Rotary Peeled (Rotary Red Oak Whole
Piece Face shown below)
An entire log is placed into a lathe and rotated in uninterrupted contact with the
lathe knife, resulting in a cut that roughly parallels the growth rings to produce
a bold and often variegated grain pattern. The resulting ribbon of veneer is subsequently
clipped to useable widths, including sheets called whole piece or one-piece face
that will cover an entire 4x8' sheet of plywood, as well as narrower leaves that
will later be spliced together in order to cover a 4x8, 4x6, 8x4, or any number
of sizes as may be specified by a customer. Rotary cutting is the only method of
producing veneer that will produce whole piece faces.
Sliced (Plain Sliced Red Oak shown
A half or quarter log is placed on the slicer which forces it laterally against
a knife to produce narrow veneer sheets with somewhat more predictable grain patterns.
These sheets will later be joined together through one of the various matching methods
to produce 4x8', 4x6, 8x4, or any number of sheet sizes as may be specified by a
customer. Generally, slicing veneer produces more of a solid lumber appearance associated
with the manner in which the half or quarter log is positioned in the slicer. Veneer
leaves are kept in order as they are cut from the log to ensure a consistent appearance,
making sliced veneer generally more prized than rotary cut veneer.
Entire log is peeled producing a continuous ribbon of veneer.
The half log is mounted with the knife parallel to the center of the "back" of the
log, then forced across the knife to produce a flat sawn lumber look, often developing
a repeating grain pattern called a cathedral.
The quarter log is mounted in the slicer so that the knife cuts across the growth
rings at approximately a right angle and parallel to the rays, resulting in a highly
three dimensional ray flake appearance in red and white oak.
The quarter log is mounted on a modified lathe to produce a cut that crosses both
the growth rings and the rays at a slight angle, resulting in a relatively straight
grain effect that minimizes the bold ray flake appearance found in quarter sliced
Note: Both quarter sliced and rift cut veneer are more often than not pulled from
the straight grain portion of plain sliced veneer from the region of the log closest
to its center. The resulting veneer is called quarter sliced if heavy flake is visible
and rift cut when the flake is minimal. Veneers thus developed are often called
false rift or quarters, but they are held to the same standard as "true" rift and
quarters, reducing cost while preserving aesthetic appeal.
Once the veneer is cut, it can be laid up on a panel face in different sorts of
"matching." The appearance of the panel can be formal or casual, simple or busy
based on the matching choice. Matching selections may be more obvious in some species
than in others depending on the natural grain characteristic of that wood species.
Every other leaf or component of veneer from a given log is turned over to produce
a mirror image at the splice joint, much like turning the pages of a book, to produce
a very aesthetically appealing look across the face.
(Red Oak PS Book Matched shown here)
All components from a given log are spliced together in their respective order without
turning over any component, thereby producing a somewhat staggered image across
This allows for the panel face to be applied with the tight side of the veneer facing
outward in order to minimize the potential for a barber pole effect occasionally
observed with book matched veneer.
(Red Oak PS Slip Matched shown here)
Components from various logs of the same species are arranged in a deliberate mismatched
manner to achieve a natural lumber effect as offered in Columbia Forest Products'
Appalachian Traditions® product line.
This is often used to produce a rustic effect.
(Red Oak PS Plank Matched shown here)
Components are arranged in the order they come from a given stack of veneer that
may have come from a number of logs with no consideration given to matching for
color or grain.
This is process often used to produce backs from remnant material.
(Red Oak PS Random Matched Back shown here)