Wood Veneering Misunderstood

Wood Veneering Misunderstood
What do you think of when you hear the word “veneer?”  If the term calls to mind furniture masterpieces with complicated marquetry designs or criss-crossing patterns of inlay, then you may think of wood veneering as an exalted technique reserved for only the most skilled woodworkers. On the other hand, if you were educated in the solid wood construction school of woodworking, you might think of veneering as low grade substitute for the “real thing.”

veneerThe truth is, neither view gives a very accurate picture of the craft. Veneering is simply a method for decorating the surface of one material with another more attractive material. In the hands of an expert, it can produce some of the most remarkable effects in woodworking, but there’s also plenty of room for beginners. Most veneering techniques, in fact, aren’t all that complicated, and with just a few hand tools and with a little know-how you can have perfect results right from the beginning.

The idea that no self-respecting woodworker would stoop to the “deceptive” practice of veneering is another unfortunate misconception. Veneered surfaces made with modern techniques and materials are every bit as durable and attractive as solid wood, and in many situations veneering offers considerable advantages over solid wood construction. Substrates for veneer, for example, can be chosen for their dimensional stability and other construction properties rather than their appearance.  And once they actually know a little about veneering, most woodworkers come to see it as a respectable and extremely useful technique.

Copyright © 2009, Rockler Companies, Inc.

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