How Veneer Is Cut From A Log
The way veneer is cut from its log determines the look of the grain. Two logs of the same species will have entirely different appearances if they were cut using different methods.
The following cutting methods are the most commonly used in the veneering industry.
Rotary cutting produces exceptionally wide veneers usually having a bold variegated grain. The log is turned in a lathe which comes in contact with a blade. The cut follows the annual rings.
Flat slicing also produces a variegrated figure. The log is cut in half (lengthwise). This is called a flitch. The flitch is then mounted against a guide plate and slices are cut parallel to the log's centerline.
Quarter slicing produces a striped grain. This cut is made roughly at right angles to the annual growth rings. In some species the stripes will be straight, in others, varied.
Rift cutting is unique to oak. Oak has rays in its log. The cut is made at right angles to the these rays, producing a rift or what some people call "comb" grain effect.