Veneering

White PVA Glue

One of the most common veneering glues is PVA

white gluepva pot  

What is PVA glue?

PVA glue stands for polyvinyl acetate.Without going into the chemistry, it is basically white glue, or some people just call it Elmers glue. It is a staple in the woodworking industry. It is one of the easiest glues to use for veneering as well.

PVA glue works by intertwining the fibers of the wood together. Then when the glue dries, the two pieces are physically connected together. Visit here if you want to know more about how PVA glue works for woodworking.

Do I need special equipment to use PVA glue for veneering?

Before you use PVA glue for veneering, you will need a press. It can be a vacuum press, a screw press, or just a way of applying strong even pressure on your veneering piece. With smaller pieces of work, this can be done using a veneering caul and some good clamps.

Why do I need a press for veneering with white glue?

White glue is a water based glue. (It's solvent is water). When it comes in contact with wood, the water gets absorbed by the wood fibers and they swell up. In woodworking, when you coat a piece of wood board with PVA, nothing dramatic happens, because the piece of wood is thick.

But when you apply PVA glue to a piece of thin slice of wood such as a veneer, the moisture that the veneer absorbs will make it curl up. A caul and a press are needed to keep the veneer flat to the substrate, otherwise you would be left with a wavy or curled up piece of veneer that you can't glue flat to anything.

Is white glue better than yellow glue for veneering?

This may come down to personal choice. I use white glue because it has a longer open time. However, both white and yellow glues are so similar in properties that it does not make a difference. There are really only two differences that may be an issue.

First, white glue will dry clear. Yellow glue dries yellow. If there is any kind of a glue line that may be visible in the final project, white glue would be the better choice. Also, if there are any screw ups, or glue seeping through the veneer for some reason, the clear white glue has an advantage.

As for yellow glue, one advantage is that there are formulations that are water proof for example that may be needed, however there may be other better glues to use in that case.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using PVA glue?

The advantages are:

The disadvantages are:

Veneers Pictured Above:
Teak - Walnut Burl


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