Wood veneer

In woodworking, veneer refers to thin slices of wood and sometimes bark, usually thinner than 3 mm (1/8 inch),[1] that typically are glued onto core panels (typically, wood, particle board or medium-density fiberboard) to produce flat panels such as doors, tops and panels for cabinets, parquet floors and parts of furniture. They are also used in marquetry. Plywood consists of three or more layers of veneer. Normally, each is glued with its grain at right angles to adjacent layers for strength. Veneer beading is a thin layer of decorative edging placed around objects, such as jewelry boxes. Veneer is also used to replace decorative papers in Wood Veneer HPL. Veneer is also a type of manufactured board.

RCA Dimensia wood grain veneer cabinet
Wood veneer RCA Dimensia console TV set


Veneer is obtained either by "peeling" the trunk of a tree or by slicing large rectangular blocks of wood known as flitches. The appearance of the grain and figure in wood comes from slicing through the growth rings of a tree and depends upon the angle at which the wood is sliced. There are three main types of veneer-making equipment used commercially:

  • A rotary lathe in which the wood is turned against a very sharp blade and peeled off in one continuous or semi-continuous roll. Rotary-cut veneer is mainly used for plywood, as the appearance is not desirable because the veneer is cut concentric to the growth rings.
  • A slicing machine in which the flitch or piece of log is raised and lowered against the blade and slices of the log are made. This yields veneer that looks like sawn pieces of wood, cut across the growth rings; such veneer is referred to as "crown cut".
  • A half-round lathe in which the log or piece of log can be turned and moved in such a way as to expose the most interesting parts of the grain, creating a more textured feel and appearance; such veneer is commonly referred to as "rift cut."

Each slicing processes gives a very distinctive type of grain, depending upon the tree species. In any of the veneer-slicing methods, when the veneer is sliced, a distortion of the grain occurs. As it hits the wood, the knife blade creates a "loose" side where the cells have been opened up by the blade, and a "tight" side.

Historically veneers were also sawn, but this is more wasteful of wood. Veneering is an ancient art, dating back to at least the ancient Egyptians who used expensive and rare wood veneers over cheaper timbers to produce their furniture and sarcophagi.[2] During the Roman Empire, Romans also used veneered work in mass quantities.[3]

Producing wood veneers

The finest and rarest logs are sent to companies that produce veneer. The advantage to this practice is twofold. First, it provides the most financial gain to the owner of the log. Secondly, and of more importance to the woodworker, it greatly expands the amount of usable wood. While a log used for solid lumber is cut into thick pieces, usually no thinner than 1/8 of an inch (3 mm), veneers are cut as thin as 1/40 of an inch (0.6 mm). Depending on the cutting process used by the veneer manufacturer, very little wood is wasted by the saw blade thickness, known as the saw kerf. Accordingly, the yield of a rare grain pattern or wood type is greatly increased, in turn placing less stress on the resource. Some manufacturers even use a very wide knife to "slice off" the thin veneer pieces. In this way, none of the wood is wasted. The slices of veneer are always kept in the order in which they are cut from the log and are often sold this way.

Types of veneers

There are a few types of veneers available, each serving a particular purpose.

  • Raw veneer has no backing on it and can be used with either side facing up. It is important to note that the two sides will appear different when a finish has been applied, due to the cell structure of the wood.
  • Paper backed veneer is as the name suggests, veneers that are backed with paper. The advantage to this is it is available in large sizes, or sheets, as smaller pieces are joined together prior to adding the backing. This is helpful for users that do not wish to join smaller pieces of raw veneers together. This is also helpful when veneering curves and columns as the veneer is less likely to crack.
  • Phenolic backed veneer is less common and is used for composite, or artificial wood veneers. Due to concern for the natural resource, this is becoming more popular. It too has the advantage of being available in sheets, and is also less likely to crack when being used on curves.
  • Laid up veneer is raw veneer that has been joined together to make larger pieces. The process is time-consuming and requires great care, but is not difficult and requires no expensive tools or machinery. Veneers can be ordered through some companies already laid up to any size, shape or design.
  • Reconstituted veneer is made from fast-growing tropical species. Raw veneer is cut from a log, and dyed if necessary. Once dyed, the sheets are laminated together to form a block. The block is then sliced so that the edges of the laminated veneer become the “grain” of the reconstituted veneer.
  • Wood on Wood Also called 2-ply is a decorative wood veneer face with a utility grade wood backer applied at an opposing direction to the face veneer.[4]

Advantages of using veneers

Compared to wood, one of the primary advantages of using veneer is stability. While solid wood can be prone to warping and splitting, because veneer is made of thin layers of wood glued together, the chances of splitting or cracking are reduced.

