VENEERS GLOSSARY


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Air Drying: Earlier the most usual method of drying veneers. These were placed as single or double leaves in so-called stacking carriages and were dried completely without any technical aids or fan. Very time-consuming. Natural drying has been replaced by jet drying.

Air-Dried Lumber: Solid wood which has been air dried without kiln drying.

Architectural Grade: Top quality log and veneer length over 2.65 m.
Backing: The lowest grade veneer which is generally only used yetas cross-band veneers or for non-visible surfaces. Sold generally by the ton.

Backing Board: The boards which remain after slicing wood. Much appreciated as solid wood because these generally include the standing years and thus are relatively free of tension.

Birdseye: The term given to eye-shaped marking of the veneer, especially in the case of Birdseye Maple.

Block Mottle Figure: An irregular form of figuring which runs over the complete surface of the veneer.

Blue Stain: Blue stains on the surface of the veneer which occur through insufficient water extraction when slicing (too low heating capacity on the pressure bar or when slicing too fast) because water remaining on the surface of the veneer turns blue through oxidation.

Book: The most commonly used term for a bundle of veneer, especially by carpenters. This term comes from the veneer leaves following one after the other like pages in a book.

Book Match: A procedure in the further processing of veneers by which the successive veneer leaves are glued alternately with the front and rear side to retain a mirror-inverted sequence.

Buckle: Corrugation caused in the veneer leaf when drying as a result of different drying runs and irregular annual ring development within the veneer leaf.
The veneer has to be flattened again to make the veneer saleable.

Bundle: Cut bundles of veneer generally containing 24 or 32 consecutive leaves in cutting sequence.

Burl: A term for veneers which are produced from the burr or burl formation. Differentiation is generally made between burl or burr growth above ground (Elm, Ash, Oak) and root burl or burr growth which develops below ground in the root (Californian Walnut, Madrona, Vavone, Myrtle).

Burl-Log: Term used for a burly trunk, log or veneer cut.

Butt: The bottom end of a log or veneer frequently featuring coarse annual ring development and undesired color variations caused by its rootstock.


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Canker: A disease of the European Oak which destroys the structure in the veneer and appears as open defect in advance stadium. Very difficult to recognize in the bark.
Cathedral Structure: Much sought after structure in crown cut bundles. Considered to be very elegant.

Chatter Marks: Deviation in veneer thickness caused through vibration of the veneer block on the slicing machine or by wrong pressure setting on the machine, showing on the veneer leaf as regularly distributed cross running strips. The veneer block vibrates when the log is not firmly clamped flat on the cutting table.

Clipping: The clipping of veneers on the veneer cutter whether the veneers are in their initial or in final production.

Cluster: Only partially burled logs.

Complete Flitch or Flitch Stock: Veneers which are not only produced from one log but where all leaves remain in their exact original log sequence.

Compression Wood, Pressure Wood: The zones given in soft wood through irregular annual ring structure which are particularly hard and, therefore, cause difficulties when slicing the veneer.

Condensate: The tannic acid which is yellow in color and deposits on the surface of the veneer when it is dried too sharply.

Cross-Grain: Buckling of the veneers given through irregular growth or through logs under high tension. It shows itself also as darker coloring down the annual rings.

Crotch: Crotch veneer figuring sometimes termed "curl" which is manufactured from the intersection of the limb or branch with the main trunk. The quality is all the better the more precise and distinct the curl or crotch and feather are.

Crown Cut: The first bundles from a log when sliced over the heart. Produces the so-called cathedral structure.

Curl: see Crotch

Curly Fishbone Figure: Typical figure development especially in beech which is generally considered to be degrading.

DIN:
The standards valid in Germany for the production of veneer. The standard thicknesses are laid down therein.

Divider: A strip of wood placed between the veneers to increase the strength of a pallet or to ensure the stability of the flitches stacked in log-form. Also separates the different logs from each other.

Discoloration: Undesirable color variations in the veneer, e.g. green stripes in European Cherry.

Drier Prints: Black patches are given on the surface of the veneer caused by defective, uncleaned or unserviced drier belts. These black patches cause problems when sanding and treating the surface of veneers.

Door Length: Log and veneer lengths between 2.05 m and 2.40 m required by the door industry.



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Egg Shape: A structure in the crown cut bundle desired by the piano industry. Required by them for the fronts and lids of their instruments.
 
Figur, Fiddleback, Fiddle: Clearly visible and more or less regular streaks running across the grain in different species of wood (e.g. in Sycamore, Macoré, Pear Tree, Ash). The more regular these streaks are the more valuable the veneer.

Fingered Heart: Irregularly developed heart.

Flares: Irregular veneer marking which generally is not desired.

Flake: The typical figuring of wood when the pithrays are cut across, i.e. at an angle of 180 degrees when slicing. This is particularly strongly pronounced in Oak.
It is generally considered as inferior veneers except from Brown Oak, Silky Oak or Plane for example, where this figuring is in special demand.

