What Is Veneering?
Veneering is the process of applying a thin sheet of material, usually wood, to the surface of another material. Veneer is usually applied to a less expensive piece of wood, and thereby gives the look and feel of a more luxurious piece without the cost. Veneering, if applied properly can also add extra strength to a piece of furniture. Veneering is usually either wood or plastic. If wood is used, the manner in which the wood is cut, and the part of the tree it is cut from determines the type of pattern produced. Horizontal slices reveal a pattern of rings, while vertical slices produce a wood grain effect. The different types of wood veneering most commonly used on furniture are listed below.
The exposed grain in this type of veneer resembles a plume or curl and is generally sliced from the intersection of a branch with the tree trunk.
This type of veneer is also called tortoise-shell veneer because of its unusual grain which somewhat resembles a tortoise shell. It is generally sliced from a knot or growth on the tree, the most common being Redwood, Walnut or Elm.
This type of veneer is composed of several small pieces arranged in a pattern. As the name implies, this type of veneer resembles an oyster shell. It is sliced horizontally from very thin branches rather than from the trunk of the tree.
This type of veneer is made from larger sheets cut in strips. Since the strips all have the same pattern, they are arranged to form a variety of geometric designs.
This type of veneer is cut from the fork of the tree where the trunk forms a "Y" with the main branches. The cut is made perpendicularly, and creates a figure that sweeps upward to resemble a plume or feather. It is sometimes called feather figure veneer.
This type of veneer is cut on a tangent to the annual growth rings and produces an elliptical figure with sweeping curves in the middle, and striped grain on the ends. It is generally cut from Walnut.
The exposed grain in this type of veneer displays unusual, distorted figures caused by back cutting slices from the stump of the tree.
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