Some projects built using wood veneer would not be possible to construct using solid lumber, owing to expansion and contraction caused by fluctuation of temperature and humidity. Another advantage of veneer is sustainability—furniture made with wood veneer uses less wood than the same piece of furniture made with solid wood. Further, veneer may also be more readily available than solid wood as exotic hardwood lumber can be scarce and very expensive.

Ecological characteristics

  • Recyclability and renewability: Wood has the least impact on total energy use, greenhouse gases, air and water pollution, solid waste and ecological resource use. Seventy percent less energy is required in the use of wood compared with any other building materials.
  • Sustainability: Using veneer extends the use of a piece of timber. The wood that might be used in one solid piece a few visible cm wide can cover a far greater area when used as a veneer.
  • Toxicity: Nontoxic; veneer stores carbon and also maximises the use of harvested wood.

Buying veneers

Wood veneers are typically sold by the square foot. With the ability to join veneers, even small pieces are usable, resulting in very little waste. Many sources sell small packets of veneers that are sequence matched and are ideal for small projects. These make experimenting and practicing much more economical. It is also possible to buy plywood and other substrates with veneered faces for larger projects consisting of casework.

See also


  1. ^ DK Publishing (2010). Woodwork: A Step-by-Step Photographic Guide to Successful oodworking. Penguin. p. 198.
  2. ^ "What is a wood veneer?". www.wonkeedonkeexljoinery.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  3. ^ MacDonald, Nancy (2013). Woodworking (2nd ed.). Cengage Learning. pp. 782–784. ISBN 978-1-285-70050-2. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Glossary of Wood Veneer Terms". oakwoodveneer.com.
  • Benson, Jonathan, Woodworker's Guide to Veneering and Inlay, Fox Chapel Publishing

External links


Anigre is an African hardwood commonly used for plywood, interior furniture, cabinetry, and high-end millwork applications. It is frequently sliced and sold as veneer, although it is available in board form as well. In board form it is used for boat building, general carpentry, and other light construction uses.

Boeing XPB

The Boeing XPB (company Model 50) was an American twin-engined biplane long-range patrol flying boat of the 1920s. A single example was built for the United States Navy.


Celestion is a British designer and importer of loudspeakers.

Dot Stool - Models 3170 and M3170

The Dot stool (Model 3170) is an example Danish Mid-century modern seating design. It was designed and developed by Fritz Hansen in the early 1950s and refined for production in 1954 through a collaboration with Arne Jacobsen (1). The Dot stool design was modified (Model M3170) in the 1960s by Jacobsen and was produced in 1969 (2)(5).

The Model 3170 stools were constructed of chrome plated tubular steel, plastic, and a bent wood veneer seat (1). The design of the stool allowed for groups to be neatly and easily stacked (3). The stools produced from 1954 to 1970 had three legs, and after 1970, the design changed to feature 4 legs (1). The 3170 stool is still being offered by retailer Republic of Fritz Hansen (4). It measures 17.3 inches high (4).

The Model M3170 were constructed of chrome plated tubular steel, plastic, and a bent wood veneer seat (2). It measures 24 inches high, taller than the Model 3170, and featured a steel foot rail along the bottom legs (2), creating a triangular shape. This model was only produced for one year in 1969 (5).

Edge banding

Edge Banding, or edgebanding, is the name of both a process and an associated narrow strip of material used to create durable and aesthetically pleasing trim edges during finish carpentry.

Edge banding is used to cover the exposed sides of materials such as plywood, particle board or MDF, increasing durability and giving the appearance of a solid or more valuable material. Common substitutes for edgebanding include face frames or molding. Edge banding can be made of different materials including PVC, ABS, acrylic, melamine, wood or wood veneer.

