Well, it’s been one of those autumns….
We recently had some atmospheric “issues” here in the shop and below you can see the results on the cap veneers on the spinet case.
The front rail took the brunt of the damage, with four splits there, and one on the top edge of the bentside. Tapping on the veneers revealed the precise locations where veneer had lifted. After waiting a couple of days for conditions to stabilize, I began with re-laying the lifted veneer sections. Here is where hide glue earns its keep.
First, a warm palette knife was inserted between veneer and ground, to lightly melt any residual glue that might prevent surfaces coming back together. Then fresh, warm, thin glue was worked into the space. I pressed it all down with my fingers, rubbing with a veneer hammer action. I lightly moistening of the top of the veneer to prevent warping across the grain, but but not so much as to soak and swell the veneer, which might lead to further splits as it cooled and dried. Linen rags go on top to keep the veneer stable once the glue has grabbed it.
Of course, the open splits did not close up. That was not my intention.
Next was to saw and chisel out the open section. Here it is on the bentside cap veneer:
Fortunately, I had spare cap veneer banding, thick stuff. I shot the edge of the strip with the try plane on the small shooting board. After breaking off a small section, I braced the veneer against a nail driven into the shooting board so that I could shoot it and also pivot the veneer around to adjust the angle of the veneer’s edge. Here’s the set up (yes, dangerous having metal near the plane edge, but I didn’t want to waste time, so caution thrown away):
I kept up planing until the piece was just beginning to fit the gap, trial and error testing. Then I resorted to a small bastard file and carefully filed one edge, tested, filed more until the piece fit into place.
Finally everything was trimmed back with chisels and a sharp spokeshave. Since the veneers are not finished yet, blending everything out was much easier. See the result.
Here’s the big replacement shim for the major split on the front rail.
This one was large enough that when I glued it in, I put a damp linen rag piece to keep the piece stable .
I haven’t yet cleaned up this one. Tomorrow. Plus a couple of more joints to repair. But it seems to work.
As the surgeon’s mate said in Master and Commander, “Aye, sir. She’ll patch up nicely.”