I'm making wall-mounted bottle openers with magnets below the opener to catch the bottle caps as they fall after they're removed. The magnets are "rare earth" magnets with a metallic surface. The front face will be veneered (as will the back for balance.) I was planning on drilling a hole in the substrate before veneering and gluing the magnet in before veneering.

I am worried that the veneer will not bond to the magnet if I use a normal veneer glue (i.e. Titebond cold press or similar.) Should I use a different type of glue for the veneering process? Can I coat the inset magnet with something that will bond to both the metal surface and the veneer glue? Should I bond a layer of veneer to the magnets with another type of glue (CA or epoxy) before inlaying them into the substrate?

The panels will be 4" x 9" and the magnets are 1 1/4" in diameter. I am using commercial veneer, thinner than 1/32". The substrate will be 3/4" MDF.

  • Test the bond of Cold Press to the plating on the REM, I think you'll have your answer there. If the hold isn't as strong as you'd like (it doesn't really have to be in just that one spot does it?) lightly abrade the plating. Worth also degreasing the surface with acetone and wearing gloves during handling afterwards. Just that little bit of finger oils is enough to hamper a decent glue joint for hard materials using epoxy and superglue, not sure if Cold Press is as sensitive to this but can't hurt. – Graphus Oct 9 '19 at 7:27
  • Consider gluing the veneer to just the wood and not putting any glue on the magnet at all. The magnet won't go anywhere, as it's captured by wood all 'round, and you're also not adding stress to the veneer as it expands/contracts at a different rate than the magnet will. – FreeMan Oct 11 '19 at 19:23
  • @FreeMan, this will risk a bubble surely? – Graphus Oct 12 '19 at 6:55
  • @Graphus I'm not a veneering expert by any means, so it certainly might. It's what I would do. It may also be what I would come to regret having done... (NB: I did say "consider"... :) – FreeMan Oct 14 '19 at 15:18
  • I'd bet Titebond would stick to the magnet enough to prevent bubbling in the veneer. – Greg Nickoloff Oct 31 '19 at 19:06

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