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Veneer is a thin sheet of wood that's been sliced, peeled or sawn from a piece of lumber. Because the sheets are so thin, veneers make the most of some of the most exotic and beautiful wood in the world.
Highly figured veneers can turn simple woodworking projects into works of art and breathe new life into your cabinetry or furniture. We offer a large selection of wood veneers at Rockler, as well as the tools and accessories you'll need to complete your project. Here's a quick rundown of key things to know about veneer:
Sequencing: When sheets of veneer are cut from the log in succession and kept together in order. Allows sheets to be arranged to create stunning symmetrical patterns.
Faces: Typically, one side of the veneer will be smoother than the other. Whenever possible, glue with the the rougher side down.
Substrate: The surface – for large surfaces, often a dimensionally stable material such as plywood, MDF or particleboard – to which veneer is glued.
Backer veneer: On panels, you'll need to apply veneer to both sides to balance the stress caused by seasonal wood expansion and contraction; otherwise, your panel will warp. The backer veneer can be a less expensive species if won't be visible.
Cutting: A sharp utility knife works, or a special veneer saw can be used. A straightedge also will come in handy.
Glue: Regular yellow wood glue works well, but hide glue also could be used. Some veneers come with a peel-and-stick adhesive backing already applied. When gluing sheets of veneer next to each other for a large panel, use special veneer tape to keep the edges together.
Smoothing: Use a roller or a veneer smoothing blade to make sure you have tight adhesion between the veneer and the substrate.