Balance Panel Matching uses the same width for each veneer leaf, giving panels a more symmetrical look than running-matched panels. They are not center balanced—panel faces may use an odd or even number of veneer leaves. The grain may change between panels over long runs as the number of leaves needed for each panel may increase or decrease
Barber Poling refers to the alternating dark and light appearance that can appear in book matched veneer. This effect is caused by the different surface characteristics created during the veneer slicing process and can be especially noticeable after finishing. Appropriate matching techniques are employed to eliminate the barber pole effect.
Bee's Wing is a small, tight cross marking mottle similar in appearance to a bee’s wing. It occurs most often in Satinwood and also occasionally in Eucalyptus and Mahogany.
Bird's Eye figure is created by a depression in the trunk that distorts succeeding growth rings. This figure of small “eye” patterns occurs in a small percentage of trees. It is found most often in northern maples and is always rotary cut.
Bleached and Dyed veneer is first bleached and then processed with dye resulting in consistency of depth and color. Certain qualities of the wood that are not always apparent with traditional staining methods are often magnified in the dye process.
Blister figure appears as fairly short, straight raised sections. Often described differently based on their shape and size: if oval they are called quilt figure, if longer, fiddleback, and if shorter, pomelle. Blister figure is the result of rotary cutting across an uneven contour of growth rings.
Book Matching flips consecutive leaves of veneer open facing each other like pages in a book, creating a mirror image of the previous leaf. This technique results in a symmetrical pattern that accentuates the grain, figure, and decorative characteristics of the log. Book match is the most common veneer matching technique, and may be used with plain, quarter or rift sliced veneers.
Broken Fiddle is a fiddle type figure that does not cross the whole leaf – uniform in its appearance giving a broken figure affect.
Broken Stripe graining appears as a stripe running down under the surface and then out again, in a more or less “broken” pattern. It develops only in quarter-cut veneer, most commonly in the end wood of a flitch.
Bundles are a group of cut veneer generally containing 24 or 32 consecutive leaves.
Burl figure appears as a close pattern of many small “eyes” surrounded by wildly distorted grain. It’s the result of a wart-like growth on Walnut, Maple, Mappa, or Redwood trees, which are rotary cut to produce veneer. Burl leaves are generally smaller than other veneers.
Cathedral grain pattern is easily identified by the loop pattern or “cathedral” in the center with straighter grain along the edges. Cathedral grain is only produced in flat-cut veneers.
Center Panel Matching creates the most symmetrical pattern in architectural paneling. All leaves are trimmed to the same size and the pattern uses an even number of leaves, centered on the panel face. Often considered the most visually pleasing match, it’s typically more expensive and the trimming and centering requires more veneer than other matches.
Certified Wood is material that has been harvested with forestry practices that are sustainable as defined by widely accepted standards. Certification guidelines developed and monitored by organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council ( www.us.fsc.org) have been a major factor in the acceptance of sustainable forestry practices globally.
Chain of Custody is the record tracking protocol for certified material moving through the manufacturing process from harvest in the forest to end use by the consumer. Chain of custody records are used to provide evidence that material claimed as certified originates from duly certified forests. For further information we recommend reviewing the Forest Stewardship Council website at www.us.fsc.org.
Cluster figure is scattered clusters of burl intermingled with a “muscle” figure surrounding the clusters. Cluster figure is produced by half-round cutting veneer.
Character Marks in veneer are part of the dappled beauty and authenticity of natural materials, unrepeatable in man-made surfaces. For many designers, the natural appeal of veneer is in its irregularity—flecks, pin knots, pitch marks, gum marks, and mineral streaks—the marks that tell the tree’s unique history over decades.
Constant Color (CoCo) veneers are imbued deeply with color in a process that mimics the naturally aged appearance of bog oak. They’re environmentally friendly, available in high volume, and offer consistent, repeatable color from flitch to flitch.
Controlled Wood is non-certified wood that can be mixed with certified material during manufacturing of FSC mix products. It is subject to controlled condition standards as defined by the Forest Stewardship Council. A risk assessment independently verified as part of chain of custody certification is required and only those sources deemed "low risk" may be considered Controlled Wood. For further information we recommend reviewing the Forest Stewardship Council website at www.us.fsc.org.
