Venneer ... Show some respect.

I often refer to my beautiful drop-front casement piece as command central. This is where I sit and work when I'm not in the store. I love this piece. I looked for over 3 years before I found it. Take a close look. Yes, it is Veneer on solid wood.

Take an even closer look and you will see satinwood inlay. This was an expensive piece of furniture in its day and I paid top dollar for it 10 years ago.

I have often heard the words " oh it's a veneer" said with a touch of distain. I find is staggering that people are oblivious to the fact that sometimes they are looking at a piece of furniture that is over 150 years old. Now take a look at the above cabinet and tell me what is so distasteful about veneer.
 
Some basic facts, we have been veneering for centuries, in fact, it dates back to the ancient egyptians. Veneering was traditionally done on only the most expensive and luxurious furniture.
 
Veneer is essentially a thin layer of wood, usually of exquisite grain, burls, birds eye, and quarter sawn. Often these woods are not capable of providing stability in furniture making (particularly burls) , therefore, they are used only in veneer form. My casement piece is a fine example of burled walnut on pine. More than just a pretty face, veneer on a solid wood core often prevents warping.
 
Sadly, the 1930's and 1940's saw veneer of poor grade being used with insufficient glues on much furniture. Keep in mind this was post depression and post war, supplies and craftsmanship were in limited supply. By the time the 1970's arrive veneer is viewed as being poor in quality.
If you want to read up a bit about veneer go to www. joewoodworker.com for a great article. Most importantly do not make the assumption that solid wood means quality. Every piece of furniture needs to be evaluated on its own individual merits.

 

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