The way the veneer was sliced from the log determines its look. The more common cuts—rotary and plain—are also the least expensive. Quarter-sawn and rift-sawn are more labor intensive to cut and are considered more attractive by most people. Check out these 16 money-saving plywood tips to help you build better cabinets and furniture.
Rotary cut veneer is peeled from the log like paper towels from a roll. It produces a wide, “loud” grain pattern.
Plain-Slicing produces a repeating pattern, typically showing large “cathedrals” in the grain.
Rift sawing produces veneer with tight, straight lines.
Quarter-sawing produces veneer with the same tight, straight lines as rift-sawing but includes the signature “ray flecks.”
Now go check out our tips to take the mystery out of the plywood grading system and show you what you will get in each grade. The higher the grade the better quality you should expect.