JoeWoodworker Veneer
The Official Website of this Non-Professional Woodworker ™

Part 1

Veneering Basics
14 Good Reasons
Vacuum Press Uses
Vacuum Press Options
Questions & Answers
Part 2
DIY Vacuum Press Plans

Vacuum Press Chart
Project: EVS™
Project: EVS-2™
Project: V4™
Project: CRS™
Excel 1™
Excel 3™
Excel 5™
Part 3
Vacuum Bagging

Vacuum Bag Basics
Polyurethane vs. Vinyl
DIY Vacuum Bags
Connect the Bag
Bag Closures
Bag Platens
Breather Mesh
DIY Frame Press

Part 4
Veneering Information

About Veneer
Veneering Glossary
Veneering Myths
Balancing a Panel

Veneer Glues
Veneering Tips
Substrate Materials
Flattening Veneers
A Sharp Veneer Saw
Jointing Veneers
Taping Veneers
Dealing with Defects
Curing Glued Panels
Veneering w/o Vacuum
Hammer Veneering
Iron-On Veneering
Veneer Storage
Amazing Bookmatches
Edgebanding Guide
Paper-Backed Veneer


Part 5
Miscellaneous Info

Vacuum Press FAQ
Veneering FAQ
Veneer Glue FAQ
Vacuum Forming
Vacuum Clamping Pedal
Vacuum Clamping Jigs
Vacuum Clamp Matrix
DIY Vacuum Manifold
Vacuum Press Gallery 1
Vacuum Press Gallery 2


Vacuum Veneering - Tips, Tricks, and More

Veneering Glossary
Here are some common veneering and vacuum pressing terms that you might find helpful to understand. Click on any of the terms in the left column for more information on the topic. The shopping cart icon is a link to the product on the website. Feel free to make suggestions of any other veneer-related word and I will promptly update this page.

Term Definition
Ambrosia A type of maple veneer that has a unique and stunning pattern in the grain which is caused by the Ambrosia beetle which bores small homes into the tree and introduces two different fungi. The first fungus (called Ambrosia fungus) lines the walls of the tunnel bored by the bug and becomes its food. The second fungus is what creates the amazing colors in the grain
Angel Step A type of curly figure in which arrays of iridescence are not stacked evenly upon the next but instead are set off to an angle creating a look of stairs or steps.
Balance Veneer Typically a low grade veneer used on the back of a veneered panel to "balance" the number of plies and prevent the panel from warping.
2 Ply Veneer A veneer (typically 4'x8') which has a second layer of lesser grade veneer applied to the back for the purpose of making a stronger product. Typically applied to a substrate with contact cement.
Barber Pole Effect A typically undesirable visual condition in which light reflects differently from every other piece of veneer in a layup of several sheets side by side on a paperbacked or 2 ply veneer.
Bird's Eye Dots of dense wood cells typically found in maple that create an overall appearance of circles or "eyes".
Bleed-Through A sign of veneer glue which has migrated from the glue line to the visible surface of the veneer. It is avoidable and often repairable.
Bookmatch The process or design found by laying two sheets of veneer side by side in which the figure or grain is mirrored from one sheet to the next.
Breather Mesh Plastic fabric or netting that prevents pockets of uneven vacuum inside a vacuum bag.
Burl A highly sought-after figure found in a wood veneer where circles of random cell growth appear.
Butt Match The joining of two veneers at the end grain.
Cat's Paw A pattern found in veneer created by clusters of burl figure.
Check Valve A device that allows air or water to flow in one direction only.
Cold Creep The undesirable movement of a veneer on its substrate caused by seasonal changes in humidity that permit the expansion and contraction of wood cells in the veneer.
Cold Press Glue A veneer adhesive designed to cure without heat.
Contact Cement An adhesive applied to a substrate so that a paperbacked or 2 ply veneer can be bonded to a substrate.
Crotch A type of grain found in veneer where it has been cut from a fork-branching within a tree.
Cure Time The amount of time that it takes for an adhesive to fully bond.
Curly A type of figure found in wood veneer in which there are cross-grain ripples of shimmer.
Edgebanding Wood veneer used to cover the edge of the substrate surface. Typically sold in 7/8" width to allow for trimming.


