Veneer, a very thin cut of quality wood, glued to plywood can help make a nice looking finished piece for a low cost. Plywood, which is actually constructed of thin sheets (plies) glued together, is available in various grades and woods at a lower cost than a solid sheet of wood like cherry, maple or ash. Using the plywood as a core panel and a high grade veneer as a top surface can help you create a quality, long lasting wood working project.
Apply a moisture retardant and penetration barrier to the plywood to smooth the finish and allow the veneer adhere properly. Pour the resin emulsion veneer sizing agent in a small paint tray and roll an even, light coat on the plywood with a paint roller. Coat the entire sheet of plywood including the end grain edges.
Let the sizing dry on the plywood for 24 hours.
Cover the plywood with Kraft paper and press the entire surface with steady pressure, using a press roller, to smooth the resin and remove any air.
Remove the Kraft paper and apply a thin, consistent coat of fast setting polyvinyl acetate (PVA) medium-viscosity wood adhesive on the plywood with a small roller.
Line up and set the veneer on the plywood.
Place Kraft paper on the veneer and press the air out by applying steady pressure with a roller press from the centre to the edges.
Add an equal sized piece of dry plywood to the top of the Kraft paper to weight the veneer and seal the air out.
Clamp the plywood, veneer, Kraft paper and weight plywood assembly every 4 or 5 inches, with wood clamps placed around the edges, from the centre out, to force any remaining air and excess glue out as the glue dries.
Wait 48 hours before removing the clamps, weight and paper.
Edging veneers can be applied with contact cement to avoid weighting. Pressure sensitive veneers do not require the application of adhesive.