Wood Veneer Designs Manufacturing and Crafts

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  • Veneer refers to a thin sheet of wood, typically glued onto core panels to produce flat panels such as doors, tops and panels for cabinets, parquet floors and furniture parts.

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Manufacturing of veneer

Methods of veneer cutting

1. Rotary Cut Veneer:

Method: The log is rotated around its axis.
Visual effect: Bold, variegated grain pattern.

2. Crown Cut or Plain or Flat cut Veneer :

Method: It is sliced parallel to a line through its centre of the half log.
Visual effect: Light, uniform, variegated pattern with dome shaped cathedrals

3. Quarter Normal Cut Veneer:

Method: The quarter log is mounted on the flitch table such that the log?s growth rings hit the blade at straight angles.
Visual effect: Series of straight lines, striped, straight or variegated pattern.

4. Quarter Rift Cut Veneer:

Method: The cut is done at an oblique angle from the position of the quarter log.
Visual effect: Comb or rift grain effect.

5. Half-round Cut Veneer:

Method: A log is halved and cut on an arc, parallel to its centre.
Visual effect:Cathedrals usually have rounded tops.

Types of veneer matching

Matching can be classified into three categories, each containing several sub-categories:

a. Matching Between Adjacent Veneer Leaves

  • According to this, individual veneer leaves will be joined together on the face of the panel.

1. Book Matched Veneer

Match: In book matched veneer, alternating pieces of veneer are placed in a fashion that they face each other like the pages in a book.
Visual effect: Balanced, symmetrical pattern.

2. Slip Matched Veneer

Match: Veneer slices are faced in sequence without flipping the pattern.
Visual effect: The joints are not visible if the grain is straight.

3. Random Matched Veneer

Visual effect: Veneer leaves are placed next to each other in an arbitrary manner. Veneer leaves which are matched by color but not by grain pattern are Pleasing matched veneers.
Visual effect: Inconsistent, abstract pattern.

b. Matching Within Individual Panel Faces

  • According to this, veneer face is positioned differently.

1. Running Matched Veneer

Match: Each face is assembled from different veneer pieces of unequal widths.
Visual effect:Asymmetrical appearance

2. Balance Matched Veneer

Match:Each face is formed out of even or odd number of pieces of uniform width before trimming.
Visual effect:Balanced, symmetrical appearance.

3. Special Matches

Match: Special matches feature names such as box, diamond, basket weave, sunburst, reverse diamond, reverse box and checkerboard match.
Visual effect:Abstract, balanced appearance

c. Matching Between Panels (Matching Architectural Panels)

  • It involves the orientation of finished panels during the construction.

1. Architectural End Match

Match:Leaves are vertically flipped and then horizontally booked or slipped.
Visual effect: Regular grain line continuity

2. Continuous End Matched Veneer

Match:Multiple panels end matched for length using a single length of veneer. This style is used to extend the apparent length of available veneer.
Visual effect:Continuous grain pattern

3. Panel End Matched Veneer

Match:This match has leaves are book or slip matched on panel assemblies.Then the assemblies are broken into sub-assemblies and stacked in an end match.
Visual effect:Pleasing, blended appearance and grain continuity

Properties of veneer

1. Sound Insulation

  • Veneers are thin slices with minimal thickness and have negligible effect on the acoustic properties of materials.
  • To increase the absorption capacity, holes or slots are made and distributed over the surface area.

2. Moisture Resistance

  • Veneers are vulnerable to moisture in outdoors, there are ways to improve moisture resistance and dimensional stability.
  • Treat veneers with a solution which results in cross linking of cellulose fibres.
  • Thermal treatment is another way to produce moisture resisant veneers.

3. Electrical Conductivity

  • Application of oil or wax on wooden flooring ensures that it remains antistatic.

4. Recyclability & Renewability:

  • Veneer is a recyclable, renewable material with the lowest impact on energy use and pollution.
  • It uses 70% less energy compared to other building materials.

5. Sustainability

  • Using veneer over timber extends the use.

General uses of veneer

1. Interiors

  • Veneer is primarily a material used to enhance aesthetics of interiors.
  • It provides the rich look of solid wood to floor, walls, ceiling and other building elements like doors and windows.

2. Furniture

  • It is suitable for furniture decoration in residential and commercial spaces.

3. Artworks

  • It can be used to create wooden instruments as well as decorative items.

