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Old 09-29-2010, 09:23 AM   #1
Frank The Plumber
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Default Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

While perusing the local wood nut store OWL lumber in DesPlaines Il, I came across a batch of really exceptional Black Walnut crotch veneer. He said crotch, haha, well crotch veneer is from where two large butts will grow away from each other, the effect on the wood grain is a total mayhem in the grain, lights darks, checks black spots. The stuff he had was book endable, you could make opposing matching leaves, and gorgeous. I have veneered several dozen times to proper backer board material, now I want to get a bit of a challenge going for my skill set. I think I am going to attempt to attach the veneer directly to the clean steel using clear coat, roll it in and press out the air, let it dry and then clear coat over the veneer until I get a good build dry and polish to a shine. The part I am experimenting with and expect to possibly fail will be the veneer to steel phase. Any input would be appreciated. Not doing a piece, just perfecting technique to share and experience.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:08 AM   #2
Dave72dt
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

There's a fellow in upper Wisconsin that does woodies, in particular the last few years for the Chrysler woodies and some of the panels are veneer over steel. He may have some hints to help you out or he may keep the process to himself. Saw him on some TV show like RIDES.


Vintage Woodworks
Chrysler Town & Country wood and upholstery specialists since 1976, catalog of reproduction Town & Country parts
Dennis and Kathy Bickford
P.O. Box 49, Depot Street
Iola, Wisconsin 54945 USA
715-445-3791

Don't know them, haven't used them, just a source that might be of help to you.

Last edited by Dave72dt; 09-29-2010 at 10:51 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:11 AM   #3
Frank The Plumber
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

Thank's Dave, I don't want to steal a guys secrets, I just want to have some fun, I've seen this mans work, very nice, if I were him I would guard insights carefully.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:48 PM   #4
Karl Wescott
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

A couple of thoughts. First follow the advice to get input from an expert. The expert my not consider what he knows as secrets, it may be readily available information that simply has to be followed and anyone who wants to do it commercially can easily research the information.

My concern is using a clear coat as an adhesive... This may not have desired results as many paints need solvent evaporation to cure properly. I would start researching a urethane ("Gorilla Glue"?) which has good adhesion to wood and whatever coating you are using on the metal to prevent rust. Then test, test, and test. Then leave outside for the winter to see how it did. RTFM.

Good luck
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
Frank The Plumber
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

gorilla glue? hard product to use, foams and expands, strong though, but hard to sand off the grain. i found a thread on the hamb, the guy used dp primer base and westwood 2 part epoxy, then he bagged it in a suction bag. i want to try this, put a post on his thread, he did it a while ago , i want to see if he had any negative reactions between the component chems. I'm going to monkey with it, winter is coming and I need a fun project to toy with. Thanks
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

Do you guys do different things in the winter?
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

Why would you not use some kind of adhesive? I'm not following using a clear coat as an adhesive, nor your sanding the gorilla glue comment. Why would you need to sand the glue? It's between the wood and the steel.

Compound curves would be tough w/o some kind of vacuum deal.

Look up on the HAMB the guy that is building a Zephyr woodie. He used PT Cruiser rear hatch and attached veneer to it. It looks really great, except (IMO) you can tell it's a PT Cruiser hatch and blows the entire phantom concept for me. If you can't find it, I am subscribed to it.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:40 PM   #8
Frank The Plumber
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

Yeah thats the thread, I like that concept, just looking for different perspectives as to how to glue it on, was not sure whether the epoxy would react with the steel. I guess I would be leary of using a 2 stage epoxy gluing to DP primer. I can see how the Vacuum bag would be really necessary, that's pretty cool. The gorilla glue for me has been problematic for the applications I have used it, it sees to expand a lot like great stuff. I did a few furniture pieces with it, glued together some dove tail joints, it foamed out, I sanded the heck out of it, thought I had removed all of it, put the pieces into an ammonia humidor to get an aged oak look, the spots where the gorilla were didn't cure. ughh. That hurt a bit so I have stayed away from it. I use mostly tite bond 2 now. There is a tite bond 3 that is supposed to be more resistant to water. Have you done this? Aside from his rear window not really fitting did you see any real problems that would arise from that technique? Is Gorilla what you use? I've done a few pieces of veneer to shaped MDF, the cutting involved is exhausting, you have to rebuild all of the grain lost through the curves and try to match the graining to the cut shapes, you go through the stack of veneer on that, yeesh. A lot more exacto knife cutting. I figure it this way, I can either learn with a paint brush or learn with the real, neither is easy but the real is tough to beat.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

