Veneering a Cone Shape

      Interesting discussion of veneering methods for cone-shaped pieces. March 26, 2013

I have a client (designer) that would like pricing on various sized cones. Cones are 1" tick staved MDF (by others) and turned smooth on the outside. How best to do this without mountains of waste and aggravation? I was thinking tapered strips or big sheets (4x4 or so) and doing half a section at a time?

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor J:
Is this a full cone that comes to a point? I'd say tapered strips are the way to go, but it will be a pain for sure. I think I'd break out the hide glue.

From the original questioner:
No, no point. it's a table base. Small diameter on floor and large diameter supports top. Yes, pain for sure, but is there a way to make it less of a pain? Hide glue is a mystery to me. Hot, but not too hot. Work fast, but not too fast, etc.

From contributor J:
Okay, no point makes it a lot easier, or less difficult anyway. I've done these, only they were elliptical cones. I did them in the bag, with Unibond, with a very sturdy form inside. In hindsight, an inflatable bladder is probably the way to go. Thing is mine were not complete - there was an opening for a drawer and shelf. I'd leave one leaf out, most likely, and do that in a second pressing.

From the original questioner:
I really don't get it. Come again?

From contributor J:
Since my cone has an opening, it allowed my form to have a foot to sit on in the bag. That allowed me to wrap my taped veneer all the way around while in the bag because it was not sitting on part of itself. Does that make sense? So if I had to do it in two stages, leaving one out, or half at a time, I'd tape up the parts, and do the first pressing on top where you can see what you're doing. Your bag will have no platen in it so it can make it around this huge thing. You'll need extra hands. Use a caul of 1/8" bending ply. After that is done you'll have to scrape some glue off of the seam area for the last piece or second half. Then fit the pieces to the opening. I'd probably tape it to one side to make sure it won't get out of position when wet. Repeat the glue up procedure, rolling this side up. I hope you don't have too many of them.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

From contributor N:
Something like this? These are plywood core with plain sliced maple veneer, produced to customer specification (specs included the cleat you can see in the photo). The large one is 54" diameter at the top.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

From contributor F:
There is a very useful little computer program for tasks such as this at

From contributor G:
Take lined paper, cut out a half circle and make a cone. See where the edges meet. The grain will almost be horizontal.

From the original questioner:
Maybe I should give the designer all your phone numbers. What about the glue/type of veneer (paper backed, oak wood type)? Do you vac bag it or are you using contact?

From contributor J:
Paperbacked veneer is only for those who lack the ability to lay it up themselves. As for adhesive, Unibond is the standard for things like this when you can really use a long open time. You could do it pretty easy with contact cement, but it's a poor choice. If you don't know why, a search on that subject in the Knowledge Base here will give you plenty of info.

From contributor E:
Veneering cones is a process fraught with the kind of risk us one-off guys love. Still prefer ice cream in mine.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Veneer

  • KnowledgeBase: Veneer: Techniques

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article