Contrary to popular opinion, several types of veneer cuts abound. Thus, you should not feel surprised on coming across a myriad varieties of veneer cuts. Manufacturers of timber veneers usually employ two methods for manufacturing these veneers. The most common technique that manufacturers use lies in peeling the trunk of the tree. The other method involves slicing large rectangular blocks of wood (called flitches) in extremely thin slices. In many cases, the veneers sold in Australia will have thicknesses of 0.6 millimetres. However, manufacturers can vary the thickness of the veneer based on the demands of their customers.
Slicing through the growth rings of the tree can affect the appearance of the grain in the veneer. Thus, the unique visual characteristics that each veneer exhibits will inevitably depend on the angle at which the woodworkers slice through the wood. Some of the most common veneer cuts that you could come across at showrooms in Australia include:
- Rotary Cut Veneers: Creating these veneers involves slicing the log around its circumference i.e. around the annual growth rings. Rotary cut veneers will exhibit bold and variegated grains. They will also enable the production of extremely wide leaves. Manufacturers typically use these veneers for producing plywood.
- Quarter Cut Veneers: This cut involves cutting the log into quarters, thereby creating four flitches. Thereafter, workers slice each quarter flitch in straight lines, at right angles to the growth rings. This technique produces veneers with uniformly lined vertical grains.
- Burl Veneers: Burls refer to growths on trees that feature grain-related deformities. Burls will usually take the appearance of round outgrowths on tree trunks or branches. They will also remain filled with small knots from dormant buds. The highly intricate and unique patterns thus formed gives these veneers a distinctive look.
- Crown Cut Veneers: To obtain crown cut veneers, woodworkers will cut the log in half. Thereafter, they will slice the halved log straight across. Thus, the veneer will have a cut that runs parallel to a line through the centre of the log, while remaining at a tangent to the growth rings. Crown cut veneers will usually have strong grain patterns at the centre, with a linear effect at the edges.
- Half Round Cut Veneers: Woodworkers will initially mount the log off-centre in a lathe. Then, they will take slices slightly across the growth rings. The veneer leaves thus produced will feature the visual appearance that typifies crown cut and rotary veneers.
- Curl Veneers: Woodworkers create curl veneers by cutting the log at the junction of the branches and the tree trunk. These veneers typically feature unique patterns resulting from the confining and twisting of the wood as the branches grow.
- Butt Veneers: Slicing the logs across the annual rings occurring at the ends instead of the regular crown cut or standard quarter cut will yield butt veneers. These veneers will be small in size. But, when you lay them out on to panels, these veneers will exhibit the look of natural round logs stacked on to each other.
As mentioned earlier, each type of cut will yield timber panels with a distinctive appearance. Each of these veneers will be ideal for using in specific applications. So, when you shop for veneered panels, ensure that you consult with the salespeople at the facility. They will help you make the right selection of panels for the purpose you have in mind.
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