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Veneer Cutting Methods

Five principle cutting methods are used to produce different visual effects from the wood species. Logs of the same species, cut by the different methods, will produce veneers with an entirely different look.

Rotary Cut

Flat Sliced

Quarter Sliced

Rift Cut

Half-Round Sliced
ROTARY
CUT
FLAT
SLICED
QUARTER SLICED RIFT
CUT
HALF-ROUND
CUT
The log is mounted centrally in the lathe and turned against a razor sharp blade, like unwinding a roll of paper. Since this cut follows the log's annular growth rings, a multi-patterned grain marking is produced. Rotary cut veneer is exceptionally wide. The half log, or flitch, is mounted with the heart side flat against the flitch table of the slicer and the slicing is done parallel to a line through the center of the log. This produces a distinct figure. The quarter log or flitch is mounted on the flitch table so that the growth rings of the log strike the knife at approximately right angles, producing a series of stripes, straight in some woods, varied in others. Rift cut veneer is produced in the various species of Oak. Oak has medullary ray cells which radiate from the center of the log like the curved spokes of a wheel. The rift or comb grain effect is obtained by cutting at an angle of about 15% off of the quartered position to avoid the flake figure of the medullary rays. A variation of rotary cutting. Segments or flitches of the log are mounted off center on the lathe. This results in a cut slightly across the annular growth rings, and visually shows modified characteristics of both rotary and plain sliced veneers.