Veneer Matching Methods.


Designers can choose from the various hardwood species and beyond this, from the range of figure and grain patterns within each species. "Matching" refers to the arrangement of veneer strips of similar or varying grain patterns within a given panel or from panel to panel. Here are some of the more common matching techniques in use in the industry today:

[Rotary cut] [Book Match] [Slip Match] [Random Match] [Balance Match] [Balance & Center Match] [Running Match]


Rotary Cut Whole Piece Face (WPF).

The most commonly used for Rotary Cut Panels. The panel is a single sheet of rotary cut veneer, creating a continuous grain character across the entire sheet.


Book Matching.

The most commonly used match in the industry. Every other piece of veneer is turned over so adjacent pieces (leaves) are "opened" like pages of a book.

Visual Effect - Veneer joints match, creating a symmetrical pattern. Yields maximum continuity of grain. When sequenced panels are specified, prominent characteristics will ascend or descend across the match as the leaves progress from panel to panel.

NOTE: May be used with plain, quarter, or rift sliced veneers. Because the "tight" and "loose" faces alternate in adjacent leaves, they reflect light and accept stain differently, and this may yield a noticeable color variation in some species or flitches. Commonly known as barber poling.



Slip Matching

Often used with quarter sliced and rift sliced veneers. Adjoining leaves are placed (slipped out) in sequence without turning, resulting in all the same face sides being exposed. This also eliminates chance of barber poling.

Visual Effect - Grain figure repeats but joints do not show grain match.

NOTE: The lack of grain match at the joints can be desirable. The relatively straight grain patterns of quartered and rift veneers generally produce pleasing results and uniformity of color because all faces have the same light refraction.



Random Matching

Veneer leaves are placed next to each other in a random order and orientation, producing a "board-by-board" effect in many species.

Visual Effect - Casual or rustic appearance, as though individual boards from a random pile w&re applied to the product. Conscious effort is made to mismatch grain at joints.

NOTE: Degrees of contrast and variation may change from panel to panel. This match is more difficult to obtain, when looking for uniformity than, Book or Slip Match, and must be clearly specified and detailed.




Balance Match.

Each panel face is assembled from veneer leaves of uniform width before edge trimming. Panels may contain an even or odd number of leaves, and distribution may change from panel to panel within a sequenced set. While this method is the standard for Premium Grade, it must be specified for other Grades, and it is the most common assembly method at moderate cost.



Balance and Center Match

Each panel face is assembled from an even number of veneer leaves of uniform width before edge trimming. Thus, there is a veneer joint in the center of the panel, producing horizontal symmetry. A small amount of figure is lost in the process. Considered by some to be the most pleasing assembly at a modest increase in cost over Balance Match.


Running Match

Each panel face is assembled from as many veneer leaves as necessary. This often results in a non-symmetrical appearance, with some veneer leaves of unequal width. Often the most economical method at the expense of aesthetics, it is the standard for Custom Grade and must be specified for other Grades. Running matches are seldom "sequenced and numbered" for use as adjacent panels. Horizontal grain "match" or sequence cannot be expected.


Previous Specifications Grading Std. Grading Samples Cutting Methods Matching Methods



Horizon Plywood.