Crotch figure is cut from the juncture of a tree's trunk and main branches. It comes in a range of appearance, including flame, plume, rooster tail, feather, or burning bush. Leaves are generally smaller. This figure is most common in Walnut and Mahogany
Curly figure appears as an undulating wave pattern produced when contortions in the grain reflect light differently. Many species develop a curly figure, but Maple is the most common.
Cut is the method used to slice veneer from a log. There are a handful of ways that veneer can be cut each producing its own effects in the grain. You could conceivably take a single log, cut it four different ways, and end up with four completely different looking veneers.
Domestic Veneer refers to wood veneers commonly produced in the United States and North America.
Edgeband is a thin strip of veneer used for the exposed edges of panel substrates.
End Matching book matches two consecutive leaves of veneer and the next two are flipped, creating a 4-piece end match (also called book-and-butt match). End matching makes good use of shorter stock in veneer and is often used with burls and crotches because of their characteristically small leaves. End matches create beautiful patterns and accentuate swirly grains and irregular characteristics in veneer.
European Veneer refers to wood veneers sourced from European suppliers typically produced as clipped and bundled veneer.
Face is a veneer cover for the panel made from several selected veneer leaves spliced to a certain pattern, glued together and cut to exact size. It is also referred to as a Layon.
Fiddleback figure appears as a tight, fairly uniform, roll appearance across the grain. While other species produce fiddleback, it’s most common in Maple, Mahogany, and Anegre and is named for the use of fiddleback maple in violin production.
Figure is the surface effect of grain, character and color patterns produced by the natural patterns of growth or biological “defects” in the tree. Not all species produce figured wood, and the effects are highly variable from log to log. The appearance of figure is influenced both by the specie and how the veneer is cut.
Flake are character markings that appear in species having a heavy medullary ray growth—Oak, Lacewood, and Sycamore, for example—and are the result of quarter slicing through the medullary rays, which run like ribbons perpendicular to the grain.
Flat Cut is a method of producing veneer where a half log used and individual leaves of veneer are sliced parallel to the original cut, producing the easily recognized “cathedral” effect in the center of the leaf and straighter grain along the edges.
Flitch is bundle of veneer leaves sliced from a single log and arranged as they were cut from the log. Even within the same species, a flitch can vary in color, grain, figure, size (length and width of leaves) and yield (square footage).
Fumed veneers are steamed with ammonia to darken and “age” the wood. The color remains stable over time and with exposure to light. While almost any wood with tannins can be fumed, the process is especially well suited for Oak, Pine, Larch, Swiss Pearwood, and Douglas Fir.
Grain is formed by the tree’s annual growth rings—it’s tight in slow growing trees, widely spaced in fast growth, and variably spaced in trees that grow differently at different times of the year. In veneer, grain appears as the long lines that typically run parallel to each other down the length of the leaf or panel. Grain varies based on the specie, the way it’s cut, and whether or not the veneer is figured.
Gum Marks are natural character marks in the form of discolored patches or spots.
Half Round is a method of producing veneer where a half log is placed slightly off center in a rotary slicer and then cut slightly across the annual growth rings, producing a combination of rotary and flat-cut effects.
Interlocked grain is produced by trees that grow in a spiral (like the threads of a screw). Many tropical trees grow in this way and in some species, the spiral changes direction from year to year, producing an interlocked grain, noted for its light and dark patterns and lustrous surface. Most noticeable in quarter-cut veneers, this grain can produce ribbon stripe, mottled, curly, and fiddleback figures.
Irregular grain is produced when a tree swirls or twists in unexpected ways due to knots, burls, crotches, or branches.
Knots, Open are character marks that are produced when a portion of the wood substance of a knot has dropped out of the leaf.
Knots, Pin are character marks that are caused by knots smaller than ? inch, are not easily detectible and do not contain dark centers.
Knots, Tight are character marks that are caused by knots, are solid across their face and fixed by growth to retain their place.
Leaf refers to the single slice of veneer within the flitch.
LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a certification program for buildings and communities that guides their design, construction, operations and maintenance toward sustainability. It’s based on prerequisites and credits that a project meets to achieve a certification level: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. For more information reference the U.S. Green Building Council at www.usgbc.org.
