Tips For Applying Wood Veneer Tape
Wood veneer tape is used to keep edges tight during pressing. The tape shrinks as it dries, holding the seam tight in the press.
There are different types of veneer tape available, both plain and perforated. The plain variety is best used for thick or unruly veneers which need more strength to keep a tight joint, whilst the perforated type is often easier to use. This is because the seam can be seen beneath the tape, allowing for the tightening and adjusting before it dries. Perforated tape is also thinner, meaning that the build-up is reduced if lots of tape is needed to create complex joints.
Using Wood Veneer Tape
Before taping, ensure edges are clean and butt together perfectly. Blue or painter’s tape can then be used on the back side to secure the veneers together before using cross strips of veneer tape. This should be positioned perpendicular to the joint and the pieces should be around three to four inches apart.
To activate the tape, it should be slid across a very wet paper towel stack or sponge. The tape shouldn’t be saturated, however, as excess water can cause the adhesive to bleed into wood. The veneer tape can be rolled smooth using a seam roller.
A piece of tape then needs to be positioned along the complete length of each joint. Use a piece of paper towel along the seam line to absorb excess water.
Assembled veneers should be allowed to sit for at least five minutes before the blue tape is removed. A piece of scrap board can be placed across the seam with a weight on top to ensure that the edges do not stack up as the tape dries. This should be left on for at least 30 minutes before pressing.
When it comes to removing the tape, this should be done as soon as a panel is out of the press. The tape can be lightly scraped or sanded off when completely dry. The best method, however, is to re-moisten the tape using a small amount of water, allowing it to soak for around 45 seconds before peeling off.
If the tape doesn’t peel off easily after being dabbed with a wet paper towel, place the towel on it for a little longer and try again.
Once the tape is removed, get rid of any residual adhesive using denatured alcohol and make sure that the panel is completely dry before any sanding takes place.
Some woods can develop dark spots as a result of the water used when applying veneer tape. This can often be prevented with the use of distilled water when moistening the tape during application.
Sometimes lightening can occur beneath the tape because UV light has been blocked. Prevent this by covering the whole panel using cardboard as a blanket until the tape is taken off.
When finished, prevent the tape from unrolling by dampening its end and using this to stick it to the roll.