Depending upon the manner in which a log is cut, strikingly different visual effects can be achieved with the woods grain and characteristics. Two logs of the same species, cut in different ways, produce distinctive, individual veneers.
In rotary slicing, a whole log is mounted in a lathe and turned against the blade and guide. Rotary cutting or rotary slicing or peeling of a log produces a continuous sheet of veneer as if the tree were a roll of paper being unrolled. It is the most economical method of slicing. Veneer sliced this way varies in pattern as the slices cut through the successive layers of growth rings.
In plain slicing, a half of a log (flitch) is mounted on a steel plate with the heart away from the blade, and the plate is then raised and lowered against the blade parallel to the center cut of the log. Flat slicing or plain slicing produces consecutive leaves of veneer and produces the standard appearance of
veneer (the "cathedral" or flameshaped arch) that exemplifies plain sliced cherry, ash, oak and other species.
The quarter of a log is mounted on a plate
so that the growth rings are perpendicular
to the plate, and the plate is raised and
lowered against the blade in a direction
radial to the center of the log. Quartered
leaves cut consecutively are narrower than
plain sliced and typically contain
This cut is similar to quarter cut except
that the log hits the knife at an angle of 15. This cut is useful for species like oak
where medullary rays are very prominent.