At the Eriksson & Sons carpentry outside Nyköping in Sweden, the table top for model “2139” and other types of Josef Frank furniture are made; a procedure that requires great artisanal skill at every stage. They use a root veneer, which, in itself, requires knowledge, since it is obtained by using a lathe to turn millimetre-thin sheets.
Fixing and glueing for a single table can take an entire working day. First you press the veneer sheets at a high temperature to flatten them out. Then begins the time-consuming job of “building up” the veneer: five, six veneer sheets are placed on a plywood board, overlapping one another, and fastened with tiny nails.
It is then sawn in a zigzag manner, which produces a wave pattern in the veneer. This is done to mask the joints, because it is difficult for the eye to perceive a crooked line. Now you have two halves, which you fold, fronts facing each other. And then you “fix” the reverse sides with long paper strips, to hold the veneer together. Eventually, the veneer sheets are pinned to a soft laminate board, and glued onto a board, which, in turn, will be pressed under heat to smooth out the joints.