Oak veneered MDF has all the beauty of natural wood in a readily available format that is strong, durable and sustainable. By utilising different slicing and joining techniques, a range of beautiful effects are produced, which would be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve with solid wood. Oak veneered MDF wooden furniture consists of thin sheets of oak, which are bonded together, with the grain positioned at right angles over a thick core material.
The likelihood of cracks or splits is significantly reduced, when a crisscross design is implemented. The final result is stronger than ordinary wood, because the glue that is used in the process, is the same as that used in the construction of aircraft and marine design. Contrary to popular belief, veneers are used quite often in high quality pieces of furniture which can be more expensive than ordinary wood. It is a misconception that veneer is a substandard material compared to solid wood.
Theo’s Timber Ltd uses the finest cuts of oak veneer to produce a vast selection of oak veneered MDF that is suitable for a wide range of uses. Read on for a guide to the most common oak veneer cutting techniques and the effects that they produce.
Also known as lathe peeling, this cut is formed by placing a rotating log against a knife, the veneer is then peeled away as the log rotates. The cut follows the log’s growth rings to produce a long, continuous sheet with bold and unusual patterns. Rotary cutting has a benefit of being able to create sheets of veneer that are wide enough to produce full sheet faces.
Also known as cathedral cut, or plain sliced, crown cut veneer is produced by slicing the log in half, and then cutting the half log parallel to the centre. The final product has a combination of a cathedral pattern in the centre with a straight grain pattern to either side.
Utilising a similar technique to crown cutting, to produce a quarter cut veneer the log is first cut into quarters before slicing. Because slicing the log into quarters intersects the growth rings, this method provides a straight grain appearance.
With a method similar to the quarter cut, the log is first cut into quarters and then sliced at a slight angle, usually around 15 degrees. The result of this small variation in the angle of the slice is a veneer in which the comb grain or rift effect is enhanced, and the straightest possible grain is produced. A benefit of rift cut veneer is that because the grain is so straight it is very easy to match.
The result of a natural defect upon the tree, burrs are areas in which the grain has grown in an unusual manner such as in a number of small knots grouped together. Wood with burrs can create highly decorative veneer effects and is prized by furniture makers and sculptors. To produce burr veneer, the log is usually rotary cut for the best results.
Magnificent and Striking
Veneer is cut from the finest and most remarkable logs. This is based on economics, as traders and veneer manufacturers are able to make more profit from a top-quality log, which is sliced and made into veneer, compared to if they were to saw the log into planks. In addition to this, some cuts, for example ‘burls’ have a weak structure in their solid form. Hence, the best way to utilise these magnificent cuts of wood, is to make veneer out of them. Theo’s Timber Ltd, ensure that the finest cuts of veneer are used in their materials.
Oak Veneered MDF is kind to the environment
Timber which is sawed, is usually cut into boards that are one inch thick. The sawing process, creates a kerf in between each board, that’s one quarter on an inch thick and ends up as saw dust. Veneer is sliced using a knife, creating 1/32” sheets or leaves, and this creates 32 veneer surfaces, as opposed to the one plank, that you would get from a board using the same amount of raw material. There’s no waist and an additional eight veneer sheets are made where it would have been wasted as saw dust, if solid boards were being made.
Veneer allows the production of creations, that are not possible using solid wood
Arrangements and designs can be made using veneer, that would not be practical if solid wood was used, because its such a thin material and is glued together onto a stable substrate. All solid wood, regardless of if it has been kiln-dried or not, works or moves through the hot and cold seasons. For example, a glowing table top would not be practical in solid wood, as the seams swell firmly shut in the summer, and open up in the winter. Edge banding’s and aprons, which are known as cross grain designs, can not be made out of solid wood.
If you would like to learn more about oak veneered MDF, and how it can add remarkable aesthetic quality to your home or corporate environment, please feel free to get in touch with Theo’s Timber Limited, who will be happy to share their expertise with you.