This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Wood veneer" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (December 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Book matched strips of veneer prior to application to a base surface

In woodworking, veneer refers to thin slices of wood and sometimes bark that typically are glued onto core panels (typically, wood, particle board or medium-density fiberboard) to produce flat panels such as doors, tops and panels for cabinets, parquet floors and parts of furniture. They are also used in marquetry. Plywood consists of three or more layers of veneer. Normally, each is glued with its grain at right angles to adjacent layers for strength. Veneer beading is a thin layer of decorative edging placed around objects, such as jewelry boxes. Veneer is also used to replace decorative papers in wood veneer high pressure laminate.


Veneering dates back to at least the ancient Egyptians who used expensive and rare wood veneers over cheaper timbers to produce their furniture and sarcophagi.[1] During the Roman Empire, Romans also used veneered work in mass quantities.[2]


A continuous sheet of veneer coming out of a peeling rotary lathe

Veneer is obtained either by "peeling" the trunk of a tree or by slicing large rectangular blocks of wood known as flitches. The appearance of the grain and figure in wood comes from slicing through the growth rings of a tree and depends upon the angle at which the wood is sliced. There are three main types of veneer-making equipment used commercially:

Each slicing process gives a very distinctive type of grain, depending upon the tree species. In any of the veneer-slicing methods, when the veneer is sliced, a distortion of the grain occurs. As it hits the wood, the knife blade creates a "loose" side where the cells have been opened up by the blade, and a "tight" side.

Veneers are cut as thin as 0.64 mm (140 in). Depending on the cutting process used by the veneer manufacturer, very little wood is wasted by the saw blade thickness, known as the saw kerf. Some manufacturers use a very wide knife to slice off the thin veneer pieces. In this process, none of the wood is wasted. The slices of veneer are always kept in the order in which they are cut from the log and are often sold this way.

Historically, veneers were also sawn in approximately 3 mm (18 in) thick layers.[3]

Veneer falls within the category of natural materials, hence it is called natural veneer.

Types of veneers

There are a few types of veneers available, each serving a particular purpose.

See also


  1. ^ "What is a wood veneer?". Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  2. ^ MacDonald, Nancy (2013). Woodworking (2nd ed.). Cengage Learning. pp. 782–784. ISBN 978-1-285-70050-2. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  3. ^ DK Publishing (2010). Woodwork: A Step-by-Step Photographic Guide to Successful Woodworking. Penguin. p. 198.
  4. ^ "Glossary of Wood Veneer Terms".