Traditional edge banding was a manual process requiring ordinary carpentry tools and materials. In modern applications, particularly for high-volume, repetitive manufacturing steps such as cabinet doors, edge banding is applied to the substrate by an automated process using a hot-melt adhesive. Hot melt adhesives can be water or solvent based and may consist of various raw materials including EVA, PUR, PA, APOA, and PO. A substrate primer may also be used as a bonding agent between the adhesive and the substrate. Thicker edge bandings typically require a slight concavity to provide a tight glue line. The thickness can vary from .018" to 5mm or even more. The machine that applies the edge banding is called edgebander. An edgebander bonds the edge banding to the substrate, trims the leading and trailing edges, trims top and bottom flush with the substrate, scraps any surplus, and buffs the finished edge.

Hutch (furniture)

A hutch is an American English word for a type of furniture.

The term is now usually used to describe a set of shelves or cabinets placed on top of a lower unit with a counter and either drawers or cabinets. Hutches are often seen in the form of desks, dining room, or kitchen furniture. It is frequently referred to by furniture aficionados as a hutch dresser.

In the 18th and early 19th century, however, the term hutch or hutch table referred to a tabletop set onto a base in such a way that when the table was not in use, the top pivoted to a vertical position and became the back of a chair or wider settee. This was a very useful form at a time when many homes had a large room used for multiple functions, because it allowed a large dining table to swing up and out of the way.Typically fashioned from timber, modern hutch dressers can range from country cottage style (frequently solid timber, sometimes adorned with ornate scrollwork) to the sleek lines of the wood grain veneer style popularised throughout the 1960s to 1980s.

Many hutches from recent decades feature a mirror in the back of the upper shelving to give the additional appearance of depth and to better display the fineries kept within (in a similar manner to a china cabinet).

Amongst the most desirable of the 1960s veneered kind are those featuring a fold down liquor compartment where the fold down compartment door serves to increase the worktop area for setting out the glassware and preparing a drink. These liquor compartments often feature a mirror at the back and frequently the inner wood veneer surface of the door (becoming the worktop surface) is polished to a high lustre, increasing the overall effect thus impressing guests and onlookers.

KSK Vigri Tallinn

Vigri Tallinn was an Estonian professional football club active between 1980 and 2000.

LT (car)

LT was a Swedish car made by Anders Rudolf Lindström, Gottfrid Hansson and Simon Resare.

It got its name from the initials of "Lindström and Torsby" the designer Anders Rudolf Lindström and Torsby in northern Värmland, Sweden, but it was nicknamed "Långsam tillverkning" (Swedish for "slow production").

Car production was first planned in 1909 or possibly earlier, but this first car wasn't a success. In 1923 they made a second model. It had a painted grille, raked windscreen and the design may have been inspired by French cars like the Avions Voisin. It was powered by an air-cooled, two-cylinder engine of their own design and cast at Solbergs Mekaniska in Forshaga. The engine produced 20 HP and was connected to a three-speed gearbox driving the front wheels. The chassis was made of steel tubing and the bodywork of wood veneer. A series of 50 cars was planned, but money was a problem.

A car dealer approached Lindström wanting to hire him for his own production, but Lindström declined the offer hoping for better days to come but the workshop was destroyed in a fire and that was the end of LT with only three cars made. The rights were taken over by a company in Örebro for a modest sum. Today all that remains are some photos, one engine and some casting models at Torsby Fordonsmuseum.

Laminate panel

Laminate panel is a type of manufactured timber made from thin sheets of substrates or wood veneer. It is similar to the more widely used plywood, except that it has a plastic, protective layer on one or both sides. Laminate panels are used instead of plywood because of their resistance to impact, weather, moisture, shattering in cold (ductility), and chemicals.

Laminate panel layers (called veneers) are glued together with adjacent plies having their grain at right angles to each other for greater strength. The plastic layer(s) added for protection vary in composition, thickness, color and texture according to the application.

Multilaminar veneer

Multilaminar wood veneer uses plantation wood to reproduce decorative effects that are typical of quality wood species (often protected and rare). This aids the preservation of biodiversity and complies with the principles of sustainable forest management.

In this veneering process, large sheets of veneer are produced on a machine similar to a lathe. These are dyed, spread with suitable adhesives, and then compressed and bonded into thick (typically 70 cm) logs, which are then sliced to create the end product. If the sheets are compressed between platens with an undulating surface, the slice will cross several layers to produce a patterned effect. Many different designs can be obtained by varying the platens, the dyes and the stacking order.Although the product may be considered sustainable, multilaminar veneer does have a relatively high carbon footprint due to the numerous dyeing, laminating, pressing, and slicing operations.

