There are a number of different ways in which hardwood veneer may be cut from the log. Depending on the manner in which a log is cut, strikingly different visual effects can be achieved with the wood’s grain and characteristics. This is the beauty of working with hardwood veneer – that two logs of the same species, cut in different ways, produce distinctive, individual veneers! The most commonly used veneer cutting methods are rotary cutting and plain slicing.
|The Wide Variety of Veneer Cutting Methods|
|“Rotary” – Rotary veneer is produced by centering the log in a lathe and turning it against a broad cutting knife which is set into the log at a slight angle. Rotary cut vener can be sufficiently wide to provide full sheet (one piece) faces.|
“Quarter Slicing” – Quarter slicing achieves a straight grain appearance by slicing perpendicular to the annual growth rings.
“Rift-Cut” – Rift-cut veneer is produced from the various species of oak. Oak has medullary ray cells which radiate from the center of the log like the curved spokes of a wheel. This straight grain cut is at a slight angle to the medullary rays in oak to minimize ray fleck (flake).
|“Plain Slicing (Flat Cut)” – Plain sliced veneer is veneer sliced parallel to the center of the log to achieve flat-cut veneer. The cathedrals are formed by the inner most annual growth rings as the veneer is cut through the flitch.|
|“Half-Round Slicing” – Half-round slicing is cutting on an arc roughly parallel to the center of the log to achieve flat-cut veneer. The cathedrals can have more rounded tops since the grain is formed by the inner most growth rings as the veneer is cut through the flitch.|
|“Lengthwise Slicing” – A board of flat sawn lumber is passed flat over a stationary knife. As it passes, a sheet of veneer is sliced from the bottom of the board. This produces a variegated figure.|