Rough Cut Textured Veneer Carries Tactile, Optical Effect

By Bill Esler | Posted: 12/23/2011 11:48AM


A warehouse in Bloomington, IN, conceals a trove of imported Austrian veneer that offers a unique textured effect. Sliced from logs with special equipment, the veneers carry the saw pattern, creating a surface with tactile interest and unusual optical effects.

click image to zoomRoHol textured veneer surfaces from Heitink US, achieved at the point of slicing, create optical effects. These veneers can also be stained and sanded, for added ranges of effects. The rough cut surface takes on stain and dye in unusual ways. The variances in color are also amplified by the varying reflectance of the uneven surface — providing a variety of optical effects.

The process impacts not just the visual senses, but engages people on a haptic level. The word “haptic” refers to the sense of touch. Designing with textured surfaces is gaining even more currency as consumers interact with electronic devices through the sense of touch — touch screens, vibrating cell phone alarms, and the like.

As clients become more oriented to interacting with electronics on a tactile level, they’ll gravitate to more textured interiors. Indeed, with design trends to textured surfaces already widely established, this new offering brings them to veneered panel processing.

Real wood veneers with textured surfaces are available from RoHol, an Austrian veneer and plywood manufacturer. Its exclusive North American importer and distributor is Heitink (, which operates from Bloomington.

Through the three-dimensionality of the textured RoHol veneer and multiple color combinations, unique surface effects are achieved.

Another RoHol product — end grain (butt-end) veneers and veneered panels — are also available through Heitink. These end grain veneers, fleece reinforced, are made from round slices, half-round or square edged as well as ready veneered panels on various core material, in walnut, oak, beech, larch tree, and sycamore.

Heitink started manufacturing high quality veneer faces for the architectural door, panel and kitchen industry in 1997. Now producing thousands of faces per day, Heitink also services the thin plywood market segment producing veneered door skins. As a fully integrated architectural veneer plywood manufacturer, Heitink’s veneer layups run from the simple 4 x 8 book and balanced panel to custom blueprint and sequenced matched veneer projects.


About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at or follow him on Google+.

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