PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA
Vinterio product by DanzerWood industry consultant Michael Buckley explores in this second of
a series of veneer workshops, some of the applications and technical
issues relating to the modern use of wood veneer, with particular focus on
Modern technology and high resolution photography today
allows furniture makers to use foils and laminates that are
often hard to distinguish from the real thing - wood. With prices
of high quality hardwoods such as black walnut, red alder and
many types of oak in vogue, there are real cost advantages
However, consumers have continued to show a preference
for real wood ever since its markets were undercut by plastic
products, and people continue to pay for the privilege of a natu-
ral product. This is not least, in that inner sanctum, the bedroom.
And whether consumers are first time buyers at IKEA or mature
homeowners shopping at Singapore’s Park Mall, the demand
for true hardwood can be satisfied with affordable wooden
furniture with a range of choices facilitated by veneer.
Consider the humble birch, a temperate hardwood growing
sustainably throughout the northern hemisphere from North
America to Russia. This species is so strong that it was the
chosen species for early aircraft construction, and remained the
number one species for plywood for decades after its invention.
For years birch has been at the centre of IKEA’S light-coloured
furniture style, used often as veneer on MDF.
As a wood that stains, paints and finishes well, its real
advantage is its performance as a wood that peels and slices
easily for veneer. Another wood with similar but even better
credentials is hard maple from the US and Canada. Better,
perhaps because it is more fashionable, but more importantly,
because of the very high quality finish that can be achieved.
However, not all consumers want the modern light coloured
contemporary look of maple, and in recent years, the trend