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Glossary A to Z

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Solid wood that has been air-dried without using artificial drying aids.


Backing Boards

The flitch is clamped down on the slicer with hydraulic dogs or held by a vacuum table. A remaining piece of approx. 12,5mm (with dogs) or 7mm (w/vacuum table) thickness cannot be sliced. These leftovers are highly desirable solid wood boards, because they contain most standing years and are therefore relatively tension-free.

Backing Grade Veneer

Lowest quality category of veneer, usually only used for plywood or non-visible surfaces. Mostly sold per ton.


Exterior of the cambium.

Bark Pocket

Ingrown bark in veneer.

Bastard Quarter or False Quarter

Quartered flitches regularly processed on a slicer resulting in half crown and straight quarters.

Bird's Eye

Veneer pattern similar to eyes. Can be found in different species. Especially common is Bird's Eye Maple.

Block Figure

Irregular, broken figure in veneer.

Blue Stain

Blue stains caused by a chemical reaction of iron coming in contact with the tannic acid in the wood.

Book (= Bundle)

An expression mostly used by carpenters to describe a bundle of veneer sheets following each other as in a book.

Book Match

Adjacent pieces of veneer from a flitch or log are opened like a book and spliced to make up the face with matching occurring at the spliced joints. The fibers of the wood, slanting in opposite directions in the adjacent sheets, create a characteristic light and dark effect when the surface is seen from an angle.


A small bubble in the veneer caused by insufficient glueing.


Buckling of a veneer sheet caused by different tension in the wood.


Smallest sales unit.


Distortions in the grain of the wood occurring near a knot or crotch. Burls are usually small and characterized by eye-like markings surrounded by swirls and clusters.

Burl Veneer

Veneers produced from burl with mostly circular patterns.


Bottom part of a log.

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Active cellring between bark and wood.


Appearance in European Oak that shows in the veneer as a structural deficiency, in the advanced stage as open defects.


The clipping of veneer on the clipping line.


A partially curly appearance on veneer.

Coarse Grain

Fast growing wild grain.


Discoloration caused by fast and hot drying.

Core Veneer

Inner part of plywood.

Cross Cut

Runs perpendicular to the log axis, resulting in a cutting surface that shows the annual growing rings and medullary rays.

Crossfire, Figure, Fiddle Back

Figure extending across the grain such as fiddle back, raindrop, and mottle.

Cross Joint

Veneer sheets, spliced bookmatched in length and width.


Typical veneer picture produced from the top part of the trunk where the tree splits into branches creating a feather and swirl-like appearance.

Crown Cut Flat Cut

Bundles that are sliced across the heart resulting in a cathedral appearance.

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Standard guidelines for the industry in Germany.


Color variance in veneer.

Door Length

Log and veneer lengths between 2,05 m and 2,40 m that are used by door manufacturers.

Dosse (French)

Flat cut or crown cut.

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Edge Banding

A veneer application method where veneer is applied to molding or furniture edges.

End Stain

Discoloration starting at the log ends which can travel through the whole log if stored too long in direct sunlight or kept too dry.

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Face Veneer Grade

Better quality veneer used on a visible surface.


Grain configuration in crotch mahogany.


Description of a pattern in wood surfaces caused by annual growth rings, rays or knots, which result in irregular coloration and grain. Especially common in Black Cherry Veneer.

Fineline-Veneer (=Reconstitued Veneer)

Designer veneer; produced in a special manufacturing process, where peeled veneer is glued together flitch-style and then sliced afterwards.


Description of a part of a log in log or veneer form.


Log part prepared to produce veneer. After the slicing the veneer bundles are kept together in the form of a flitch.

Furniture Grade

Various lengths of veneer that is used by the furniture industry.

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Pricing of veneer.


Inclusions of black spots in Black Cherry veneer, which can be differently placed from sheet to sheet.


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Half Round Cut

Slicing of veneer on a Stay-Log machine. Also referred to as excentric peeling.


Wood usually coming from deciduous trees.


Center of the log. In the veneer business a description of the heartwood area that is differently colored.

Heart Split

Tension splits in the log center. The location of the split influences the flitch preparation. Veneer with heart split cannot be used.

Horizontal Slicer

A Slicing machine, with a horizontal counter movement of flitch/ knife.

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Small veneer strips used for optical partition of veneer surfaces or a unicolor or patterned veneer strip used as decorative edge trim.

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Jet Dryer

Veneer dryer using hot air in a continuous run-through operation. The air is distributed evenly across the veneer via jet and jet boxes.

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A computer-controlled drying chamber where lumber is dried as fast as possible in a desired climate.


Lumber dried in kilns.

Knife Honing

Small nicks and burrs on the knifeedge are smoothed out with a wetstone.

Knife Marks

Hard branches, bullets, nails, sand and stones can damage the knife in places, which shows a knife mark across the veneer sheet. If the mark can be felt, the slicer is stopped and the knife is honed or changed.

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Late Wood (Summer Wood)

Part of the annual growth ring that closes up during the last growth period, after Spring.


Veneer or sawable part of a tree.

Log Form

Presentation of veneer which was reassembled in form of the original log.

Log Preparation

Preparation of a log for veneer production (flitching), e.g. during the peeling and the cut-to-length process. Removal of the bark and maybe the splint. Dividing of the flitch in thirds or quarters to produce sliced veneer with certain textures.


Already processed generally edged lumber.

Lumber Logs

Saw quality logs.

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Veneer inlays to create pictures, designs or patterns for high quality services. Sometimes supplement materials such as metals, mother-of-pearl are used.

Marquetry Inlay

The assembly of small veneer pieces to create decorative patterns or pictures. Also see parquet-inlay.


