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Features of Quality Veneer-Grade Cants

A sawmiller learns the qualities that make a cant suitable for producing good sawn veneer. October 4, 2007

I am a sawmill/lumber supplier and have been asked for veneer grade cants. The requested species (western juniper) is unusual and attractive but loaded with character. I'll talk to my customer, but I am not getting the perfect cants I would expect a veneer manufacturer would need.

Will slicing the veneer thicker create less opportunity for voids and knots falling out? I can see using this rough of a material in 1/8 inch rather than 1/42 inch in order to gain a little workability. The material is like eastern red cedar with bark inclusions, deep black knots and random internal voids thrown in for added texture. I want to create veneer stock that works for the buyer, so I am asking for your experience in this regard.

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor J:
Is your customer going to make veneer by banding sawing or by lumber slicing the cants? It appears by your comments that they are most likely going to saw veneer.

Generally you are looking for parts of the tree that are not large enough to be of value to a veneer manufacturer (typically stump to first limb). Going up the tree the areas that are limb free/damage free, between limbs, are what can be reclaimed for veneer manufacturing.

Basically you are looking for sections of the tree to provide clear, thick lumber solid stock or used to saw veneer. Say 8/4 or 12/4 by X long and X wide. These dimensions are specified by your customer. They also specify the cut depending on what is specified (quartered, etc.).