Working with Burl Veneer
A difficult material requires special handling to achieve its potential
Synopsis: Custom furniture maker Scott Grove explains how he flattens burl veneer sheets and patches imperfections with a veneer punch or a hand-made template. He also details the intricacies of joining sheets with wavy, almost invisible seams. Sanding and finishing are the final steps.
I have always been intrigued by the swirling patterns in burl-wood veneer. Each is a oneof-a-kind mural by Mother Nature herself. If burl wood is selected, processed, seamed, and finished properly, no other wood will generate such striking figure. However, burl veneer can be difficult to work with and often requires special handling.
Burl-wood veneer is created by slicing an abnormal growth mass in a tree into paper-thin sheets. Man-made burls are available, but they are reconstituted and dyed from cheaper woods.
Selecting the best material is a critical step. I buy most of my veneer through mail order and always purchase an extra leaf to…