Dark spots or streaks in wood, particularly in American Oak.

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Open and Closed Side of Veneer

With sliced and peeled veneer the open side is the side facing the knife and the closed side is the side facing the pressure bar.

Open Defect

Defects in veneer leading to holes. Open heart splits, rotten hearts and knots must be remnoved prior to splicing.

Open Veneer

Cracks in the veneer caused by incorrectly adjusted pressure.


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Panel Length

Logs and veneer between 2,65m and 3,20m long used by the panel industry.


Several logs sliced from one specie.


Small black pin knots in Yew, which is a typical characteristic of Yew veneer. The more and regular the pepper is spread on the surface, the higher the quality of the veneer.

Pin Knot

Small, often very hard branch, that leads to nicks on the knife. Especially with European Maple.


Derived from the French word "Pommelé" (Pomme = Apple), a description of a veneer pattern showing small blister figures in mahagony and sapele.

Press Dryer

In addition to the jet dryer the veneer is pressed between large rotating drums to avoid buckles.


This happens when the gap between knife and pressure bar is too narrow causing indifferent thickness.

Pressure Bar

The bar positioned opposite from the knife.

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Processing of veneer logs that have been quartered, resulting in quarter and half crown veneer.


Bundles produced after splitting the flitch and cutting the heart out, usually ending up with a straight grain appearance.



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Also called medullary, pith, or vascular rays, which are ribbons of tissue running radially through the wood at right angles to the axis of the tree.

Resin Pocket (or Pitch Pocket)

Pocket-shaped resin inclusions in softwoods causing open defects in the veneer.


Quarters produced on staylog machine.

Ring Shake

Separation of the wood along the annual growth ring. These log parts are not suited for lumber and veneer production.

Ropey or Twisted Grain

Caused by strong wind exposure, twisting the tree.

Rotary Cut

A veneer production method where an entire log is centered on a lathe and then continuously turned against a knife which is set into the log at a slight angle.

Rotary Peeled Veneer

Flitch is clamped down centrical and an endless veneer band peeled off. During the peeling process the knife block is pushed against the rotating flitch.

Rough Veneer

Rough spots on veneer caused by wrong pressure adjustment or a dull knife. Can also be caused by big changes in the wood structure.


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Sap Lighter

colored wood of the outermost growth rings of a tree stem that performs functions such as water conduction and storage of food.

Saw Veneer

Veneer produced by saw cut.

Screen Marks

Screen marks on the veneer surface, caused by faulty or incorrectly maintained dryer belts.


Sequentially sliced sheets from a flitch.


Different thickness regularly distributed as strips along the grain of the veneer sheet caused by a vibrating flitch on a slicer or an incorrect pressure adjustment of the machine.

Short Bundles

Short bundles = less than door length (2,05) m.


The presentation of veneer bundle by bundle.

Single Bundles

Single bundles that are taken out of a flitch. No sequence.


First board off of a log during flitch preparation or lumber cutting. Usually waste material.

Sliced Veneer

Single sheets are sliced off. Decorative, high quality. No cutting waste. A slow process in comparison to peeling. By properly preparing the log different designs can be achieved.

Slip Matched

A sheet from a flitch is slid across the sheet beneath and, without turning, spliced at the joints.

Slow Grown

A description of wood with small pores i.e. a fine cell structure. Also described as fine-structured.

Soft Textured

Mild, slow grown wood.


Wood derived from coniferous trees.


Sorting and pricing by quality.

Sorting (Log Yard)

Sorting incoming logs by size and desired slicing method.

Spring Wood or Early Wood

Early part of the growing season, has larger cells and lower density.

Starter Bundle

The first bundle of a flitch. These bundles usually show a flat cut pattern.

Stay-Log (half-round)

Special veneer cutting machine where a flitch is dogged to a beam and passed by a knife in a circular motion and thereby excentrically sliced.


Material that is surfaced with veneer (e.g. particleboard).

Sugar or Minerals

Appearance of spots or streaks in Maple or other species.

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Tapered Log

The log circumference reduces from butt end to crown.


Within a log there are different growth zones and growth speeds (weather side) where density differences can lead to tension in the log. During logging this tension can result in splits.


A term used in describing relative size and distribution of wood elements. In veneer coarse texture is associated with fast growth and difficult-to-cut wood whereby soft and fine texture is associated with slower growth, less summerwood, which results in wood that is easier to cut.


Top end of the log.

True Quarter Cut

A straight grain appearance caused by slicing perpendicular to the annual growth rings.


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A basin used for steaming or cooking logs. Formerly made of concrete, but in the last 20 years mostly made of stainless steel or aluminum for durability.


A thin sheet of wood used to cover the surface of furniture and architectural woodwork.

Veneer Slicing

Method of veneer manufacturing, where the veneer is sliced off of a flitch with a knife.

Veneer Thickness

In Europe and in the U.S. a thickness between 0,5 and 0,75mm is customary. In Asia mostly veneer between 0,2 and 0,3mm is being processed. Veneer between 1 and 3mm is usually called heavy cut. Larger thickness is produced in sawmills, i.e. cut by bandsaw.

Vertical Slicer

Slicing machine where the counter movement flitch/ knife is done vertically.

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Wood Cells

To transport water from the roots to the leaves.

Wood Characteristics

Any characteristics affecting the normal wood appearance.

Wood Density

Different species have different densities ranging from very light floating in the water to very dense, not floating any more.

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Did you know...

... that no forest is destroyed to harvest wood used for decorative purposes?

... that only a few trees have the properties necessary for their wood to be used for decorative purposes?

... that ten percent of today´s forest areas would be enough to meet the worldwide demand for timber sustainably (including paper production)?


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