4. Luxury products

  • It is suitable for bespoke products such as wines and chocolate boxes, luxury soap boxes, etc.

5. Miscellaneous

  • Its use also diversifies into processed forms such as veneer parquet, wood veneer boards, etc.

Types of veneers

a. General Classification:

1. Raw veneer

2. Flexible veneer

b. Based on Wood Species

1. Light: Maple, Birch, Ash and Alder

2. Reddish: Beech, Cherry, Wild Service Tree and Mahogany

3. Brown: Oak, Teak and Walnut

4. Dark: Wenge, Bog Oak and Macassar

c. Based on Backing:

1. Paper-Backed

  • These are veneers that are permanently bonded to a paper backing.
  • It is available in large sizes in the form of sheets, as otherwise, smaller pieces are bonded together before adding the backing.
  • It is less likely to crack when being applied on curves.

2. Phenolic-Backed

  • It is a less commonly used plastic, water resistant resin bonded to the back of a sheet of wood veneer.
  • Like the paper-backed veneers, it also has the advantage of being available in sheets, and is also less likely to crack when being applied on curves.

3. Laid up

  • Raw veneer that has been bonded together to produce larger pieces.
  • It can be laid up to any size, shape or design can be selected.

Available sizes and thickness of veneer

Sizes:

Veneer size in sq.ft

Veneer size in mm

8×4 2449 x 1219
10×4 3048 x 1219
12×4 3658 x 1219

Thickness:

  • The thickness of the veneer determines its durability.
  • The standard thickness of wood veneer measures between 0.5mm and 4mm.

Price range of veneer

Type of Woods

Prices

Teakwood Rs.120/sq. ft.
Oak Rs. 140 /sq. ft.
Beech Wood Rs.90/sq. ft.
Maple Rs.70/sq. ft.

Type of Finishes/Polishes

Prices

Mat Rs.70/sq. ft. ? Rs.80/sq. ft.
PU (Poly urethane) Rs.150/sq. ft. ? Rs.175/sq. ft.
Lamination Rs.350/sq. ft. ? Rs.400/sq. ft.

Defects in veneer

1. Discoloration

  • Dark, mostly due to water drops that condense on iron parts (iron tannate staining).

2. Burls (burrs)

  • Small, round or oval buds.

3. Gum

  • It is the occurrence of tiny black dots or striations between the annual rings, caused by resin inclusion.

4. Fiddleback (wavy figure

  • These are rays or striations running across the grain at a uniform distance.
  • This defect can be seen in Walnut, Cherry, Beech, Ash, Maple, Mahogany, Walnut, and Teak.

5. Flashes:

  • Striations and rays are observed running in the direction of growth.

6. Silver figure (flake):

  • Light-coloured, slightly iridescent dots, caused by cutting across wood (xylem) rays.

7. Blisters:

  • Light-coloured round or oval spots.

8. Resin pockets:

  • Identified by dark dots and striations running along the annual rings, formed as result of rein deposits.

Advantages of veneer

1. Aesthetics like Natural Wood at Lower Costs

  • Wood veneers are excellent alternatives to natural wood. They imitate the appearance of natural wood, but at much lower costs.

2. Flexibility in Design

  • Each wood veneer sheet is distinctive as each tree is unique.
  • This makes for endless design possibilities with furniture and interior elements.

3. Increased Strength and Durability

  • Application of wood veneer sheets to engineered woods strengthens and increases their durability
  • Veneers resist warping and fragmentation and last longer than laminates

4. Eco-Friendly

  • It is a natural, environment friendly material which can easily be recycled.
  • Wood veneers help in better utilization of wood, since very thin layers of wood are used for decorative purposes.

5. Non-toxic

  • Veneers are generally non-toxic.

Disadvantages of veneer

1. Vulnerable to Water Damage

  • Prolonged exposure to water can damage veneers.
  • Application of a sealant over the veneer protects its surface from wet conditions.

2. More Maintenance

  • Wood veneers require more maintenance and they need to be polished periodically.

3. Cannot be Repaired

  • Once damaged, wood veneer cannot be repaired, unlike natural wood furniture which can be easily repaired by sanding several times.

4. Formation of Cracks

  • Wood veneer is laid on MDF or plywood which has a different expansion and contraction rate than the veneer itself.
  • This uneven expansion and contraction results in the formation of cracks.

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