Natural veneer is veneer sliced down from a tree trunk. This process involves slicing the log at a different angle to get the grain that you want, like quarter cut, rotary cut, crown cut etc. Some log will be seasoned a while to get the best condition for cutting. Some will go straight for slicing into veneer which depends on the demand and requirements, the veneer will be sliced from 0.1mm to 2mm.
The freshly sliced thinner veneer will go through a process called Kiln Dry to stabilise the veneer for lamination on the surface of the board later. Certain moisture must be retained, as later, they will go through hot press process.
During the kiln dry process, if the veneer is too dry, visible joints or cracks will be seen after the hot press process. However, this will only apply if you are laminating thin veneer.
For the thicker veneer like 0.35mm and above, they will be properly kiln-dried at a longer time. The factory will then laminate the thicker veneer using a machine that looks like a sewing machine. You must join them together first into desired sizes, before sending the sheet to the hot press process. After all these processes, then you will have your beautiful Natural veneer board. You can use them to make furniture, wall decoration and many more things.
Reconstituted veneer, on the other hand, have the similar process, just that instead of using veneer sliced down from natural log, they are made of compressing softwood trees trunk and the process involves dyeing the compressed wood making them into a log shape for easy slicing. Different mould will be used for different grain design. Few colours of dyes will be used at the same time to achieve the natural look of wood. Other than that, the slicing, kiln drying and lamination process is similar to natural veneer.
Natural veneer will have the natural charactistic of nature. Look around your garden, I bet you can’t find two trees that look exactly the same. Same goes to Natural veneer. Every log that you slice, you will get different batches of veneer, be it in grain or color, some even have figures, knots and sugar marks. Even for the same log, as you slice further, the color and grain will start to change.
However, this is the beauty of it. It looks really natural and you can see the pores of the veneer, just like our skin. Natural veneer is also more expensive than Reconstituted veneer. Hardwood trees grow very slowly as compare to softwood trees. So the cost of cutting that tree is much higher. Some of the hardwood trees are getting scarcer to find, some species are listed endangered in some countries.
Reconstituted veneer on the other hand will have same grain and color tone for the same batch of production. One log can easily slice about 2600pcs of 600mm x 2440mm or 600mm x 3050mm Reconstituted veneer. With the new technology, some Recon veneer can really look like Natural veneer that is without the natural defects and uneven color tone.
Both Natural veneer and Reconstituted veneer require varnishing and lacquer to protect them from oxcidization and dirt, regular maintainance and care are needed to prolong their life span.
In Merawood, we have all sort of Natural and Reconstituted veneer or veneered plywood to choose from. All of our Oregon Products have met Green Label standard.