using a veneer for covering plywood construction

Finishes, paints and coatings

using a veneer for covering plywood construction

Postby gene so » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:12 am


My steel tube frame is now complete and rolling. Originally I planned to cover my 5 x 9 trailer body with FRP, but then I saw images of the Wyoming Woody with its aniline dyed plywood exterior that was covered with three thin coats of clear epoxy, then covered with urethane spar varnish for UV protection. Few things cause such a response in me as finely finished wood.
With the UV problem here at 6,500 feet, the Wyoming Woody's solution seems practical here along with the added aspect of a beautiful appearing camper trailer.

The problem is in dimensions. I ceased seeking 5 x 10 plywood for the sides in New Mexico and will be joining two 5 x 5 Baltic Birch sheets for the sides. Then other problems popped up: There is a seam and also birch plywood simply does not take a stain evenly and the result is blotches. I have contacted a veneer company for an Oak 5 x 10 veneers for each side. I figure I can match the veneers on the sides by using oak veneered plywood for the top, which can be standard 4 x 8 plywood.

The veneer folks seemed to think this application was doable, but the epoxy used to apply the veneer would be all important.

So, I am reaching out on this site hoping to locate someone with experience in applying veneers to plywood for external usage. It would seem that all the money I have saved for various camper components in buying a used popup camper may well be spent on purchasing two large veneers, but that is my choice. Someone on this site must surely have applied a veneer application to the sides of a trailer larger than 4 x8.

I thank everyone who was kind enough to share with me their wisdom in the frame questions I submitted to this forum. Their direct ideas and helpful attitude resulted in features that made my frame much more user friendly. Thanks so much!

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Re: using a veneer for covering plywood construction

Postby KennethW » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:02 pm

{{There is a seam and also birch plywood simply does not take a stain evenly and the result is blotches}}
Has anyone used wood conditioner on the birch?
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Re: using a veneer for covering plywood construction

Postby MtnDon » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:24 pm

I have applied veneer to spliced plywood sheets using 3M Fastbond 30NF contact cement and rollers. Other adhesive types need clamping. Large sheets can be done using vacuum bagging. I've not tried that.

I have used pre stain conditioner on birch plywood with excellent results in the past. But I have never done it with water based stain. Theory says is should be fine with the correct pre stain treatment. If you are going to use oak though won't you want to fill the open grain before staining if you want a smooth weather resistant finish?
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Re: using a veneer for covering plywood construction

Postby tlsallada » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:33 pm

I used to work for a company that made veneer table tops for corporate conference tables and they used regular old contact cement and then placed it into a very, VERY large press. Smaller tops were placed in a vacuum bag as mentioned before. I've used a shop vac and heavy gauge drop plastic at home to make a vacuum bag and it works great.
It's amazing what some duct tape, plastic, and a sop vac can do!!!
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