FAQ veneer

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Veneer is this sheets or leaves or wood (0.3 to 6 mm), which are cut from the trunk or log by sawing, slicing or peeling. They are then glued onto a substrate. Substrate materials can be particleboard, MDF boards (= medium density fibreboards), multiplex boards or plywood.

Veneer is one of the finest things that can be made from wood. In previous ages, only kings, members of the nobility and rich members of society could afford veneered furniture. Today real wood is affordable for everyone.

The surface of veneered furniture is protected by lacquer, varnish, oil or wax. On the one hand, this protective layer emphasises the beauty of the wood, on the other hand it helps to maintain the durability and ease of care of the piece of furniture. It is fully sufficient to remove dust regularly by wiping it with a soft, dry cloth or a slightly moist, supple chamois in the direction of the wood grain. A little washing-up liquid can also be added to the water.

Prohibited are: Bleaching additives (e.g. lemon) and all other cleaning and scouring agents. Do not clean coated (lacquered or varnished) veneer surfaces with microfibre cloths. Liquids containing acid, e.g. fruit juices or alcohol, should be dabbed away and the surface then wiped down with a moist chamois.

Minor scratches and scuffs can easily be made good in veneer. They can be filled with hard furniture way in the shade of the wood and then coated with a matching lacquer or wood stain. Detached veneer can be glued back on with wood glue or a special adhesive.

Preserved objects and illustrations on tomb and ceramics enable us to follow the path of veneer from Egypt to Greece and the Roman Empire up to the Middle Ages. Veneer flourished in the Renaissance (from 1350 in Italy), in the Baroque and in the Rococo periods.

During those times, the production of even small quantities of veneer was so labour-intensive and time-consuming that this technique was solely used for decorative purposes and the objects produced were reserved for prosperous sections of society only.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the working methods for producing veneer were successfully mechanised. The transition from manual skilled craft to industrial production enabled veneering in large quantities. The first veneer factory in Germany was founded in 1843 in Freiburg. The present day veneer industry began with the start up of the first slicing machines in Hamburg (1870).

After the end of the Second World War, until the mid 1960s, veneer was the dominant surface material. The reason was the increased use of wood-based materials (especially particleboards) in the furniture, door and panel industry.

Nowadays pieces of veneered furniture are offered by almost all furniture stores, joiners, carpenters and cabinetmakers. They are affordable for all and brighten up millions of living rooms, kitchens, corridors and bedrooms with their unique surface.

  • Rotary peeling

  • Eccentric half-round peeling

  • Flat-cut slicing

  • True quarter slicing

  • Rift peeling

  • Quarter cut

  • Sliced false quarter

"Sustainability" - this keyword has recently become a very in word in many areas for companies and others who want to give themselves a clear image with regard to the environment. What is considered here to be a new topic has always been actively practiced by veneering companies: responsible handling of the environment. The German veneer industry considers itself to be responsible for the renewable raw material wood and for environmentally compatible wood harvesting on the basis of sustainable forestry.

Here the issues are not only the limited availability of raw materials or the impact of pollutants on the environment. Responsible handling of nature begins with the use of wood. Veneer is an extremely economic form of wood use: Around 300 sqm of furniture surfaces can be covered with the veneer from a tree trunk or log that is 2.40 m long and 0.50 m in diameter. In addition, virtually all the trunk parts produced during the wood harvesting are used in the substrates of veneer. The wood is therefore used optimally and (not only) perfectly in the interests of sustainability.

Due to its small thickness, veneer has little effect on the acoustic properties of a component or structural element and can therefore makes hardly any contribution to sound insulation. In general, if such requirements exist, drillholes or slots or chasing are made, distributed over the entire area, to increase the degree of absorption.

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