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Wood Veneer, Creating the Maximum Beauty of the Wood

Wood veneer is a thin sheet of wood. The veneer is made from wood log that is cut and sliced to make thin sheet. As wood product, veneer is marketed to be used as an intermediate product in the woodworking industry. Veneer is available in various thicknesses, widths, and lengths. The thickness of veneer commonly ranges from 0.5 mm to 3 mm. Other thicknesses can be produced upon request with a special price. The length of veneer commonly is about 2420 mm (about the same with the plywood size, with a width of around 150-300 mm as wood boards, although the other sizes can be ordered if needed.

In the woodworking industry, the veneer is then laid and attached to core panels such: as plywood, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), particle board, or laminated board to form panel boards with appearance as solid wood panels. The wood veneer is usually made from expensive high-quality wood, to make the same appearance as solid wood but at a lower cost.

oak wood veneer panel

Manufacturing Process and Uses of Veneer

The production of wood veneer involves several steps, starting from wood log selection, cutting, slicing, and drying. The good quality of wood log is needed to get the good veneer. There some method in slicing the wood log, and each will give the difference pattern of grain.  The rotary slice is the most used, when the wood log is rotated and the knife cuts the wood in a circle. This method will give the wide and grain pattern. The other slicing method is the flat slice, quarter cut that will produce various appearances and grain patterns. For more information you can visit our previous article : how is veneer made how is veneer made 

The thin sheet of the wood then needs to be dried before marketed to the woodworking industry. In the woodworking manufacturer, the veneer is layered and glued into panel or components to make “wood looked” product. 

The Advantages of Veneer

The veneer is very popular in the woodworking industry. Various wood products such as furniture, wall panels, flooring, doors, and various decorative products now are made from veneer instead of solid wood. As the engineering product, wood veneer has some advantages that make it more preferable than the solid wood.

  • Provide the Natural Beauty of Wood

 Once applied to a panel board, veneer will create a panel with a surface resembling wood in appearance, and physical properties. The veneer panel surface will provide the wood color, grain and pores as the natural wood. The veneer is also mimic wood, and its physical properties such as the feel, the hardness and the absorbency to finishing materials. When it is finished its appearance and feel will be very similar to wood. With the proper finishing, veneer can achieve a wood-like appearance indistinguishable from solid wood.

  • Variety of Setting 

Veneer can be cut and sliced in several ways, each yielding various wood grain patterns. Veneer can also be arranged and assembled to create multiple patterns during the gluing process. Different types of wood with different appearances can be used on a panel to produce a wood panel with many variations. Thus, veneer can offer a broader range of appearances compared to solid wood.

  • Lower Cost

Economic considerations the primary driver behind the widespread use of veneer. Veneer is much cheaper than solid wood because it uses less wood material. Veneer also allows the use of premium woods for various products with economical price. Veneer can accommodate designers' needs to get the beauty of premium woods with more affordable price. Veneer also provides the solution in utilize of special and unique wood looked such as : burl, crotch, and swirl which is limited available in the natural forest.

  • Stability

Veneer panels are more stable to the temperature and humidity changes than solid wood. Veneer panels are made from engineered wood, which are more homogeneous and have standardized in properties than solid wood which is natural creature.

  • Sustainability

The uses of veneer instead of solid wood is also reduces of wood usage. It is directly decreasing the cutting trees from nature and thus helping preserve forests and plant life on Earth. Furthermore, veneer can only be produced from mature, high-quality trees, encouraging tree farmers to ensure their trees are mature before harvesting and cutting.

Disadvantages of Veneer

Despite that the veneer has many advantages, but it cannot totally replace the wood. There are some products that still need the solid wood. The outdoor furniture, wood fence and some other outdoor product still use sold wood because of the durability reason. Some special product such as rustic furniture, antique old furniture still needs solid wood. Here some disadvantages of the veneer.

  • Not as Strong as Wood

 Veneer is just a thin layer and cannot contribute to the structural strength of the product. The strength of a veneer product primarily depends on the core panel used, whether it is particle board, MDF, laminated wood, or another material. Yes, the veneer can imitate the wood looked and color, but not for the strength and durability. Veneer that is going to be used for outdoor product will need durable core and need to be glued with special glue that will make his price to be expensive. 

  • Need Proper Production Process

Veneer is an engineering product whose quality depends on the manufacturing process. To produce high-quality products, the production process step must be well-controlled. From the wood selection, the slicing, the drying and storage must be properly done to keep the quality. In the woodworking production, the veneer is also need to be glued properly to get the good quality product. 

  • No Everlasting Antique Value

Veneer is an engineered product that will deteriorate over time, so it will not have the same lasting antique value as wood. Veneer products cannot be recycled and reused once it is damaged. Repairing veneer product is not as easy as repairing wood; the thin veneer layer can be easily damaged if it re sanded and refinished. Veneer panels also cannot be cut and reassembled like solid wood boards.

wood veneer for cabinet

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