A guide to the various cutting methods that are used to produce wooden veneers

Many of today’s wooden products are not made of solid wood. These products may have a natural veneer of wood that covers a structure which is made from cheaper or stronger materials. This can be for a variety of reasons including cost, stability or weight. Common veneered products are doors, cupboards and tables. Modern timber doors use a face veneer to attach to a core material. It can either be stronger, more stable, or lighter than traditional solid timber. There are two core materials: engineered wood which can be manufactured to perform better and is more durable than natural wood. And polystyrene which is lightweight and waterproof. Doors and other furniture pieces, even though they are made of veneers, can still be traditional and beautiful while still using modern production techniques.

Veneers are an ancient technique. They were first used in Ancient Egyptian times. It is usually a thin layer made of natural wood that is fitted to a core. The product should have the appearance of solid wood. Veneers may then be lacquered or varnished in the same way that solid timber.

Natural wood veneers usually are made from very thin sheets of tree trunks. This is done using a certain method. The veneer’s grain pattern will be affected by the method used to cut the sheets. If different matching or cutting methods are used, trees that are identical can appear very different.

Some cutting methods are more economical than others. This will influence the oak veneer internal doors price of the veneer. Depending on how it was cut, the size of the sheets can vary.

Cut Method Names


This cut is also known as a crown and plain cut. It is perhaps the most popular cut used in woodworking. A log is cut in half. Veneer cuts are made parallel along a line through its centre. This will usually result in a variegated look on each sheet. These veneer pieces can then be matched easily to make larger sheets. These sheets usually have a straight pattern of grains with heart-shaped cathedrals and dome shapes. The log’s size will dictate the sheet width that can be produced. This method produces veneers with moderately high prices.

Quarter cut

The quarter-cut method starts by cutting the log in quarters rather than halving. The veneer sheets can be cut using a blade that is aligned with the growth rings of the log. This method uses more wood, and produces smaller sheets than other cutting techniques. This can result in it being more expensive. Quarter-cut veneers are often striped, with some straight lines and others more varied depending upon the species of wood. Mahogany, teak, or oak are all woods commonly cut this way.

Rotary cutting

A log must be mounted in the centre of a lathe. As a veneer slice is removed from it, the lathe rotates. This method produces large single sheets of veneer with a varied grain pattern. Veneer cut with a Rotary Cut can often be used as a single sheet. It can have a random pattern, making it difficult to match pieces. This method cuts the logs most efficiently and with minimal waste.


The half-round is a combination of flat and rotating cutting. A log is split in half and then cut on an arc parallel towards its centre. This produces wider sheets that you’d get with flat-cut logs, so smaller logs can still be used. The cathedrals are similar to flat-cut patterns but have rounded tops.


A veneer cut using the traditional rift-cut technique will typically be the most costly. This is because the wood that is not used is often wasted. This method is commonly used to cut oaks. The finished grain pattern is typically straight and similar to what you would get from a quarter cut. To make this cut, a quarter of a log is cut and the angle of the cutting blade is changed periodically so that it remains approximately 15 degrees below the quarter. This creates a comb-effect grain pattern in oak by cutting at an angle of 15 degrees.

The lengthwise cutting is the method by which a flatboard of sawn lumber is cut into thin pieces. This creates sheets with a variegated grains pattern. The thickness of the sheets depends on the type of board used.

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