Depending on how a log is cut, strikingly different visual effects can be achieved with the wood’s grain and characteristics. This is part of the beauty of working with hardwood veneer – that two logs of the same species, cut in different ways, can produce veneers that are distinctively different.
There are five principle methods of cutting veneer.
|Quarter Slicing||Plain Slicing (Flat Cut)||Rift-Cut|
|Achieves a straight grain appearance by slicing approximately perpendicular to annual growth rings.||Sliced parallel to center of log to achieve flat-cut veneer. “Cathedrals” are formed by innermost annual growth rings as veneer is cut through the flitch.||Produced from various species of oak, which has medullary ray cells that radiate from the center of a log like curved spokes of a wheel. This straight grain cut is at a slight angle to medullary rays to minimize ray fleck (flake).|
|Rotary Slicing||Half-Round Slicing|
|Produced by centering log in a lathe and turning it against a broad cutting knife set into a log at a slight angle. Can be sufficiently wide to provide full sheet (one piece) faces.||Cutting on an arc roughly parallel to the center of a log to achieve flat-cut veneer. “Cathedrals” can have more rounded tops since grain is formed by innermost growth rings as veneer is cut through the flitch.|