Hardwood Plywood

To view the Idaho Falls hardwood plywood stock list click here.

Hardwood Plywood is made of two components, the core and veneers. Choices in cores range from MDF, particleboard, veneered plywood and composite plywood (fir ply on the interior and a thin MDF on the exterior).


Veneers are the most visible part of hardwood plywood and are usually the most expensive part of the panel. Veneers are sliced or peeled off of a high quality log called a veneer log. Different looks and appearances are achieved depending on how the veneer is cut off of the log. The most common cuts are rotary or plain sliced. Other cuts are rift, quarter sawn and half round.

Veneer grades are broken into face grades and back grades.
- Face grades are (starting from best to worst) AA, A, B, C, D, and E.
- Back grades are (starting from best to worst) 1, 2, 3, 4.

Half of a cherry log cut into veneer pieces
Veneers being side glued together

Veneer Cuts
Plain slicing (also called flat cutting) is made by slicing the log parallel to the center of the log to give it a straight grained look with cathedrals which are formed by the inner most annual growth rings.

Rotary cut
is made by placing the log on a lathe and peeling the veneer as the log turns. Veneers are large enough that whole piece faces (or one piece faces) are commonly peeled. The effect of this cut creates a wild varied look.

Rift cutting
is made by cutting oak at a slight angle to the medullary ray cells (which radiate from the center of the log like the spokes of a wheel).

Quarter slicing
achieves a straight grain appearance by slicing perpendicular to the annual growth rings.

Half-round slicing
is cutting on an arc roughly parallel to the center of the log. This cut gives the cathedrals more rounded tops when compared to plain slicing.

Veneer Matching
- four matching techniques are commonly used. Book match, slip match, pleasing match and random match.

Book Matching: Alternating pieces of veneer from a flitch are turned over, so that adjacent leaves are "opened" as two pages in a book.
Visual Effect: Veneer joints match, creating a symmetrical pattern. Yields maximum continuity of grain. Prominent characteristics will ascend or descend across the match. Because tight side and loose side faces alternate in adjacent leaves, they reflect light and accept stain differently and this may yield a noticeable color variation. This effect may be minimized through the use of proper finishing techniques (i.e., washcoat-sealer/thinner or glue-sizing).

Slip Matching:
Adjoining leaves are slipped out in sequence, with all the same-face sides being exposed. The joint may not be noticeable if grain is straight. (If grain is not exactly vertical, vertical slant may occur).
Visual Effect: Figure repeats but grain does not match at joints. Produces a uniform color because all faces have a similar light reflection.

Pleasing Match: Veneers are matched by color similarity, not necessarily grain characteristics.
Visual Effect: Since no sharp color contrasts can appear at the joints, an effect between book and slip matched and random matched is achieved.

Random (or Mismatch): Random selection of the arrangement of the leaves from one or more flitches. Usually done with lower grade veneers allowing knots, stains and other natural characteristics. The components may be of different width within the panel face.
Visual Effect: Casual, "board-like" to achieve mismatched or plank effect.


(Supplier Links)
Columbia Forest Products
Timber Products
Western Panel

(Spec Sheet and Technical Data Link)
Columbia Forest Products

(MSDS Links)
Columbia Forest Products
(right side of page)
Timber Products ( right side of page) Roseburg


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