Flashy Look: Expression for irregularly alternating spiral grain which causes more or less irregular markings in the veneer. Especially found in Black Cherry veneers.

Flat Cut: see Crown Cut

Flitch: see Log-End

Four Piece Match: Special method used for burl veneers to produce highly decorative surfaces and patterns. Four veneer leaves in succession are turned twice and folded up once.

Furniture Grade: Veneer differing in length from 1.00 m to 4.00 m within one log which can be worked by the living room furniture industry.



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Grading: Quality-related grading of veneers and the pricing of the various grades.

Grading Price: Price determination for a veneer log.

Gum: Black spots or patches which can occur in Black Cherry veneer. They are not arranged in a regular pattern but can be positioned quite differently from one veneer leaf to the next.

Half Round Cut: Type of conversion on the stay-log machine. Also called eccentric peeling.

Hairs: Fine hair streaks which particularly occur in Pear and Maple. They can be distributed over the entire surface of the veneer and are considered to be degrading in quality.

Heavy Textured: The annual ring structure of fast growing trees which produce the undesirable coarse marking in the veneer.

Heart: The term used for the core wood area in veneer which is different in color to the remaining part of the veneer leaf.

Horizontal Slicer: A slicing machine on which the counter movements of the log and knife are horizontal.


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Ingrown Bark, Inbark: Bark occurring especially in burl or burr logs within the heart wood which has been overgrown.
 
Jet Drier, Mesh Belt Jet Veneer Drier: Veneer drying machine which dries the veneer in a continuous operation using hot air.
 
Kiln: Equipment for artificial drying of solid lumber with the help of computer-control.
 
Kiln-Dried Lumber:
Solid wood which has been artificially dried in a kiln.
 
Knot, Defect:
Overgrown branch which leaves a clearly distinct bark pattern. The earlier the tree has got rid of its branch the less visible is this characteristic in the bark.



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Light Scratch: Very fine knife scratch which disappears from the veneer when the surface is sanded and as a result does not degrade the veneer.

Leaf: Veneer leaf

Log: The section of a tree that can be sawn or used for veneer.

Log-End Flitch: Term used for a log or part of a log in log or veneer form.

Log Run Parcel: A completely converted log parcel which is offered and sold as veneer with all its grades included in it.

Lumber Logs: Sawing quality logs.

Lumber: Already converted solid wood.

Mild Texture: Very fine and slow growing wood which produces a beautiful, even marking in the veneer.

Minerals: Dark patches or pockets in wood, especially occurring in the American Oak.

Miscut: Veneer defect caused in the processing, generally leading to fluctuating veneer thicknesses.

Number of Leaves: The number of veneer leaves in a bundle; generally 24 or 32 leaves.



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Open Defect: Faults in veneer which produce holes.

Panel Length: Log and veneer lengths between 2.65 m and 3.20 m required by the paneling industry. Quality generally not as good as bedroom furniture length.

Parcel: A quantity of veneer prepared for the customer, often sorted into uniform qualities.

Partial Burl: see Cluster

Pepper: The thin black knots in yew veneer which are the typical figuring of yew veneer. The more pepper there is and the more regular this pepper is distributed over the surface the more valuable the veneer.

Pin Knot: Fine, overgrown pin knots which can only be seen with great difficulty on the bark. Appears as a black streak at the end of the log.

Pommele: Comes from the French word "Pommelé" (Pomme = Apple). The term given to a regular veneer marking which resembles apples.

Pressure: Slicing fault which occurs when the gap between the knife and the pressure bar is too small or too large to clear the veneer. Different thicknesses are given and to some extent bad cuts, too.

Pressure Bar: The bar opposite the knife. The gap between the knife and pressure bar is slightly narrower than the thickness of the veneer to generate the necessary counterpressure for a smooth cut.

Press Drier: In this equipment the veneers are pressed between large rotating drums in addition to running through the jet drier to avoid waviness.



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Quartered: Conversion of veneer logs which have been quartered. Produces quarters and half crowns.

Quarters: The bundles from a log which are given after opening the flitch (and, sometimes, cutting out of the heart) where the annual rings are cut radially at an angle of 90 degrees by the knife.
Typical stripy structure of the veneer.
 
Resin Pockets: Resin pockets in softwood which produce holes in the veneer and are thus degrading.

Rift: Quartered veneer flitches converted on the stay-log machine thus resulting in broad quarters being in sequence.

Rift, also Faux-Quartier: Quartered flitches which are sliced on the knife in a normal way. It produces half crown and quarters.

Rotary Slicer: Veneer cutting machine on which the log is clamped centrally when brought up to the knife while rotating so that the veneer leaves are peeled off spirally. Used for almost all burl veneers, Birdseye Maple or Birch.

