Specifying and Technical

Specifying Timber Veneer

Specifying timber veneer can be a challenging and rewarding experience. There are many different types of veneer species, cutting methods and splicing techniques to confront the potential specifier with many design possibilities. Each species has unique features and characteristics. The manner in which the timber is sliced will produce completely different grain characteristics. The way the veneer leaves are joined and how they are stained or dyed, will produce many variations and provide thousands of design possibilities.

With a little planning and preparation, specifiers will have no problems in finding the perfect veneer for your projects. The key to the process is communication. To obtain the right veneer we suggest you talk with your supplier to help determine your specific wants and needs.

Some points to consider:

What species do you require?

Start with supplier’s catalogues or brochures but request samples of existing stocks. Visit the supplier to fully appreciate all the many natural features and characteristics of the species and use these features and characteristics to enhance your project.

Are you familiar with the natural characteristics of the veneer?

Timber veneer is a natural product that will vary from log to log. We suggest you discuss your requirements with a veneer supplier to become fully aware of variations in colour, natural figure and the natural characteristics that will occur.

What cut should you select?

Timber veneer can be produced by slicing or peeling selected logs. Logs can be flitched to produce quarter cut, (generally straight grain), or crown cut veneer. Rotary peeled logs will produce a non-descript swirl pattern. Ask your veneer supplier to show you some samples.

Do you require a species with unique characteristics?

Birdseye, burls, burrs, pommele, quilted, figured and flame are some of the unique characteristics that can occur in timber veneer. Take the time to appreciate these beautiful features before you incorporate them into your project.

How much veneer do you need?

Consider the lengths required and available and the amount of veneer needed to complete the job. How should the veneer be prepared to show your desired effect? Do the sheets need to be sequence matched?

What substrate do you want the veneer to be pressed on?

Particleboard, Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and Plywood are a few common substrates to consider. Your veneer supplier can show you various species of veneer to meet your needs at an affordable price. It is important to understand the natural features of timber veneer before embarking on your project.