The advantages of veneered construction as compared with solid construction may be summed up as follows:
1. A ply-wood panel is stronger, in some respects, than a single board of the same thickness.
2. The cores of veneered panels may be made of softer, lighter, and cheaper lumber than can be used for solid construction.
3. Highly figured woods, some of which it would be impractical to use in thick sizes because of their cross grain and resulting irregular shrinkage, can be used for face veneers. This method has the additional advantages of reducing the expense of the use of highly figured woods and of making the supply go farther.
4. Because of the thinness of the finer face veneers, several pieces, cut consecutively, look practically alike and can be matched to produce symmetrical figures impossible to attain in solid construction.
5. Under ordinary methods of construction, for reasons already explained, veneered panels are less likely to shrink, check or warp excessively than solid pieces.
6. Curved and irregular surfaces can easily be produced by gluing veneer together in shaped forms which would be difficult if not impossible to produce from solid lumber.
The following are the principal advantages of solid construction:
1. The owner has the satisfaction of knowing that the furniture he possesses is constructed throughout of the kind of wood represented at the surface.
1 Adapted from The Identification of Furniture Woods (out of print). U.S. Department of Agriculture Misc. Circ. 66 (1926).
2. The wood can be carved, which is not practicable in veneered construction unless special provision is made for it.
3. In case the surface chips off, the same kind of wood is exposed.
4. The surfaces can be heavily sandpapered or even planed off and re-finished - operations which, as a rule, are not practicable with veneered construction.
5. The surface layers can not loosen and peel off, as may occur in veneered panels when they are not properly constructed or are allowed to become wet for any length of time (unless a water-resistant glue is used); although prolonged dampness may likewise have deleterious effects on the glue which is used in the joints of solid furniture.