Mineral Streak is a natural character mark in the form of a dark patches or discoloration caused by the presence of minerals in the soil from which the tree grew.
Medullary Rays are character marks that appear as “ribbons” running vertically through the tree, perpendicular to the growth rings, allowing the movement of sap. When veneer is quarter cut through the medullary rays, it produces a fleck pattern on veneer, mostly notably in White Oak.
Mottle figure is a wrinkled, blotch marking across the grain that is produced when wavy grain combines with a spiral. Broad cross markings produce a block or checkerboard pattern called block mottle. A small, fine, cross marking produces bee’s-wing mottle. The figure is common in Anegre, Makore, and Sapele, and may also occur in Mahogany, Koa, Bubinga, and Satinwood.
Panel Matching determines the way veneered panels are matched to each other. As a flitch is sliced, it produces leaves of veneer that vary in width. The way these leaves are assembled into faces for panels depends on which match is specified from most random to most symmetrical, these include running, balance, and center matches.
Peanut Shell figure occurs when quilted or blistered figured woods are rotary cut and produce a random, wild grain pattern. The figure appears bumpy and pitted, but is in fact flat. Tamo, Sapele, Makore, and Bubinga are the most common examples of this figure.
Pecky refers to elongated character markings caused by localized decay or infection of the growth rings, or as a result of localized injury (including bird pecks). They’re most evident when veneer is rotary cut following the growth rings and look somewhat like a sparse bird’s eye figure.
Pippy character marks identify veneer that looks like it has a case of the measles—with multiple tiny spots that dot the grain.
Plain Stripe figure refers to a straight, uniform, stripy effect with very little distortion. It’s the result of quarter slicing veneer that has a porous structure running parallel with the grain.
Pommele figure is blistering that looks like tiny apples dappled across the surface of the veneer—or like rain on a puddle. Its name comes from the French word “pomme” for “apple.”
Quartered is a method of producing veneer where individual leaves of veneer are sliced at a 90-degree angle to the growth rings, producing a striped, straight grain effect. In some species—most notably white oak—the quarter cut produces a flake pattern as a result of cutting through the medullary rays that radiate outward and run like ribbons perpendicular to the grain.
Quilted figure is a larger version of pommele or blister in which the blister is elongated and crowded, giving it a softly raised 3D effect. It is common in Maple, Mahogany, Moabi, and Sapele.
Random Matching occurs when leaves are placed as if randomly stacked, board by board—deliberately unmatched for color and grain and then randomly spliced edge to edge. Random matching tends to result in a casual or rustic feel and are an excellent way to use flitches with short leaves or to capitalize on flitches with inconsistent width, color, or grain.
Rapidly Renewable building materials, as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council, are products made from plants that are typically harvested within a ten-year cycle or shorter.
Raw Veneer is wood veneer sliced from the log in various methods, dried and used as a natural and sustainable product in a wide array of industries. With a history dating back to the Egyptians, veneer has enriched architectural projects for centuries. Only logs with specific characteristics are selected to produce veneer – it is estimated that less than 5% of all logs harvested are of veneer quality.
Reconstituted veneers are rotary cut from a fast-growing secondary specie, and then dyed, layered, laminated, and laid up with grain that replicates a natural species. They are extremely consistent in grain and color, available in standard sizes that simplify planning, and are an environmentally friendly wood product.
Reverse Slip Matching results when alternating leaves of veneer are slid or “slipped” across each other and every other leaf is flipped end to end. Reverse slip matching creates an alternating grain pattern that breaks up the repetitive “marching” pattern of the slip match. It balances the character of the veneer in the face and is often used where curved shapes might cut off the grain in peculiar ways.
Ribbon Stripe figure appears as a slightly twisted ribbon—something between a broken stripe and a plain stripe—and is found in some quarter-cut veneers.
Rift Cut is a method of producing veneer where a quartered oak log (the only specie that is rift cut) is sliced about 15 degrees off the quartered position to avoid the flake pattern common in quartered oak. Rift cutting produces a tight, straight, comb-grain effect.