Oar (sport rowing)

In rowing, oars are used to propel the boat. Oars differ from paddles in that they use a fixed fulcrum, an oarlock or rowlock attached to the side of the boat, to transfer power from the handle to the blade, rather than using the athlete's shoulders or hands as the pivot-point as in canoeing and kayaking.

When the rower uses one oar on one side, it is called sweep rowing that the single oar is called a "sweep" oar. When the rower uses two oars at the same time, one on each side, it is called sculling, and the two oars are called a pair of "sculls". Typical sculls are around 284 cm - 290 cm in length — sweep oars are 370 cm - 376 cm. A scull has a smaller blade area, as each rower wields a pair of them at any one time, operating each with one hand. Since the 1980s many oars have been adjustable in length.

The shaft of the oar ends with a thin flat surface 40 to 50 cm long and 25 cm wide, variously called the blade or spoon. Further along are the loom (or shaft), 2/3 of the way up which is the sleeve (including a wearplate) and button (or collar), and at the very end the handle. The handle may revert to wooden or, particularly in the case of sculls and some 21st century models of sweep-oar blades have rubber, cellular foam, suede or for example wood veneer grips over glass fiber.

The part of the oar the rower holds while rowing is the handle which is longer for sweep blades as each is held using both hands, than for sculls which are held with one hand.

There are hundreds of different variations of oars in terms of size and manufacturer specifications. "Macon" or "Cleaver" blade shapes of carbon-fibre are the most common in modern-day rowing. Classic oars were made out of wood. Since the use of such synthetic materials, first mass-produced by Dreissigacker in 1975, the weight of an oar has come down from over 7 kg to less than 2.5 kg and 1.275-1.8 kg in the case of sculls. While rowing in the most common competitive boats, fine boats (racing shells), oars are since the early part of the 20th century supported by metal, fibreglass or carbon fibre frames attached to the side of the boat called riggers for extra leverage.

Particle board

Particle board – also known as particleboard, low-density fibreboard (LDF), and chipboard – is an engineered wood product manufactured from wood chips, sawmill shavings, or even sawdust, and a synthetic resin or other suitable binder, which is pressed and extruded. Oriented strand board, also known as flakeboard, waferboard, or chipboard is similar, but uses machined wood flakes offering more strength. All of these are composite materials that belong to the spectrum of fiberboard products.


Plywood is a material manufactured from thin layers or "plies" of wood veneer that are glued together with adjacent layers having their wood grain rotated up to 90 degrees to one another. It is an engineered wood from the family of manufactured boards which includes medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and particle board (chipboard).

All plywoods bind resin and wood fibre sheets (cellulose cells are long, strong and thin) to form a composite material. This alternation of the grain is called cross-graining and has several important benefits: it reduces the tendency of wood to split when nailed in at the edges; it reduces expansion and shrinkage, providing improved dimensional stability; and it makes the strength of the panel consistent across all directions. There is usually an odd number of plies, so that the sheet is balanced—this reduces warping. Because plywood is bonded with grains running against one another and with an odd number of composite parts, it has high stiffness perpendicular to the grain direction of the surface ply.

Smaller, thinner, and lower-quality plywoods may only have their plies (layers) arranged at right angles to each other. Some better-quality plywood products will by design have five plies in steps of 45 degrees (0, 45, 90, 135, and 180 degrees), giving strength in multiple axes.

The word ply derives from the French verb plier, "to fold", from the Latin verb plico, from the ancient Greek verb πλέκω.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé is a British handmade (except chassis) luxury car manufactured by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars that debuted at the 2008 Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, on 6 March 2008. The platform is based on the 2003 Rolls-Royce Phantom and has styling heavily derived from the Rolls-Royce 100EX, a concept car unveiled to celebrate the company's centennial in 2004.

Its interior includes leather and wood veneer. There is a button to close the "coach doors" (suicide doors).

