Veneer Slicing

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.