General consensus holds that the Egyptians were the first to use veneers and associated laminating technologies. But ancient history played no role at a Feb. 19 veneering and laminating seminar that attracted more than five dozen attendees to Madison College (also known as MATC) to see the latest in the multi-layered topic of veneers and related application techniques.

Sponsored by Madison College’s Cabinetmaking and Millwork Program and the AWI-Wisconsin Chapter, the seminar covered more than the basics, ranging from how veneers are produced, to how they’re selected and specified, to live demonstrations on how natural and composite overlays are glued-up and applied to substrates.
Besides Wisconsin, attendees haled from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Kansas. Wood products manufacturers, Madison College C&M Program students, educators, suppliers and consultants took part in the seminar.
“We wanted to cover the length and breadth of veneers and laminating processes,” said MATC’s Patrick Molzahn, who directs the C&M Program at the college. “To some, that may seem like a lot to cover in one day. But thanks to the panel of experts we assembled here, I think we accomplished our goals.”
Seminar speakers and hands-on instructors included:
•Margaret Fisher, Lange Bros., Milwaukee. Fisher led sessions on selecting and specifying veneers using AWI’s Standards 2nd Edition. She also participated in the veneer selection, specifying and matching hands-on portions of the seminar.
•Peter VanDyke, Stiles Machinery, Grand Rapids, Michigan. VanDyke covered veneer-processing technology with an emphasis on slicing, splicing and pressing.
•Josh Bartlett, Applied Adhesives, Minnetonka, Minnesota/Madison, Wisconsin. Bartlett explained the various types of adhesives available and the proper application and pressing techniques, while offering trouble-shooting tips to attendees. Bartlett, along with Black Bros. personnel, demonstrated proper veneer pressing techniques on a Black Bros. press on site in the MATC Cabinetmaking and Millwork production lab.
•Todd Phalen and Ed Strahota, Black Bros., Mendota, Illinois. Phalen and Strahota addressed the complexities of panel pressing using varying types of presses and raw materials in classroom and lab venues.
•John Halpin, Saunders Wood Specialties and AWI-Wisconsin Chapter. Halpin outlined proper procedures for creating veneer matches, veneer lay-up, assisting attendees with individual veneer selection, matching, slicing and splicing assignments. Saunders Wood Specialties donated veneer for the seminar.
The Cabinetmaking and Millwork program typically conducts three seminars for industry professionals during each school year. The final seminar for the spring is scheduled for Thursday, May 14th, and will be on Solid Wood Processing. Information and registration are available at:
Madison College’s C&M Program will host a seminar on Building and Finishing European Tilt-Turn Windows on Sept. 22, 2015. The seminar will be held in conjunction with the North American Wood Window & Door Symposium Sept. 23-25 in Madison. For more information on the seminar, log on to

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