Veneer-Cutting Machinery

A thumbnail description of the various types of machinery for producing wood veneer. July 13, 2006

I have been looking into veneer cutting equipment and I am trying to figure out the differences between a veneer crosscut clipper, a veneer jointer, or a guillotine. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor A:
A cross cut clipper is used for cutting veneer to length across the grain. These machines do not produce an edge that is suitable for splicing. It is a rough cut. The down angle of the cutting blade has a high angle of attack. This allows for higher compression forces, which are need because we are cutting cross grain and this is much tougher than cutting with the grain.

A guillotine and jointer are one in the same. The term veneer jointer is generally used more in the mid Atlantic states than anywhere else in the country. Guillotines have a lower angle of attack, ranging from 10 degrees to 38 degrees. The lower cut angle takes advantage of the weakest part of the veneer - its lack of strength with the grain. By cutting at a lower angle we are using less compression force, and with less resistance from the wood grain we do not round over the edge of the veneer. A high quality cut results with more of a true 90 degree face to the edge of the jointed veneer. The resulting splice line is nearly invisible.

Then you have a veneer saw. This is a much more versatile machine for use in a custom shop. The veneer is first cut with a saw blade. This roughly sizes the veneer and leaves the bundle about 2mm oversize. A high speed milling head cleans off the remaining 2mm, putting a very nice edge on the veneer. Think of it as the same process as ripping lumber on a table saw, and then running it across a joiner.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor B:
For moderate and smaller custom shops there are table saw mounted assemblies that can cut and trim veneer with seamed edges ready for tapping. These units can cross cut and parallel cut single leaves as well as complete bundles making them more suitable to cutting for individual projects than for a production environment. When used with a moving tablesaw larger scale cutting is possible with a single operator. These units are a bit less expensive than the production veneer machines described above. Custom angle cutting is also possible with great safety.