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.
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.