Never-ending door saga - veneer problem

2ajsmamaDecember 3, 2010

OK, finished the door I was working on in August when I sprained my ankle, onto another one now - after working on one side I happened to look at the top (6 panel pine with solid panels, veneered rails and stiles). On the side that I haven't sanded yet, the top and bottom rails and the stile opposite the hinges, the veneer is literally paper-thin! It's half the thickness of the veneer on the side that I've already scraped and sanded!

So, how do I get the milling marks out without sanding through the veneer? It looks like they glued it up and then ran it through a (double-sided?) belt sander with 100 grit - it's awful! The stile I don't have to do much with, the scratches run with the grain, but I have pretty deep cross-grain scratches on the rails(and a couple of places that look like veneer is chipped/gouged in the middle of the bottom rail).

Thanks

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someone2010

I have had pretty good luck reveneering doors when the original veneer was too damaged to repair.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 8:00PM
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2ajsmama

Sorry, I thought I had this linked to my email but it didn't come through.

This is a new (well, it's been sitting around for a while) unfinished door, I really don't want to reveneer this. I was looking for sanding tips - how can I level and smooth this w/o risking sanding through? Put a couple of thin coats of Sealcoat on as sanding sealer, use 150 or 220 grit in ROS and sand just til the shellac is gone from the lines/scratches? Sand by hand only, no ROS?

Can't measure it, tape measure only goes down to 1/16" but it's literally as thick as my thumbnail - whether that's 1/32" or slightly more/less I don't know.

Thanks

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 11:20AM
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someone2010

When you are sanding on veneer that is as thin 1/32 or 1/42 inches thick, it is difficult to sand without sanding through. I would not use a Random Orbit Sander for this job. If you want to sand it, you should sand it by hand for greater control or maybe a 1/4 sheet palm sander. I don't think sanding sealer would make much difference. You still have to sand the scratches out. I wouldn't discount applying more veneer. You can use the 10 mil paperbacked and contact cement. I've done this to entry doors that were not directly subject to the weather. The first one I did is eight years old and still good.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 5:39PM
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2ajsmama

Still not getting emails. Anyway, I don't know that I could do a good job reveneering the door (besides the principle of the thing, this is a new door!). I was thinking that if I put shellac on as sanding sealer, then I could see the scratches more easily, and stop sanding as soon as the shiny streaks disappeared? If sanding by hand, what grit should I start/end with to try to handle this thin stuff?

Then if I end up sanding through I guess I can reveneer...

Thanks

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 9:31AM
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someone2010

You could try putting some clear grain filler on the door first. Then, using 180 grit sandpaper and light pressure, you can sand the door. Then, if you want, go to 220 grit sandpaper. Be very careful because if the door is new, the veneer is 1/42 in. thick and you can sand through very easily.
To reveneer, you can use paperbacked veneer that you can cut with a utility knife or sizzors. You cut it to width and length and put two coats of contact cement on both surfaces. After it dries, lay some wax paper across the rail or style you are veneering, and line up your veneer. Now, slip out the waxed paper, inch by inch, and go over the glued surface with a roller. Not hard, and the veneer will be just as good as the veneer that's on there now. If you decide to go this route, you can order everything from a place like Constantines Veneer. They send directions with the veneer. They are on line.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 7:20PM
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2ajsmama

Emails were in spam.

What's clear grain filler? I hope I don't have to reveneer, to veneer the edges and cut out for hinges, bolt would be even harder than reveneering the rails and stiles and cutting out for the knob again. And then what would I do with the raised panels?

Not the door I'm working on, but one of the first ones I did (just so you can see the panels)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 8:06PM
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2ajsmama

Oh, and here's a closeup of a different door - bad lighting/focus but maybe you can see the profile. I don't know how I could veneer the rails and stiles and hide the edge of the veneer.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 8:12PM
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someone2010

Grain filler is a paste used by finishers to fill the pores of porous woods to attain a smoother finish. They come in a waterborne and oil based carrier. Behlen makes a good one. For your purpose I would use a waterborne one. Follow the directions on the can. You can order on line.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:39PM
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2ajsmama

Never knew it came in clear. So it won't show under clear finish (I *am* glazing with gel stain over shellac, then finishing with poly)? Will there be a problem using water-based grain filler under shellac? Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 7:26AM
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someone2010

No. But you need to get a similar piece of wood, as large as possible, (not a little piece) and then try out your schedule. Scratch it up with sandpaper so it is as close to what you have as possible. Don't practice on the door.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 12:55PM
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2ajsmama

I have pine, just don't have anything with a thin veneer to practice on.

Now, if I use the grain filler and don't sand down past it, won't it show vertical lines down the door where the scratches are? If I *do* sand down just past it, what's the difference b/t that and using the shellac like I suggested? In fact, I've been using the shellac not only as a sanding sealer/wash coat under the gel stain, but also over as a type of grain filler on pine. And I have used it as a grain filler on oak - the grain shows through, but it feels smooth. So won't the scratches show, no matter what they're filled with, unless I sand down past them?

The scratches aren't deep enough to feel with a fingernail, but are clearly visible, and I found with the first couple of doors (no shellac) that hand-sanding starting with 150 or even 180 grit wasn't enough to take them out. Now, maybe 220 grit on the ROS? But since the veneer's so thin on this piece, I'm afraid of sanding through. So hand-sanding it is, as you suggested, just wondering about shellac (which I have , Sealcoat) vs grain filler (which I'd have to order). Thanks

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 1:31PM
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someone2010

Your system sounds fine to me. Let us know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 7:37PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

No filler will fill the cross-grain sanding scratches to anyone's satisfaction. They have to be sanded out in the direction of the grain. On pine doors such as you pictured, the veneer is plenty thick to accomplish this. use a 150 grit paper, or better yet, a cabinet scraper. Take a class or view a video on how to sharpen and use one. So much more efficient than sandpaper.
Casey

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 5:25PM
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2ajsmama

Casey - I looked at the top and bottom of the door, no kidding, the veneer is as thick (or as thin!) as my thumbnail, much less than 1/16". I've got a paint scraper my cousin (who does beautiful work) has sharpened to use as a cabinet scraper - easier with the handle. I used it on the first side of the door. But I'm afraid to use it (or a ROS) on the other side. Are you sure 1/32" (or maybe 3/64") is thick enough for this?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 5:39PM
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someone2010

If your door is solid core, it is made up of particleboard rails and stiles with a thin veneer on each side. If your door is a solid wood door then it is made of glued up pieces of wood with a thin veneer on each side. You should be able to look at the hole for the door hardware and see the thickness of the veneer and what the core is. Go ahead and fill the scratches with whatever you want, then scrape and sand away. It will either come out to your satisfaction, or not. You already have advice from two people.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 7:55PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

I believe it can be scraped or sanded, provided you pay close attention and stop when the scratches are gone. Wipe off the surface frequently so you can see your progress. When scraping, hold the blade just a little off 90* so the scraper doesn't ride the scratches, but skews across them. Like 15 degrees or so. All I can say is to use the _right_ amount of pressure, so it will cut but not dig. If it makes a screeching sound it ain't sharp. Likewise if it gives dust instead of shavings.
Casey

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 1:21PM
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