I have a job that is for a very good customer andt I'm not real sure which direction to go. The tabletop is one from 20抯-30抯, probably a game table. It has solid mahogany surrounding two ribbon-striped panels. The veneer was pretty damaged (long story) and so I removed it by using an iron and wet towel method.
Now, the veneer has been successfully removed and the cross-grain substrate exposed. I have not sanded the substrate, just scraped it some while the old glue was wet. Probably hide glue. The veneered portions are about 13"X30". Since I don't veneer very often, I don't have a vacuum system, just a veneer scraper. I will refinish with regular SW nitrocellulose lacquer.
1. What type of veneer (paper backed, PSA, raw, etc.) would give me the best long term results?
2. What kind of glue for the particular type of veneer suggested?
I'm not sure what thickness the old veneer was, but I don't want the new to set higher than the surrounding solid wood. I think that if the veneer set even or lower than the solid wood would be better.
From contributor S:
The best would be to use raw veneer and hammer veneer it down with fresh hide glue (new hide glue will stick to old hide glue without any adhesion problems). The veneers available today are much thinner than in the 20's and 30's.
I would not use contact cement, bad idea all around. I think you would have problems with PSA due to repositioning problems, once it抯 down it抯 stuck so you have to line everything up perfectly first shot. If you could remove all the old hide glue you could try yellow glue with cauls and lots of clamps, but you really need to get all of the old glue off to bare wood. You can find all kinds of books on hammer veneering. It抯 not that hard, you just need to do some sample panels for practice, plus you will have learned a new skill.
My veneering experience has been with veneer patches on furniture repair. Also, I've used spray contact cement on a large sheet of paper-backed successfully before, but not replacing a section of an antique table.