Root Burl: see Underground Burl

Rough Cut: When slicing veneers rough patches are caused in the surface because of bad clamping of the log, setting the machine wrongly or by too strong fluctuations in texture.
The cause can also be that the flitch is not hot enough.



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SAP: The outer cell layer of the wood between bark and heartwood. The supply of water and nutrients to the tree is only through the outer row of sap cells. The remaining layers of cells in the sapwood only serve to store water. Color offset in sapwood. The sapwood is cut away in veneers.

Scratch: A notch which runs across the veneer leaf caused by a faulty knife. Typical slicing fault which makes the further use of the veneer questionable. Fine knife scratches are eliminated by grinding the knife.
  Sequence: The sequence of veneer leaves within a bundle and the complete log.

Single Bundles: Bundles of veneer taken out of their regular sequence within the log so that the sequence is no longer given. Generally lower qualities or quarters.

Shake: Cracks in the lumber which follow the course of the annual rings. Part of trunks with this defect are not suitable for producing veneer or sawn timber.

Short Length: Log and veneer between 0.80 m and 2.00 m in length.

Slab, Offcut: First side board of the round trunk which is cut off when preparing for slicing, generally used for firing or as waste wood.

Slip Match: A method of further processing veneers by which the consecutive leaves are only glued with the front side.

Stacked in Log Form: The presentation of veneers stacked in their original log form.

Stain: Color changes in the log when same has been stored too long. Direct radiation from the sun or too dry an atmosphere furthers this development. This is why logs for storage are waxed on the ends or sprinkled with water to avoid this development.

Starter Bundles: The first bundles cut from a log.

Stay-Log: Special veneer cutting machine in which the line of cut sweeps across the growth rings in a circular direction to give eccentric cutting.

Stripy: More or less clearly contrasting color stripes in the veneer which are generally considered as degrading. Known above all in the European Oak.

Sugar, Hairs: see Hairs



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Tan Bark: Water containing tannin acid in Oak logs which causes very dark coloring. Moreover, Oak bark is also not suitable for mulching because of its high tannin acid content.

Tension: Differences in density occur in a trunk through different growth zones and growth speeds (weatherside) which can lead to tension in the log. When a tree is felled cracking as a result of tension can occur making its use as veneer questionable. Problem especially with Beech.

Tegernsee Custom: A recognized standard work used by the wood industry in Germany in which the general regulations for the sawing and veneer industries are laid down (i.e. quality designations for sawn timber, tolerances regarding veneer thickness and leaves with defects, etc.).

Thick Cut: Veneers which are produced in other thicknesses than those laid down in the DIN Standard.
Usual thicknesses are 0.9 mm, 1.2 mm, 1.5 mm, 2.0 mm and 2.5 mm. Larger thicknesses are usually produced as sawn veneers, i.e. cut on the block bandsaw.

Top End: Top end of a log (trunk or veneers).

Top Grade Log: Used to express a particularly high quality of a log.

To Grind The Knife: Small nicks and burrs on the knife blade are made smooth by using a grindstone.

To Handle: Clipping and bundling of veneers after drying in preparation for sale. Also cutting out defects and clipping to length.

To Split, To Open: The cutting out of the heart of a log when defects or rough patches occur during slicing.

To Sort, To Grade: Cutting a log to the required length and/or the desired method of slicing.

Tree Burl: Burl wood in which the burl is developed above ground in the tree. Such burls are Oak, Ash, Poplar, Elm.

True Quarter: The cutting of the log into four quarters. In the case of Oak this gives a higher portion of veneers with fine flakes. However, the yield is generally smaller than when converting in other ways.

Turning Veneers, Slip Veneers: The presentation of a log which is shown bundle by bundle.

Twist: Spiral-shaped growth of a tree caused by external influences, for example, wind. Slicing problems can occur through the annual rings breaking away from each other thus causing open spots where the spiral grain is strongly twisted.


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Underground Burl: Burl log where the burl development is in the root and the burl is either completely or partially under the ground. These logs have to be dug out to obtain them, an operation which is generally done by hand in order not to damage high quality burls. Underground burls are Myrtle, Walnut, Maple and Vavone or Redwood Burl.
 
Vat: The pit used for steaming or cooking logs. Earlier it used to be brick-built, today such vats are generally lined with steel or aluminum to make the pit more durable.

Vertical Slicer: Vertical slicer on which the log and knife counter movements are carried out vertically.

Void of Grain: Broad, structureless areas in crown cut bundles between their annual rings if the latter are coarse.
 
Wavy Grain: Wavy marking of the veneer which is given through such annual rings.

Wrapping: A process to "wrap" three-dimensional areas (profiles, curved edges, etc.) with veneers. To some extent this has replaced the molded edges made of solid wood.

Wrong Pricing: Price assessment of a log which is not conform with market prices.
 
Yellow Gum: Yellowish brown patches in American Black Cherry, which are considered to be degrading because they are still visible after surface treatment.
©2008 Industrial Plywood, Inc.