Veneering a Raised Panel

Two quick tips for this tricky detail. June 28, 2006

I am building a desk that has raised panels on it made from solid walnut. I need to veneer the raised portion with burl veneer. Any ideas on how to make sure the veneer won't split if the panel expands a little bit? The back side will not be seen. Should I use a lesser veneer on that side also?

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor F:
I think you could underlay the burl veneer with yorkite and use soft setting glue. If you haven't made the raised panels yet, here is another way. Assuming the panels are .75" thick, miter solid walnut (sized in width for your panel raising cutter) around the four sides of .6875" MDF… Do the math to make the mitered edgebanding and MDF panel equal your net raised panel size in width and height (I know, duh.)

Sand this panel so all is flush on both sides (wide belt is good choice here for accuracy). Then veneer these panels in the normal way, allowing the veneer to overlap the solid wood edge banding to a point beyond where the raised panel cut terminates. When the panels come out of the press, they are ready to be raised. This works best when your raised panel profile has a step cut at the top of the raise.

Your solid wood banding should be sized so it goes about .125" passed this point (the veneer is covering .125" of the solid wood edging after running the panel raise profile).
I have made a lot of these and if you miter your solid wood edging using one piece of wood that you wrap around the panel in sequence, they look even better.