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Walnut sideboard.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Design Potential of Matched Veneers

The Walnut sideboard featured in this week's blog shows running matched veneers in the doors, sliced from a single piece of crutch grain Walnut. This beautiful repeated patterning could not have been achieved in solid wood.

During the 20th century veneering sometimes became, justifiably, associated with mass produced, cheap furniture that would not stand the test of time. However, for centuries, veneers have been used to adorn the finest and most expensive furniture. And much of the finest custom furniture continues to be built this way today. Beautiful, but unstable, woods can be controlled by slicing them thinly and gluing them to a stable substrate.

The key difference, these days, is that modern adhesives allow us to be confident that the veneers, once glued down, will not lift or peel away from the substrate. In addition, the substrate materials we now use are completely stable and will not move, unlike the solid wood substrates of old. These two fortunate advances in woodworking technology, allow us to incorporate veneers into our designs with confidence.

I think the benefits are evident in this handmade sideboard. You can view similar pieces by visiting the Pinnacle Collection.

Running matched crutch grain Walnut door panels
Solid Walnut for the sideboard top