According to the Fine Hardwood Veneer Association (FHVA), veneering is nearly as old as civilization. “Exquisitely designed and skillfully crafted pieces of furniture with exotic veneer inlays and plywood components found in the tombs of pharaohs are testimony to the lasting value of one of nature’s most reliable natural resources—hardwood...”

Certain species, selected for strength rather than beauty, are usually used for plywood inner layers and rotary cut. Veneer is peeled off a log in continuous sheets. For the production of face veneer, logs are chosen for their size, color and natural color marks.

Cutting is the central operation in a veneer factory. Two logs of the same species, but with their veneers cut differently, will display entirely different visual characteristics. Depending on the species and special character grain desired, a vertical slicer or half-round rotary saw is used. Each produces veneer sheets collected in consecutive order no wider than the log’s diameter.

Face veneers are made in many thicknesses and are normally available from 1/16” to 1/125” (1.6 to 0.20 mm). With modern technology, craftsmen are able to use thinner and thinner layers, which helps conserve hardwood species.
After cutting and curing to obtain the desired color, veneers are dried, sampled and packaged for shipment or storage.

Buyers usually look at representative sheets from many flitches (a longitudinal section of a log) and then make their selection based on several factors—color, price, yield, etc.

Lot or Running Match: Lot or running matched panel faces consist of an odd or even number of veneers. All veneers are arranged in proper flitch sequence from the edge of the first panel. Any portion of a veneer left over is used as the first veneer on the next panel.

Balance Match: These panel faces consists of any number of pieces of veneer of equal width arranged in proper sequence from the flitch. Edge veneer may be slightly narrower due to trimming.

Center Match: Center matched panel faces consist of an even number of pieces of veneer of equal width with one veneer joint in the center of the panel. Edge veneers may be slightly narrower with trimming.

End Match: End-matched panel faces are balance- or center-matched and also vertically end-matched for continuity of vertical, as well as horizontal matching. This match is often used when panel requirements exceed flitch length

©2008 Industrial Plywood, Inc.