I have used a wood veneer product called flexible veneer it is wood applied to a paper like backing. we used 3M spray contact cement, coating both pieces, alow to dry, position on panel, the re-apply spray cement to half of the panel and roll the veneer in to it with a hard rubber roller, then do the other half, being careful not to stretch or wringle the wood veneer. We did this to the metal panels for a 50 Ford Woodie, looked very good. We did have to cut some "darts" into it to get it to lay flat. We then used marine spar varnish on the wood, looked like wood panels when we were thru. Last I heard everything was all right after 3 years.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

I tried some samples doing vaneer on a El Do Conv.

The Gorilla Glue expands and foams out around the vaneer. I was putting it onto cast alum that had been plated. Scratched the plating very well with sandpaper.

I used the same stuff I used on rubber running boards. It is called PC-2. A two part epoxy that the steering wheel restorers use to mold new rims. It is slow curing so there is time to adjust and clean off any that get squeezed out. It is black in color so dont use more that necessary. Got mine at Ace Hardware.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

I've not done it on wood to metal, only wood to wood. I think the way he did it should hold up fine. I don't know that I would want to leave it outside in the weather 24/7, but with the sheltered life that car will lead (compared to an original woodie over the last 60 years) it should be fine. 20 years from now will it start to give him trouble? Hard to say...
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

Might want to look into West System epoxy-under boating supplies.
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

Thats good advice Forrest, Thanks, Thanks guys.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

I use Mas epoxy. They have a how to web site. Be sure to wear rubber gloves
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

What about contact cement ?? I put my runningboard covers on years ago & they have been in snow/mud& rain & still holding tight.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

Gorilla glue would be the ideal glue for steel to wood. This urethane glue is also waterproof not water resistant. The foaming would be ideal to bond the wood to the steel by filling the small pores in the veneer. Sanding this stuff off is a breeze but you cannot sand off glue, any glue, that gets below the surface of wood unless you sand deep enough.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:17 PM   #17
Lawson Cox
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiretwister View Post
I tried some samples doing vaneer on a El Do Conv.

The Gorilla Glue expands and foams out around the vaneer. I was putting it onto cast alum that had been plated. Scratched the plating very well with sandpaper.

I used the same stuff I used on rubber running boards. It is called PC-2. A two part epoxy that the steering wheel restorers use to mold new rims. It is slow curing so there is time to adjust and clean off any that get squeezed out. It is black in color so dont use more that necessary. Got mine at Ace Hardware.
Bill
PC-2? Never heard of it. I use PC-7 a lot on steering wheels and a lot of other stuff.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

All those old station wagons like our 1978 Volare used the veneer over the body paint. That stuff wouldn't come off.

The veneer is easier to work if it's warm. We used a hair dryer.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:11 PM   #19
B-O-B
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

the 58 country squire had a decal along with the 53 wagon. The trim was plastic & the inserts were decals.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: Has anyone used real wood veneer on steel?

I do like your idea!!Well, here's my way of thinking. Steel and more critically wood, have different expansion factors..Both are affected by temperature, but wood is affected by humidity too. What you need is a glue which will allow for some amount of "float" between the two different materials, wood and steel..I would blow on a double coat of spray contact on each surface and stick em together, rolling out as necessary...Give it a shot..I think it will work..Seal/finish the wood on a dry day..Wood tends to expand with humidity at right angles to the grain...Just my thoughts...
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