The Phantom Coupe has the same 6.75 litre V12 as found in the other Phantom models, developing 338 kW (453 bhp) of power and 720 N·m (531 lb·ft) of torque.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (Waverly, Iowa)

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church is located in Waverly, Iowa, United States. It is a parish church of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. The church building is a contributing building and the bell tower is a contributing structure in the Sturdevant Southwest Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.The parish was established in 1853. The present church building was completed in 1958 after the previous church building had been destroyed in a fire on March 14, 1957. The cornerstone for the present church was laid on November 3, 1957. It is a Modern A-frame brick structure that is ten bays long. The bays project at an angle. Each has a window in the angle and an I-beam that serves as a buttress. On the interior, the I-beams are clad in a wood veneer. The short side walls are covered with brick laid in a stack bond. The brick on the west gabled end is laid in Flemish bond and features a series of small raised crosses in the brick pattern work. The east gable end was remodeled around 2006 and is composed of a combination of brick and synthetic metal siding. It has a large Celtic cross with windows that extend to the peak. A spire, divided into five sections, and a Celtic cross caps the steeply pitched roof.

The Hemingway Memorial Bell Tower was completed in 1963. It stands north of the church building and is composed of two sets of two I-beams that form a St. Andrew's Cross. It is capped with a gabled roof in an A-frame form that mimics the church building. The bell is suspended below the A-frame.

Stout Batwing

Batwing was a name given to at least two aircraft developed by William Bushnell Stout.The first was an experimental low aspect ratio flying wing. The aircraft used wood veneer construction and was an early example of cantilever wing design. The internally braced wing was also one of the first American aircraft designed without drag-producing struts.

The second was the Batwing Limousine, a three-seat cabin monoplane with a conventional fuselage and high-mounted wing.

This article describes the first Batwing.

Straw marquetry

Straw marquetry is a craft very similar to that of wood marquetry, except that straw replaces the wood veneer. It is thought to have first been practised in the East; examples were brought to England in the 17th century.

To mimic the varying shades of wood veneer, wheat or oat straw has to be split, then soaked in cold, warm, or hot water. The strips are then ironed, and there will be a variety of tones from pale gold to deepest dark brown.

There are accounts of nuns in France and Switzerland making a variety of items using straw marquetry.

The most famous straw marquetry was practised by prisoners of war from the Napoleonic wars. Dartmoor and other prisons had been built for them; the prison most famous for straw marquetry was Norman Cross, Huntingdon.

Easter eggs are decorated with straw applique, especially in Eastern European countries. Geometric shapes, stars and flower motifs are the most common themes. There is a slight difference in the way the straw is prepared, however; for marquetry, the straws are soaked, split and ironed; for egg decoration the straw is not ironed.

Theophile Bruguier Cabin

The Theophile Bruguier Cabin is a historic building located in Sioux City, Iowa, United States. Bruguier was a Quebec native who was a trader with the American Fur Company. He was the first Caucasian settler in what would become Sioux City. He settled at the confluence of the Missouri and the Big Sioux Rivers in 1849. With him were his two wives, Dawn and Blazing Cloud, and his father-in-law War Eagle, a chief of Yankton tribe, and extended family. He built a number of log structures on his 560-acre (230 ha) claim. Bruguier took up farming and set up his own fur-trading company. War Eagle and his two daughters, Bruguier's wives, died in the 1850s. Bruguier sold a tract of land to Joseph Leonnais in 1855, and it became the original townsite for Sioux City. He built this single-room cabin for his home about 1860, and married Victoria Brunette in 1862. Bruguier and his wife moved to a farm near Salix, Iowa, where he died in 1895.

In time the cabin was covered with a wood veneer on the outside and plaster on the inside. It was discovered when the Rev. John Hantla of the Wall Street Mission was tearing it down. Workers from the Civil Works Administration dismantled the cabin and rebuilt it in Riverside Park in 1934. Two years later it was dedicated as a memorial to the "friendly Indians of the Sioux nation who lived in peace with the early pioneers," and to "Theophile Bruguier, the first permanent white resident within the present boundary of Sioux City." The cabin was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.


Veneer a may refer to:

Wood veneer, a thin facing layer of wood

Masonry veneer, a thin facing layer of brick

Stone veneer, a thin facing layer of stone

Veneer (dentistry), a cosmetic treatment for teeth

Veneer (album), a 2003 album by José González

"Veneer", a song by The Verve Pipe from Villains

Veneer theory, a term coined by Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal to label the Hobbesian view of human morality.

See also


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