not the contact cement you might have used in grade school, but an industrial-grade adhesive used for laminating counter tops and things like that. Not for use by children.

An even layer of cement is applied to both surfaces. Then it is left to dry for 20 to 30 minutes. While drying, it gives off noxious fumes, so this seems like a good time to go have lunch. We're lucky there's a fine Greek restaurant nearby.

Mmm, that was delicious. Now comes the only tricky part: aligning the work correctly. The glue makes an immovable bond as soon as the two parts come into contact, so you only get one chance to put the veneer in the right place. This is a pretty small piece, so it's not too hard. Then press it down hard, and it's set. No clamping required. On the can it says it only acquires maximum adhesive strength after seven days, which was news to me. But since I only want to paint it, maximum strength isn't needed.

There were also some areas on the panel where the veneer had come loose, but was still good. These I attached with epoxy and clamps, in the obvious fashion. Then a first coat of white primer on the whole panel. After the first coat dries, I'll need to apply some filler in a few places, sand, and repaint. And the right side wall in the main compartment will be complete.

I also removed the rest of my tools from the roof, and tightened up some bolts and connections. And more sorting of parts and straightening.

In other good news, this eyesore (the Camp Grant) is being put out of our misery. Three workmen from a demolition firm were demolishing the interior.

And finally, some campus scenery from the material yard. Nature does her kindly best to camouflage our mistakes.

1 comment:

Adam Robillard said...

Really nice "how to" on Veneer Repair. Also I'm glad to see the Camp Grant go - its been here far too long. Thanks,