The name given to wood veneers with an exceptional significant degree of curly figure. A name given for the finest grain figure that historically was used on the backs of fine music instruments.
Flash Time The amount of time you need to wait before setting the veneer onto the glued substrate.
Flat Cut A traditional method of slicing a log into veneer which creates a "cathedral" grain often compared to the look of solid lumber.
Flitch A bundle of veneers, typically 24 to 36 sheets, sold in the sequence in which they were sliced from the log.  
Frame Press A vacuum press component, used to speed the clamping process, that has a rigid frame surrounding a flexible film.
Iron-On A process to apply veneer typically with a clothes iron and a specialized adhesive.
Joint The line where two veneers are joined or butted together for the sake of covering a larger surface area.
MDF A common substrate typically made of finely ground paper, wood, and glue to which a veneer is applied.
Melamine A scuff and chemical resistant plastic lamination applied to particle board.
Mottled A type of figure found in some wood veneers in which there are angular rays of shimmer with sharp and abrupt edges of iridescence.
Open Time The amount of time between when you apply the glue and when the material is placed in the press.

Paperbacked Veneer

Real wood veneer applied to a backing of paper which prevents the veneer from splitting and allows it to be bonded to a project with contact cement or pressure sensitive adhesive.
Particle Board A common substrate typically made of wood chips and glue to which a veneer is applied.
Platen A reference surface, typically made of melamine board, placed inside a vacuum press bag that prevents a project panel from warping while the vacuum is applied.
Plywood A frequently used substrate made of many layers of thin wood to which a veneer is applied.
Pot Life The length of time in which a glue (that requires mixing) can be used after its components are blended together by the user.
PPR Pre-catalyzed plastic resin used for bonding veneer to a porous surface when moisture and heat resistance is required.
PSA Pressure sensitive adhesive is applied to a paperbacked veneer. Think of it as "peel and stick". Greater pressure used on the surface creates a greater bond strength. In other words the adhesion is sensitive to the amount of pressure used to make the bond.
Quad Match A method of laying four veneers together where the common centers are adjacent. Think of it as a double-bookmatch.
Quartersawn A method of slicing veneer from quartered sections of a log that creates a very straight grain.
Quilted A type of figure found in some wood veneers that has a rolling iridescence similar to the look of a quilt.

Ribbon Stripe

A type of figure where light and dark colored columns form along the length of the grain.
Sand-Through An undesirable effect caused by excessive sanding a veneer surface in which the glue line is exposed and thus ruins the panel.
Scraper A tool use to apply pressure to a veneer that is being adhered with contact cement or pressure sensitive adhesive.
Set Time The amount of time the veneered panel will need to be pressed or clamped while the adhesive makes a good bond.
Softener A liquid applied to veneer that temporarily reduces brittleness.
Spalting A pattern of dark lines found in veneer that is often caused by fungus and partial rotting.
Substrate The surface underlying a veneer. Typically plywood, MDF, or particle board.


The pattern created by laying up veneers on a project surface where each sheet of the lay up is connected by a center point.
Tear Out The area where wood slivers have broken off the veneer face during the milling or slicing process. This can also refer chipping that happens at the edge of the veneer when trimming the edge of the panel.
Vacuum Press A veneering tool that removes the air inside a large bag thereby creating pressure which keeps the veneer flat while the adhesive sets up.
Vaneer This is how "veneer" is spelled by people who have never used veneer.
Veneer Wood that has been cut to a thickness of approximately 1/42".
Veneer Saw A hand tool used to cut veneer where a seam will be made between two pieces.
Veneer Tape Kraft paper with an water-activated adhesive backing used to temporarily hold two pieces of veneer together at a splice/joint line.
Venturi A device that uses compressed air to create vacuum.
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