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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Default Which gluing method

I need to glue 5mm mahogany ply to either 18mm birch ply, or 22mm MDF.
It's about 150cm x 60 cm. I don't have a lot of clamps or any other large boards i could sandwich it between and clamp.
My options are to use normal wood glue and then find as many heavy flat bottomed things I can to put on top, or to use contact adhesive and then simply ensure it's pressed down firmly at the time of gluing.

I've never used contact adhesive for this purpose before. Will it work and have a lasting bond ?

Any suggestions ?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 01:04 PM
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I used contact cement for my table, but those were two pieces of MDF. The table insert I cut out looks like it's one solid piece.

Don't know how it will work if the surface has crags and craters.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 07:32 PM
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It sounds like you are doing a veneer of mahogany onto the ply.

1) 5mm is a nice thick veneer, that's great. But I suggest you veneer the other side of the substrate, especially the MDF so over time it won't start to curl toward the veneered side. Even MDF and BB ply will do that. Keep it balanced.

2) Contact cement isn't great for veneer in some applications because it allows the materials to creep. Might not be a problem but could be. It will also block a finish if you somehow get it on both sides of the mahogany and can't sand/plane/scrape it off. That said, it could work. Use a J-roller to smooth things out after mating the pieces.

3) Consider using hide glue and a veneer hammer. Lots of references on how to do this. You pretty much drown the 5mm mahogany in hide glue, lay it down and then start with a veneer hammer (you can make one by the way) to squeege off the excess glue. No clamps needed. The hide glue will start to set as it cools (assuming you are using hot hide glue). If you find a loose spot later you can gently iron it back and the glue will reactivate and stick. Bottled liquid hide glue works too but it doesn't set nearly as quickly so you could be hammering the veneer for quite a while.

As much works as what I described sounds, it really isn't. But it will require some tools and equipment you may not have. Short term, the contact cement may be OK but its up to you.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info everyone.
Just to clarify, it's a 5mm thick piece of Mahogany plywood that I will be gluing to the 22mm MDF(or 18mm ply), not a piece of Mahogany veneer.
I like the sound of the hide glue method, but I've never seen it sold here.

In regards to covering the other side of the MDF with something also, does it need to be the same material, or could I use something cheaper ? Hardboard ?

Also, this will be a coffee table top, so it will be attached to the table rails which will be in an 'X' shape. Will this perhaps negate the need to glue something to the other side of the MDF ?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 12:11 PM
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If you don't have experience with hide glue, the contact glue is a pretty good option, since these are relatively thick pieces and won't be affected by your finish. After the glue is dry to the touch it would be a good idea to put dowels between the pieces to keep the two glued surfaces from making contact until you get it centered.

Mike, an American living in Norway

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