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Basis of


Grain: The grain of veneer refers to the wood cells, particularly the figured elements. There are six general grain types:

Straight grain - parallel to the vertical axis of the trunk.
Irregular grain which occurs near knots or swollen butts.
Diagonal grain, which is usually a milling defect in otherwise straight grained timber.
Spiral grain, where fibres follow a spiral curve.
Interlocked grain, where successive growth layers have fibres in opposite directions, occurring mostly in tropical timbers
Wavy grain, where the direction changes in waves.

Figure: The figure seen on the surface of veneer results from the interaction of several features such as scarcity or frequency of growth rings, colour tone variations, peculiarities of grain contortion around knots, roots, limbs.

Irregular grain produces blistered or quilted figure; interlocked grain gives us pencil striped or ribbon striped figure; wavy grains yield fiddleback or bees-wing cross-figure.

Combinations of wavy grain and interlocked grain give rope figure; other combinations provide attractive figure effects as block mottle; pommelle, moiree, cluster, etc.

Texture: The physical texture of veneer refers to the variation in size of its wood cells. Oak is coarse textured; mahogany is medium textured; sycamore is fine textured. Diffuse porous woods with narrow vessels and fine rays are even textured, whilst porous woods with wide vessels and broad rays are coarse textured. 

Lustre: This depends on the ability of the cell walls to reflect light. Some woods are dull while others make excellent reflectors. Generally, quarter-cut veneers of striped figure are more lustrous than flat cut woods. The ability of wood to take a good polish does not necessarily coincide with its lustre potential.

Odour: Many woods have a characteristic odour such as Camphor, Pine and Cedar.

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