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What kind of veneer is this?

Posted by spanky_md (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 3, 07 at 14:53

I know it's cherry, that's not the problem. I got two sheets of it at an auction for $2 and so far two woodworkers I know have never seen veneer in this form before.

It has a thick plastic coating on the top. On the back is a dull gray metal foil. It bends and squishes like lead but might be aluminum. It's the color of lead, though. Neither the plastic nor the foil is easy to peel off, though I did get enough of the foil off to bend and squish it, obviously! Neither is a covering a self-adhesive surface.

I would like to put this on a small round tabletop that has very worn Formica on it. I tried regular wood veneer with contact cement but the veneer rippled as it absorbed the solvents and it stayed rippled when dry. I plan to remove that with acetone. It's only 19" in diameter.

Any thoughts on why this veneer is made this way? The woodworkers think that the foil is just a stabilizer and the plastic is the finish. But the plastic is so thick that both of them (and I) thought it was a sheet of Formica at first. Or something.

It's also old, like probably 20-30 years.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What kind of veneer is this?

I have had this question stuck in my mind, and I thought of something. Maybe it's from the aerospace industry, and the metal foil is a shielding component. Same as if it were for consumer electronics.
Fancy business jet cabins are fitted out with exotic woods, highly-finished, and in some cases may require shielding of electronics.
My best guess.
You might try the resin-treated-paper-backed veneer, AFAIK, they don't wrinkle. It has a brown "paper" on the reverse side.

RE: What kind of veneer is this?

"shielding of electronics. "

Not with lead.
Aluminum or copper are used.

RE: What kind of veneer is this?

Thank you both. I'm thinking the foil is an early vapor barrier that is no longer used because they came up something better. Same with the plastic finish---maybe dates to the era when plastic finishes were all the rage.

I'm going to try it on the Formica top. If it doesn't work, I won't have lost much time or effort, or materials for that matter.

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