Ropey figure, also known as “broken stripe,” produces a twisted grain, all in one direction, creating the appearance of a rope in quarter-cut veneer.
Rotary Cut is a method of producing veneer where a full log is turned in a lathe while the blade peels a continuous sheet of veneer along the annual growth rings. The effect produces wide sheets of bold, variegated grains.
Running Panel Matching is the most economical face match. Each face is assembled from as many veneer pieces as necessary. The pattern starts on one side of the panel and leaves are added next to each other until the edge of the panel is reached. A natural change in width of leaves is common and acceptable. Horizontal grains are not matched. The effect is non-symmetrical, more noticeable in some species and cuts than others. Panels are rarely sequenced and numbered for adjacent use.
Rustic veneer refers to the appearance of natural marks and irregularities in the wood that are the result of a tree’s specie, growth pattern, and unique history.
Rustic Knotty figure is generally straight grained with knotty characteristics that include splits, checks, nail holes, and occasional discolorations that reflect its history and give the wood a rustic feel.
Samples of veneer are taken uniformly from a log/flitch to give a representation of the considered material. Samples can come in many forms – actual leaves untrimmed and unfinished, digital photos, or panels using the raw leaves with finished or unfinished surfaces for use in reviewing project designs.
Sequencing is a process where a set of veneer sheets that have been sliced are stacked in the order in which they were cut from the log. The number of sheets in a sequence varies by species, cut, grain-orientation, or yield of the log.
Showing is a process of reviewing the actual log bundles on-site at the supplier. Dooge Veneers encourages scheduling on-site reviews with one of our experts to ensure your project veneer meets client expectations.
Slip Matching results when consecutive leaves of veneer are slid or “slipped” across each other side by side creating a repeating grain pattern across the panel. Common in quarter and rift-cut veneers, slip matching produces a pleasing, repeating grain. Because all leaves are similarly oriented it minimizes the “barber pole” phenomenon resulting in fairly uniform color because leaves are positioned to have the same light-reflecting properties.
Spalting character marks appear as unique coloration and pattern and are caused by fungi in dead or stressed trees—primarily Maple, Birch, and Beech. The pattern of lines where competing fungi meet is often combined with streaks of black, pink gray, and more. Spalted wood is highly sought after by woodworkers.
Special Matching can be used with veneers to create unusual, decorative, or bordered patterns. Often highly decorative special matches can be accomplished in a variety of ways —diamond, reverse diamond, V-match, herringbone, and more.
Specification is the written technical requirements that complement the architect/designer drawings. Specifications outline particular elements and materials to be used to ensure the end product matches client expectations and expand upon the provisions in the construction agreement.
Spiral grain pattern is created naturally when a tree twists as it grows—due to stress, prevailing winds, obstacles, or other reasons. Wood fibers are oriented at an angle to the annual growth rings, creating a spiral pattern.
Straight grain is patterns with lines that run parallel to each other and to the tree’s trunk.
Steamed veneers are certain light-colored woods that are steamed with hot water, producing a soft, pink color in the wood; the longer it’s steamed, the deeper the color. Sycamore, Beech, and select other light-colored woods can be acquired in steamed veneer.
Veneer Grade is an industry standard rating used to indicate the veneer’s value and potential uses. Grading starts with an evaluation of the length and widths of the flitch. Longer and wider flitches are typically graded for architectural use, mid-range for doors, shorter lengths for furniture.
Veneer Matching determines how individual veneer leaves are laid up in a panel. There are several ways to match the veneer for its intended use and look including book, random, slip, reverse slip and special matching.
Vintage (Reclaimed) veneers are sliced from the reclaimed hand-hewn beams of old barns, farmhouses and other structures. This rustic looking veneer is intended for use in random matched sequences.
Wavy grain pattern is produced when wood fibers run up and down the tree in a wavy pattern rather than in straight lines. A fairly rare pattern, it’s most clearly seen in flat-cut veneers and often, but not always, results in a curly figure.
Wormy character marks are numerous elongated "spots" interspersed where the wood has been eaten away by boring insects (generally beetles). Sometimes the holed is filled in by natural processes, leaving elongated, worm-shaped discolored areas. In many trees, wormholes are more likely in the sapwood than in the heartwood.