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Wood Veneer Figures:

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In wood, figure refers to the appearance of designs in the wood. The figure's design is determined by the way the wood grew and was sliced. The variety of figures that are found in wood veneers fall into several major categories.

birdseye figure wood veneer clock

Burr veneer, the most sought after figure, is among the rarest and most beautiful figure patterns. Burls are composed of swirls of grain laced with circles of random cell growth, normally found on the root or trunk of a tree. As the tree grows the burrs grow with it, and the surrounding growth wood becomes wavy or twisted, resulting in very beautiful figure.

Quilted veneer has a figure with rolling iridescence in distinguished clusters, and bird's eye veneer has a pattern of small rounded spots, and is found almost exclusively in maple.

Curly veneer, one of the most common figure patterns, has cross-grain ripples of shimmer where cell orientation is uneven. Curl is formed from compression grain perpendicularly crossing the face of a board, which produces alternate stripes of hard and soft board fiber. This phenomenon creates chatoyancy, the illusion of a three-dimensional surface. Curly figure is commonly found in maple and birch.

Fiddleback Veneer, a higher density of the same figure found in curly woods, is highly sought after. It is a form of curly figure exposed by quartersawing. This figure gets its name from being used for the backs of violins, traditionally made of European sycamore. It is can also sometimes be found in maple, khaya, koa, and others.

Spalted figure, also known as Ambrosia figure, has dark lines typically caused by fungus and insects, and is very rare in veneer form. The density of the figure pattern depends on the degree to which the wood was infested. Ambrosia maple is also called "ghost" maple, since it looks like ghosts are suspended in the board with the larvae tunnels looking like eyes.

Crotch veneer has very high shimmer; sliced where the tree has forked in two directions. crotch, flame a typically Y-shaped pattern formed where a branch joins the trunk of a tree. Rooster-tail, Burning bush, flame, feather, and plume are all varieties of crotch figure. Mahogany and walnut are the best sources of crotch figure veneers.

Mottled Veneer has angular rays of shimmer with sharp edges. It shows luminous colours that seem to change when seen from different angles. Pommele veneer, pronounced 'pom-el-ay,' resembles rain drops cascading down a window. It has an eye catching effect when finished. Blistered veneer is similar to pommele, but with a slightly larger figure and slightly less shimmer. It is common in sapele and rare in other woods.

Quartersawn is a type of veneer cut in which wood is sliced to yield a very straight grain. Some veneer species will show shimmering flecks of light. The flat-cut veneer type is a traditional cut which creates a "cathedral" grain, and is often compared to the look of solid lumber.

We have over 200 varieties of wood to work with at Oakwood Veneer Company. Order online or call us at 0-800-012-4201 to place your order.

Helpful Application Hints

Veneer Acclimation

Spray Adhesive Coverage Chart

Special Installation Reminders

Contact Cement Troubleshooting

Pressure Sensitive Veneer Application
Our one page document describes the best methods we've found for this veneer:

PSA Veneer Application Guide

Iron On Veneer / PVA Glue Method
10 mil and even raw veneer can be applied with white or yellow PVA glue and a standard household iron. Here's how to do it.

Iron On Veneer / PVA Glue Method

How is Veneer Made and Matched?
Many visitors wonder how veneers are created so we have included information for you. If you have other questions, contact us and we will cheerfully answer them.

How Veneer is Cut

Veneer Matching Techniques

Glossary of Veneer Terms

If there's a term you don't understand, here's the place to look it up:

Glossary of Veneer Terms

Learn how wood veneer is made

Watch a two minute movie to learn more about the veneer process. Play

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Have questions? Information about our company and basic veneering techniques are in our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

We have a wealth of experience to share with you. Don't hestitate to contact us by phone, letter or email with your veneer and veneering questions. For technical answers, email tech@oakwoodveneer.co.uk.

Download our Installation Guide
Much of the information on the above pages is contained within our Installation Guide, a 274k Portable Document Format (PDF) file which you are welcome to download and print. This file can be opened by most Browsers and Acrobat Reader™ which is available free from Adobe Systems.

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Information on some of our other veneers:
Alder VeneerBeech VeneerBirch (Red) VeneerBirch (White) VeneerBubinga VeneerButternut VeneerCherry VeneerCypress VeneerDouglas Fir VeneerCarpathian Elm BurrHickory VeneerJatoba VeneerLacewood VeneerMadrone VeneerMakore VeneerMaple VeneerPadauk VeneerPearwood VeneerPurpleheart VeneerRed Oak VeneerSapeli VeneerSycamore VeneerTeak VeneerWalnut VeneerWenge VeneerWhite Oak VeneerZebrano Veneer

Oakwood Veneer Company - An American company serving the UK, Europe and Beyond!
Corporate Address: 1830 Stephenson Highway, Suite A, Troy, MI 48083 USA
UK Mailing Address: Oakwood Veneer Company - Unit 262 P.O. Box 6945 London, W1A 6US

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