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Glue Choices for Veneering a Boat

Whether to use epoxy or other adhesive for veneering on a boat transom which will get wet. April 24, 2009

I am looking for information on GF-20 veneer flattener and how it interacts with epoxy bonding (west system). I need to flatten a piece of crotch veneer which will then be laminated to the transom of a small boat. So near perfect adhesion is crucial, as this will then be in water. Has anybody worked with GF-20 in conjunction with epoxy, and if so, any noticeable problems? What about other ways to flatten large, wavy veneer?

Forum Responses
(Adhesive Forum)
From contributor V:
I have not had a problem using GF-20 with any adhesive, as long as the veneer was dry. If in doubt, do a test piece. Let it sit in a bucket of water for a while, and then do some destructive testing.

From Jeff Pitcher, forum technical advisor:
As long as you allow the veneer to dry you can use the GF-20 just fine. I would question your desire to use an epoxy for veneering. A UF resin will give you just as good of a bond with just as much water resistance. In order to flatten your veneer you should use GF-20 in conjunction with a press. Also, GF-20 (aka "Veneer Softener") is not Glycerin but, rather, a proprietary mixture of glycol ethers and other chemicals.

From contributor C:
Right on Jeff, I was thinking the same thing. Wetting the veneer thoroughly and evenly with a wet wrag both sides and vacuum bagging it to a nice platten and several layers of newspaper on both sides will yield a nice flat dry veneer. the thicker ones or extremely wavy and brittle require alot of soaking, gently. I have used a mix of water, glycerin and denatural alcohol with success when things are brittle. It softens the wood fiber and adds to flexibility. It is essential to wash the veneer with a clean water rag after pressing and before gluuing and repressing. West comes highly recommended.