It is widely recognised that wood is a fantastic natural material to work with. Arguably, one of its most desirable characteristics is that it is versatile, not least because you can produce distinctive and individual veneers from two logs of the same pieces of wood. This is achieved simply by using different ways of cutting. The process of cutting is known as slicing.
The type of cut that is made to the wood is determined by the species of wood, the size of the log and what grain pattern that you want to achieve. This is because the final appearance of the veneer sheet is dictated by methods used to slice the wood and join the pieces together. The “cut” or “slice” of a veneer, as well as the “matching methods" used in production, will affect the appearance of that veneer in a number of ways.
The most basic method of veneer production involves turning a log on a lathe while a long knife blade peels off a continuous sheet of veneer. However, many other methods can be applied, each of which create uniquely different end-results.
Listed below are the distinct Veneer Slicing methods:
The log is rotated around its axis and peeled off like a carpet roll. As this cut follows the log’s growth rings, an attractive, bold variegated grain marking is produced.
The flat sliced or crown cut through the heart of the log. Crown cut veneer is a very common veneer cutting method. Slicing is done parallel to a line through its centre. This cut produces a light multicoloured, distinctive pattern. The slices obtained by this method are always uniform.
Quarter Normal Cut
Straight-grained, cut at right angles to the growth rings. This method of veneer cutting produces a series of straight lines. The quarter log is mounted on the flitch table, in such that the logs growth rigs hit the blade at the right angle.
Quarter Rift Cut
The log is rotated around its axis and the cut is made across the growth rings at a specific angle. In this cut, the rotation speed of the log is determined by the log size, its natural shape, particular features of the species of wood and the thickness of the veneer sheets. The slicing is done at a side angle from the position of the quarter log. This method results in a comb or rift grain effect.
A spliced veneer panel is created when different pieces of sliced wood veneer, of varying dimensions are glued together to create a whole sheet. There are multiple ways these individual sheets can be matched and laid out during production, each of which results in a different “look” at the end.
“Slip Matched” Veneers
These veneers are created when the veneer strips are laid side by side during composing, producing a repetitive and attractive grain pattern.
“Book Matched” Veneers
Each alternating strip of veneer is turned over during production. This creates a grain pattern that can be matched at the veneer joint.
The splicing and slicing of Veneers gives the appearance of a wider variety of wood finishes. Offering you more choices and styles for designers and manufacturers alike. Veneers provide a more uniform finish and, therefore provide great ease of design choice for even the fussiest interior designer and furniture maker. The expertise used in the splicing and slicing of veneers is an integral step in the beauty of the finished product.