How can you tell if wood is veneer or solid?

Solid wood boards look where they fit with other boards. The seams run along the top and sides, while veneers usually use strips of sheet metal on the thinner sides of the furniture. If the table surface has lines on the top but not on the sides, it is probably a sheet metal. The touch, if the surface is not sealed, can help you discover if a piece is made of solid wood or veneer.

Real wood veins don't have a perfect, flawless grain pattern. If it varies and changes, it's most likely real. If you feel and notice a perfectly repeated pattern of veins, you are most likely touching a sheet metal or even a laminate of some kind. If the surface doesn't have any grains, again, it's probably a sheet metal.

A great indicator of solid wood is the dovetail construction. Your furniture may still have veneered fronts, but it's most likely made of solid wood if you see that tab and slot construction where the drawer connects to the front of the drawer. If the lower part of the furniture you are going to inspect has a grain that looks completely different from the upper part, then it is a sheet metal. If there are doubts or if they tell you that they don't know, you probably won't get a piece of solid wood.

But how can you tell if the piece you're looking at is real wood or not? The weight of the part is an indicator. If you see the grain, but the pattern tends to repeat itself, lacks texture, and feels perfectly smooth, it's probably a veneer. Bands are often glued to the edges of veneered furniture, which can be between ¼ inch and 1 inch thick or more. Handmade veneers from that time were made of high-quality wood and often included inlay designs somewhere on the desk.

For example, solid oak, solid cherry, solid walnut, solid mahogany, it is most likely made of solid wood. Often, the veins of adjacent boards run in opposite directions, a technique that a carpenter will use to prevent the wood from warping. Real wood glued together should have lines that extend across the dining desk, table, or chair (unless it's made from a single piece of solid wood). A piece of steamed curly wood lasts longer and tends to look much more elegant and natural to the eye than pieces made with strips of laminate or veneer.

However, keep in mind that some artisans and companies can also place a sheet on solid wood to show the most beautiful designs of the wood, or if you find a table with different grain patterns and decorative edges with large spaces between the seams.

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