Wood Veneering

    Veneer is a very thin sheet of some material that has been sliced off of a big chunk of that material and used as a facing. Wood veneer a thin sheet of wood sliced off of a log. Decorative veneers are shaved off in sheets by shoving a log along a very big knife a peeling off the slice like an apple peel.
   Veneering is the process of laminating that sheet to a strong backer of another material. In the case of wood veneering there are two powerful advantages to this type of manufacturing. The first is to make otherwise very expensive woods affordable (a log goes alot further when it's sliced really thin), but more importantly the process of laminating wood (a material that breaks, splits, expands, and is an otherwise ornery and dimensionally unstable material) to a stable and strong backer makes the wood stay put and not crack or distort over time. Much high quality woodwork (pianos, for example) is veneered. Veneering capability is essential in any interiors fabrication shop.

Below are some images of veneer work that we've built.
Flat veneering
  Everyone has interacted with flat veneering - plywood is the most common example, in which layers of veneer are laminated together to make a thick sandwich. You can veneer anything - you just have to use the right glue. For example, very thin shelves that must carry alot of weight can be made by veneering steel plates with decorative wood veneers. Veneer doesn't have to be wood - metals can be laminated to plastics, plastics to wood, wood to glass, glass to metals. But in order to get away with this type of innovation a deep understanding of the characteristics of the laminate, the substrate, and the adhesive that glues them together is essential. All materials change dimensions back and forth over the course of a year but some with heat, some with moisture, some with pressure, some with age; all materials have their own cohesive and adhesive properties each being unique and the adhesive must be designed with both adherends taken into account.
Curved veneering
   Veneering involves pressure (to press the sheet to the shape of the substrate)
and holding time (to hold it there until the glue cures). Veneering flat sheets just need another flat sheet with some clamps. Curves need an opposite curve to clamp it in place.
Compound-Curve veneering
   This is not easy - veneer is rigid, like a sheet of paper. It's difficult to lay a sheet of paper down on a globe or some portion of one because it has to "stretch". But, with some veneers it's possible to slice, inlay, slice again, inlay again, and then soak and press it down on a compound curve and make it look like it was carved out of solid wood. This photo shows a part of the piece where flat, curved, and compound-curved veneering all takes place. This was required because the veneer (English Harewood) is not available in solid wood form.