Stick-on Exotics

from “Rovings,” Professional BoatBuilder No. 153
Compiled by Dan Spurr

Pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) backingCourtesy Oakwood Veneer (both)

Oakwood Veneer recently began offering pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) backing on all its veneers.

In the age of one-stop-shop multi-product and service businesses, it’s sometimes nice to deal with a company that does just one thing, and does it well. This can be said of the Michigan-based Oakwood Veneer Company, which stocks more than 320 species of wood veneer—the most in the U.S., it says. Peter Rodgers, who worked as a cabinet refinisher in the 1970s, founded the company with a keen sense of what woodworkers need.

With such a vast stock of woods, you might expect some pretty exotic choices, and there are: robel burl (Itex divaricata) veneer at $17.99 per sq ft, 7⁄8″ (22mm); Anigre (Aningeria) edge-banding pre-glued and available in 100′ ($49.90), 250′, and 500′ rolls (30m, 76m, and 152m); and khaya (Khaya ivorensis), an alternative to South American mahogany “when a dark stain is to be used,” at $1.49 per sq ft.

Most veneers are available in 4′ x 8′ (1.2m x 2.4m) and 5′ x 12′ (1.5m x 3.7m) sheets; custom orders are welcomed as a challenge. Various backings are available. Markets have expanded considerably from cabinet refacing and include architectural panels, marine and aircraft interiors, and furniture making.

free booklet

The company, a supplier of more than 300 species of specialty wood veneers, has published digital and print versions of a free booklet on veneer types and their applications.

The company website has many pages of tips and how-to videos, and, in an effort to assist woodworkers who choose to glue their own veneers to a substrate, Oakwood Veneer Co. now offers a free booklet titled “Veneer Applications Tips.” It’s available as a PDF download or in print. A couple of tips gleaned from the booklet: Choose a contact cement with the highest amount of solids; MDF (medium density fiberboard) is the most stable substrate; and prior to gluing, allow the veneer and substrate to “climatize” in the same environment for 48 hours.

In a recent development, gluing can be avoided altogether with the company’s introduction of pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) or so-called peel-and-stick veneers. “We’ve had around 20 peel-and-stick veneer species in stock for same-day shipping for a while now,” said Peter Rodgers, in a press release. “But now, any of our 300-plus veneer species that are available as a 4 x 8 or 4 x 10 [1.2m x 3m], or even as a cross-grain 8′ x 4′ or 10′ x 4′, can be ordered as a PSA veneer with only a couple days of waiting before shipment.” The selection includes numerous exotic woods such as figured eucalyptus and bird’s-eye maple.

Oakwood Veneer Co., 1830 Stephen-son Hwy., Troy, Michigan 48083 USA, tel. 800–426–6018, website

proboat dingbat