Gluing Veneer on Site

Pondering the problem of placing veneer on the inside of an existing TV cabinet. June 30, 2014

I would like to apply oak veneer over damaged and finished oak plywood. The pieces are approximately 30" x 52". They are the floor and ceiling of a cavity with no way to clamp. I've read contact cement is not good. I could sand finished oak ply and use regular yellow glue but Im not sure how well that would work without clamping.

Forum Responses
(Adhesive Forum)
From contributor W:
How far apart are the floor and ceiling? Could you cut MDF platens the size of the floor and ceiling, and spring pieces of wood in between them to clamp the veneer in place? You might also use some of those extendable poles, or a bottle jack to provide the clamping force. Guitar makers sometimes use a go-bar deck which is a frame with a solid top and bottom they used to clamp braces to the guitar top and back. The braces are clamped to the back or top with dowels or strips sprung between the brace and the top of the go-bar deck. That's what gave me this idea.

From the original questioner:
The floor and ceiling are about 38" apart. I thought about doing something like that but wasn't sure if it was necessary. To be more specific it is an existing opening for a TV which we are modifying to accept a big screen. Also, it is above a fireplace so there might be a heat that might find its way into the opening. Is yellow glue my best adhesive to be using in this scenario?

From Contributor C:
Just a thought, as I am not an expert on adhesion. I know that if you apply PVA glue to the surface to be glued as well as the work surface you can use an iron to reactivate the glue (after you place the two together). In any event I would do a test piece.

From Contributor J:
Contact cement is made for this type of application. The white and yellow glues contain water and the veneer will swell badly and never lay flat. Even if pressed. I ran a cabinet shop and used contact on 4'x8' sheets with no distortion. I make custom hardwood plywood out of hardwood veneer using 10 to 12 layers and contact.

From the original questioner:
I ended up using the BAND-IT brand oak veneer that comes with the peel and stick paper backing. I was skeptical but it was recommended to me by my local woodworking store. More expensive but the stuff really sticks and is easier than messing with glue/irons etc. in a finished room. The only test will be heat from the fireplace.