This page is intended to help de-code some of the lingo that we use in describing our custom woodwork, and to provide more information about wood and wood species. The illustrations and descriptions used in this section are from the 1st Edition of the “Architectural Woodwork Standards.”
Wood Veneer Table
Download the table below to see the characteristics of various species of wood. The table gives you an idea of the maximum possible size of various species’ veneer leaves as well as information about the relative cost and availability.
Veneer Slicing Methods
Once the veneer species has been chosen for a project, the next step is to determine the slicing or cutting method for the veneer. The way that veneer is cut off the log has a huge impact in the appearance of the veneer. Individual pieces of veneer that are sliced from a log are referred to as leaves. When slicing, the mill will keep the leaves in the order in which they are sliced, allowing for a natural grain progression when the veneer leaves are re-assembled. You may have heard the term, “flitch”. This is the group of leaves from a single slicing. Flitches are numbered and the square footage available in the flitch is tracked as well. Most veneer suppliers will enable you to view their selections of veneers – often online – and choose specific flitches for a project.
The images below descriptions of the various veneer slicing methods, as well as an illustration of the difference in the first three methods in red oak.
Matching of Veneer Slices
In addition to selecting a veneer specie and slicing method, it is common to specify the way that the slices of veneer will be matched to each other.
The most common methods of matching are the Slip Match and the Book Match. Slip matching is most often used with quartered veneers and book matching is generally used with plain sliced veneers. See the illustrations below for examples of these two types of matches.
Specialty or Sketch Matches
There are many types of specialty matches that can be used. The names of these may vary regionally, so if specifying a specialty match, it is helpful to have a visual reference. The downloadable document below shows several examples of specialty matches, and the photo below shows a table that we made featuring a reverse diamond match pattern.
If you would like to learn more about wood and woodworking, the document below lists some helpful websites.