Humble Abode —  November 17, 2010 — Leave a comment
Somerton Furniture's Crossroads collection. A beautiful example of inlaid veneer.

Somerton Furniture's Crossroads collection. A beautiful example of inlaid veneer.

One definition of veneer is a thin layer of material covering another for a more aesthetically pleasing surface. Most often, veneer refers to a thin piece of wood, usually less than 1/8” thick, applied to a panel of wood, MDF or a particle board. The veneer is glued to the panel or board creating a more desirable surface on the finished piece. Veneer has been used since the ancient Egyptians applied it to the furniture and sarcophagi used by the Pharaohs. Today, veneer is quite often used in furniture manufacturing, not only for the beautiful surface but also to save cost. Veneer is produced by extracting thin layers from a log. The logs are sliced against the growth rings of the wood. This process creates the appearance of a sawn piece of wood showing the beautiful inherent graining. One primary reason to use veneer is to get the most use out of a log, especially wood that is expensive or exotic. Examples of exotic woods are Purple Heart, Bloodwood or Cocobolo. Another reason for veneer use is the simple fact that it’s very difficult to get enough material to manufacture a solid piece of furniture. One example would be burl woods. Often burls are not large enough to make into planks. Making veneer from a burl provides enough material to a furniture manufacturer to cover a surface with the beautifully grained wood. Machinery today can slice wood for veneer at less than 1/32”, making the amount of wood that can be used from one log exponential as opposed to slicing the log for solid planks. It’s easy to see why using veneer would be especially advantageous when using rare or exotic woods. Another benefit of using a thin veneer is the flexibility. A thin piece of veneer is able to fit over curved surfaces without a break or having to join two pieces together that would create a seam. By using veneer, a furniture manufacturer is also able to create wonderful surface patterns that would be extremely difficult or impractical using solid boards. One outstanding example is Somerton Furniture’s Crossroads collection. This furniture collection with the lovely Prima Vera veneer inlaid between the Walnut veneers would be very difficult to achieve if the wood was solid.

Humble Abode


I am the Merchandise Manager for Humble Abode. I am located in Santa Rosa, California. Santa Rosa is approximately 60 miles north of San Francisco in beautiful Sonoma County, part of California's wine country. Humble Abode is an online retailer of furniture and furnishings offering a wide selection of furniture for sale to suit every taste and budget.

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