Veneering a Top: Which Face First?

Which do you veneer first: top and bottom, or edges? June 8, 2008

I am new to veneering and have a basic question. I have a top that is 3/4" thick. I am going to veneer a burl to the top and use a walnut veneer for the bottom. I am going to veneer the edges (sides) with walnut. What do I do first? Do I veneer the top and bottom first, trim it, then veneer the edges or do the edges first?

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor E:
Id do the bottom first. If youre using veneer for edges Id do that next then the top. If using solid wood for edges Id do the bottom, top, and then the edge. This depends on the line around the top being acceptable.

From contributor C:
Veneer the top and bottom simultaneously if you can, followed by the edges.

From contributor E:
Contributor C Im trying to learn something. Why put the edges on last? Ive always put the top over edges thinking the edges would hold up better. Solid edges I'd put on last because they can take more abuse.

From contributor J:
Always do the edges first. That way the top veneer will protect the edge of the edge veneer in the event that something gets slid across the top surface. I use Heat Lock to do my edgebanding.

From contributor C:
There are several reasons I veneer the tops and bottoms prior to the edges:
1. Once the corners are eased, I fail to see how there is sufficient material at the corner to add further protection to the edges of the edgebanding.

2. I don't want to spend time cleaning up any excess glue (or squeeze out) off veneered edges.

3. Usually the veneer has a pattern and at the very least is balanced. If I glue the veneer on to a slightly oversized panel, I can straight line a referenced cut after pressing. This way I don't worry if the veneer slips a little while going into the press.

4. Often I want to align the grain on the edges with grain on the top. It's much easier to perform this in this sequence, rather than trying to align the top surface with the edges.

From contributor K:
To me its a simple answer. I always do the least noticeable side first. The same goes as if you were doing a laminate countertop.