standard in the industry is to pull a sample about every 1,000
sq. ft. This applies more for domestic species. The
larger exotic species, such as bubinga and sapele, are sampled
according to any changes that occur from the beginning to the
three samples will be pulled from a given stack such as the
full tree restacked (a figured cherry) shown below.
this case a sample was pulled from the front section, another
from the middle, and a third from the back section. Additional
samples could be pulled by the veneer vendor if it was felt
to be necessary.
sampling ensures that what you see is what you get! Of course
in any project if it is possible to inspect the veneer bundle
by bundle, and that is the ultimate. Since this is the exception
rather than the rule, sampling correctly is very important.
first issue in the selection process is to define the scale
of the project accurately. If it is of relatively small scale,
the veneer will probably be available in a large number of species
from a large number of suppliers. As the scale increases, the
availability of veneer species may decrease, and the necessity
for multiple flitches will increase. For instance, manufacturing
elevator lobbies for a 40-story office building does not require
that flitches for each floor match the adjacent floors, and
smaller flitches can be used, whereas a symphony hall may require
multiple flitches, all matching each other since it is viewed
as a whole.
width of the leaves in a flitch can vary from wide to narrow,
and the leaves may need to be selected or assigned to specific
areas of a project. When selecting multiple flitches it is important
to note the grain, color and characteristics of each flitch
and compare them to adjacent flitches which may be seen together.
The design professional should work closely with the woodworker
and veneer supplier to communicate the intent of the design.
The woodworker can provide an understanding and awareness for
the design professional of the constraints of the natural material
along with diligence in the selection process that can produce
monumentally beautiful woodwork. Wood's character, color, grain,
texture and matching are tools in the designer's pallet that
provide the desired appearance.
is tremendously beneficial, especially when schedule is important,
for the design professional to pre-select the veneer prior to
the bidding process. Failing that, as soon as a woodworker is
selected, veneer samples should be reviewed and selected. It
is the relationship between the design professional and the
woodworker and veneer supplier where trust and understanding
lead to an exemplary project.
many cases, even after veneer is selected the interior of the
bundles in a flitch may have gaps, splits, or other defects
which require removal of many leaves from the center of the
flitch, thus ruining a discrete match between leaves. In cases
such as this it should be understood that waste factors increase
and cost will increase as well.
it is the responsibility of the professional who selects the
flitches to "turn" the flitch or go through each bundle
so that these defects are known prior to selection.