Hardwood Plywood

We partner with the industry's most trusted manufacturers, carrying a full selection of imported and domestic plywood products in varying cores, grades, thicknesses, and face veneers. Additionally, we offer many specialty items, including NAUF panels, cut-to-size cabinet components, oversized sheets, lightweight cores, FSC certified material, custom layups, and proprietary grading upon request.

Particleboard Core (PBC)

An inexpensive composite core consisting of pressed, resin-bonded wood particles. Surfaces are consistently flat and void-free. Panels are dimensionally stable, but heavier than solid wood, susceptible to moisture, and weak at the edges with a tendency to splinter.


Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

A fairly inexpensive composite core made of finely ground wood fibers pressed together with resin binders. MDF is denser, stronger, and more resistant to tearing than particleboard, meaning that it can be milled and shaped. Its consistency and smoothness are ideal for veneer application.


Veneer Core

A lightweight substrate comprising innerplies of western softwood veneers. Dimensionally stable with excellent screw holding capabilities. Increased potential for core transfer / telegraphing with thinner face veneers. More significant thickness variations than typically seen with composite cores.

Veneer Core

Hardwood X-Band Veneer Core

Western softwood innerplies are supplemented with poplar veneer crossbands, making for a much smoother, and more ideal veneer application surface. This results in a lightweight, durable panel with excellent screw holding capacity, and a reduced propensity for core transfer.

Hardwood X-Band

MDF X-Band Veneer Core

Western softwood innerplies are supplemented with MDF crossbands, providing an exceptionally smooth surface, suitable for high-end face veneers. Heavier than veneer core panels, but more lightweight than full MDF cores, and with substantially better screw holding capacity.

MDF X-Band

Birch Multiply

A high-end, nearly void-free core made from birch veneer innerplies. Thanks to its uniform hardwood construction, it machines consistently, holds screws exceptionally well, and is suitable for an exposed-edge finish.

Birch MultiPly

Plain Slicing

Plain slicing is the most common veneer cutting method used for high-end decorative and architectural panels, with an appearance similar to that of plain sawn lumber. Typically, leaves are sliced from a half log flitch in parallel to the center cut, creating a natural figure progression with each successive leaf. This natural evolution of grain presentation is well-suited for various matching techniques. Plain sliced veneers exibit a cathedral or flame pattern in the center of the leaf, which begins to straighten as it approaches the lateral edges.

Image Courtesy of the HPVA

Rotary Cutting

Rotary cutting is the most economical veneer slicing method, in which the entire log is mounted on a lathe, and turned against a stationary knife. This essentially peels the log into a single, contiguous sheet. Provided that the width of the resultant sheet is sufficient, this method can be used to produce single-piece faces, covering an entire panel without seams. Rotary cut veneers exibit a wide, erratic grain pattern, making joint matching difficult. A variation of rotary cutting called half round slicing instead uses a half log flitch, and produces veneers with both rotary cut, and plain sliced characteristics.

Image Courtesy of the HPVA

Quarter Slicing

Quarter slicing involves cutting leaves from a quarter log flitch by orienting the knife perpendicularly to the log's annual growth rings. This method yeilds relatively narrow sheets in comparison to plain slicing, thus requiring that the source logs be of adequate diameter to create sufficiently wide veneers. The consistent vertical grain pattern acheived by quarter slicing allows the leaves to be easily matched with one another. Some species cut in this way (particularly red and white oak) present a light to heavy flake pattern resulting from bisection of the log's medullary rays, depending on their prominence.

Image Courtesy of the HPVA

Rift Cutting

Rift cutting is most commonly used on oak species when a vertical grain appearance is desired without the flake effect caused by medullary ray exposure from quarter slicing. This is done by mounting a quarter log flitch onto a lathe, and turning it against a knife whose angle is adjusted to minimize flaking. Due to the involved rotary motion, rift cutting has the ability to produce wider sheets than quarter slicing, making it a desireable method for cutting other species requiring a tight, vertical grain appearance, and wider leaves. As with quarter sliced material, rift cut veneers are easily matched.

Image Courtesy of the HPVA
The images used above are brought to you courtesy of the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association (HPVA).

Book Matched

Consecutive veneers from a bundle are laid out side by side, turning over every other sheet as though it were a page from a book. This creates a mirrored grain pattern at each veneer joint, allowing for visual continuity. However, since this results in alternating exposure of tight and loose faces, an undesireable "barber pole" effect may occur. The faces may reflect light, and accept stain differently, leading to aesthetic oscillation between adjoining leafs.

Book Match

Slip Matched

Consecutive veneers from a bundle are laid out side by side, maintaining the same orientation and exposed face from sheet to sheet. This results in a repeating grain pattern, without the seamless continuity and mirrored effect of book matching. A major advantage to slip matching is mitigation of the "barber pole" effect that can occur with book matching, as exposed faces do not alternate. Slip matching is popular for quarter sliced and rift cut veneers, due to their matchability.

Slip Match

Random Matched

As implied by its name, random veneer pieces are compiled to create the face of a panel. These veneer pieces may be from different logs, vary in size, and exibit color/grain differences. By intentionally mismatching grain patterns, colors, and widths, the resulting face will resemble an arbitrary collection of boards. This technique can be useful for achieving a rustic appearance, or evenly distributing characteristics such as knots across a face.

Random Match

Washington - Seattle

20205 59th Place South | Kent, WA 98032
Phone: 800•426•0990 | Fax: 253•872•0747

Oregon - Portland

5737 NE Lombard St. | Portland, OR 97218
Phone: 800•452•1692 | Fax: 503•281•2791

NHLA Member FSC Certified
© 2024 Johnson International Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.