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|A stiff scraper should be available at the start. Do not consider using J-Rollers or Hammer Blocks, even though you might use them on high pressure plastic type laminates.||Many contact cements work with FlexwoodŽ - but all work best if manufacturer's instructions are followed! Both flammable and water-based are satisfactory. Roller or brush grades seem to work better than faster drying spray grades.|
|You should have a supply of bare, hardboard separator strips on hand. These separators should be 1/8" thick hardboard or equal, long enough and enough of them to completely cover the contact cement. At the very least two separators, half the width of the substrate is required. You will find by using many separator strips, approximately 6" wide, it will be much easier to slip them or remove them as you make contact across the panel.Don't attempt to lay FlexwoodŽ without having all the contact cement surface protect against "grabbing." Once contact cement surfaces grab, it will be too late to move the sheet.|
|The big thing here is to decide if the
substrate requires two coats -- so remember:
A. All open, hungry surfaces like lauan, or oak plywood will always require two coats of contact cement. Always! Even some particle board needs two coats.
B. Tight faced surfaces like Hardboard, or M.D.F. may allow one coat.
TO INSURE SUCCESS BE GENEROUS WITH THE CONTACT CEMENT. USE TWO COATS ANYWAY! TRY TO APPLY IT AS SMOOTH AS POSSIBLE.
|Coat both surfaces. If you spray
apply the contact cement, do not apply dry, scant, open web pattern. Lay on 100% so
no voids are left. Be sure to start the clock. Make certain you honor manufacturer's
instructions as to open time.
|Some fluff and fullness is
normal in flexible sheets of FlexwoodŽ as received. For best results when covering
large panels with FlexwoodŽ use the Center-line Method outlined below. Wood
expands across its grain in the presence of humidity. Unmounted sheets of FlexwoodŽ
left lying about the shop may take on moisture making application difficult. Tight grain
species, such as Maple, will require close attention for this reason.
(Ex. #1). This type failure occurs when the contact cement is rushed and the two surfaces
have been put together too early. The contact cement is still damp and allows the
veneer to expand across the grain to form ridges in the grain direction and generally all
across the face. Allow more time for the contact cement to dry. Check for rubbery
"legs" if FlexwoodŽ must be peeled off. This indicates cement was too damp when
surfaces were put together.
Bubbles (Ex. #2) This type failure results from using hammer blocks and/or palms and fingers. Use scraper tool to make initial scraping even if panels are to be put through a pinch roller. High humidity will cause poorly bonded wood to expand. The force of expansion occurs in the weakest bonded areas and bubbles pop-up. If you cut into a bubble you will find the contact cement is not holding the two surfaces together. if bubbles won't stay down not enough cement was applied in the first place. Go back and review Section #2 and #3.
Helpful Hint No. 1:
|Helpful Hint No. 2: When you put the iron down on the veneer be sure to use a piece of grocery bag type Kraft paper to keep face clean. Keep the iron in motion. Never keep it in one place or you can soften the factory adhesive and cause veneers to loosen from backer sheet. If veneer should come loose under heat then reheated and scrape hard until area cools down again. LABOR SAVER: Use Star, Mohawk, Famowood, or plastic wood type filler to fill an open joint. Be sure color matches under the finish you will be using. Thinning filler with lacquer thinner to a syrupy consistency and sanding while still wet will give best results. Using filler thick and trying to sand it when dry and hard gives poor results.||Helpful Hint No. 3: The wood veneers used to make FlexwoodŽ are very thin. Only 1/85" of wood stands between you and sanding through. Don't try to use any grit coarser than 150 and NEVER use it on a sand block. Use your hands on only one thickness of sandpaper so your fingertips can "read" the surface. It's always easier not to sand through than it is to repair a blemish. If the surface is satisfactory you are ready to finish using any conventional system. Water based finishes must be tested before using to determine their suitability for use on FlexwoodŽ. Remember water will act to expand wood. Weak and/or poorly executed contact cement glue lines may fail to hold FlexwoodŽ in such cases. Test for results before using water based finishes.||Remember: All wood
tries to expand when wet by finishing materials. It is your job to put FlexwoodŽ
material down so tight it cannot move.
If you have used enough contact cement and scraped FlexwoodŽ down tightly, nothing short of a water soak should cause veneers to bubble or blister.
All wood has some tendency to expand across the grain when saturated with a liquid.
If you failed to apply 100% coverage contact cement you will have less than 100% results. That's a fact.
If your glue line has been poorly made veneer will eventually expand across the grain and show ridges and/or bubbles.
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