Inspiring design and manufacturing solutions.

Molded wood

Becker in Brakel, NRW (or Upper Weserbergland) produces in the largest beech growth area in the world: we process up to 15,000 solid cubic meters of beech logs annually. Beech is a sustainable and our most important raw material: never-slackening flexibility, enormous tensile strength and stiffness, as well as malleability characterize beech wood and make this raw material unique.

We have the know-how and the appropriate pressing technology to realize extreme radii, unusually complex 3D deformations and low thicknesses.


From beech log to finished design

Positive material properties of shaped wood

Product cradle beech forest

At the age of about 120 years, the beech logs are harvested. Forests in Germany have been managed sustainably for more than 300 years. This means that only as much wood is felled as will grow back.

We are certified according to FSC (C135245) and PEFC (DC COC0255/05) and therefore “Chain of Custody”. This offers our customers the security of buying only wood from sustainable cultivation.

Advantages of beech wood

Beech trees provide splinter-free, impact-resistant hardwood with high tensile, compressive, bending and shear strength. The beech veneer is durable and robust and can be glued together very well with precious veneers and laminates. Countless variations of the design can be produced, for example, from a shell press mold. Molded parts made of Becker Incendur® meet the requirement set R1/R2/R6 for hazard level HL2 according to DIN EN 45545-2:2020-10.

Ecological material
Beech is renewable and continues to bind climate-damaging carbon dioxide for decades when used as furniture.
Pleasant haptics
Molded wood radiates a pleasant warmth and simply feels good.
Guaranteed certified wood
Our roundwood for veneer production is procured exclusively from sustainably managed forests certified according to PEFC or FSC standards.
Variety of wood species
Oak is currently most in demand as a face veneer. However, ash, American walnut, maple or any other hardwood species can be chosen just as well. We use inexpensive beech rotary cut veneers as inner layers.
Attractive surfaces
Decorative laminates provide scratch-resistant, heat-resistant, light-resistant and chemical-resistant surfaces for the molded wood parts.
Protective finish
Staining and varnishing with hydro varnish or high quality natural oils can create chic and protective surface.
Flame retardant
For products in the railroad sector, we offer molded parts certified according to the EN 45545-2 (HL 2) standard.
Low weight
Due to the low weight combined with high strength, durable products can be realized.
Variable upholstery parts
Many different contours can be realized from one mold.
Great elasticity
Our shaped wood benefits from its great elasticity. It vibrates very pleasantly.
Antibacterial
Beech wood is naturally antibacterial. For example, even with the popsicle stick this is made of untreated beech veneer.
Very firm
Besides oak, beech has the best strength properties in this country.

Molded wood production:
From veneer to your desired product

Becker Brakel has a wide range of processing machines and stations to efficiently implement your product requirements:

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Veneer production

We are specialized in the production of high quality veneers and offer the complete know-how with regard to logistics, technology and quality:

  • Timber storage for 15,000 solid cubic meters of beech logs
  • Large damping capacity
  • own veneer production on a fully automatic high-performance peeling line
  • Peeling of four veneer thicknesses as standard
  • electronic veneer sorting with eight quality levels

Presses

  • more than 100 flat, two-sided and three-sided presses
  • high output rates and precision due to aluminum press tools
  • Guaranteed high dimensional accuracy due to induction-heated pressing tools
  • Use of high quality specific adhesives, depending on product requirements

CNC processing

  • 19 CNC machining centers
  • In-house fixture construction with maximum flexibility
  • wide range of contour variants

Painting

Becker Brakel has a wide range of proprietary hardware solutions that are used in combination with our molded parts. At the customer’s request, shaped wood surfaces are protected by oiling, varnishing or pressing on melamine layers. Printing with logos etc. is possible, furthermore decorative laminates (HPL/CPL) are available.

Tool overview:
Database with all relevant pressing tools

From an inventory of 1,400 pressing tools, we produce customized plywood and laminated wood moldings. Whether seats, shells, backrests, radius or U-shaped parts, frames, trays, table legs, armrests or chair spars: You will find a detailed overview of shapes here. Some of the molds shown are owned by customers, so we may press molded parts from them only with prior approval. However, if you are interested in one of these forms, we will be happy to arrange the rights of use for you. A tool usage fee must be additionally agreed with the respective owner.


Project examples shaped wood
Furniture, decoration, art and more: highlights of our forming technology.

Fina wood
Hersteller: Brunner
Design: Wolfgang C.R. Mezger
Simple, shapely molded fleece shell chair in attractive colors. This is also suitable for object suitability.
Leya Wingback Chair
Hersteller: Freifrau
Design: Birgit Hoffmann & Christoph Kahleyss
The extremely large-sized and three-dimensionally shaped upholstered shell supports the casual upholstery. Further model variants can be produced from a press mold, e.g. with less backrest height and/or without ear cheeks.
Heya
Hersteller: OFS
Design: Webb Associates
Heya means “small room” in Japanese. The designer developed Heya with moldings made of wood to create smaller spaces within an environment. The blanks are produced in our largest three-side press with up to 600 tons of pressure.
Lhasa
Hersteller: KFF
Design: Andrei Munteanu
The upholstered shell with a pronounced sharp edge between the seat and backrest is nevertheless so stable that it can withstand a tensile force of up to 100 kg at the upper edge of the backrest.
DS-51
Hersteller: De Sede
Design: Inhouse
A molded wood frame of varying thickness supports the seat and back carefully stitched by hand with needle and thread.
Lounge Chair
Hersteller: Vitra
Design: Charles & Ray Eames
A classic with American walnut or Santos rosewood. The face veneers of the four moldings for the headrests, the backrest, the seat and the stool are matched during the assembly of the chair. Thus, each Eames Lounge Chair is unique.
Dream Coracle
Hersteller: Community Playthings
Design: Inhouse
This durable beech plywood crib is stackable and offers entry on the narrow side. The round-profiled plywood frame is permanently connected to the bed with a special gluing system.
8230 Volpe
Hersteller: Kusch
Design: Norbert Geelen
The one-piece molded wood shell serves as an ideal support for the upholstery with cut foam and cover fabric or leather. This combination is extremely durable and is widely used in airport lounges around the world, among other places.
Ginkgo Lounge
Hersteller: Davis Furniture
Design: Jehs und Laub
The thin exposed wood shell with integrated armrests is invisibly connected to the interior upholstered shell by a special hardware solution.
Eames Elephant
Hersteller: Vitra
Design: Charles & Ray Eames
The elephant was designed in the 1940s, but it wasn’t until 2017 that 3-sided press technology and CNC milling opened up the possibility of producing it on an industrial scale.
CH 468
Hersteller: Carl Hansen
Design: Hans J. Wegner
The expansive and very elegant upholstered shell with the wide armrests creates an exciting contrast to the light frame. The threads attached to the cover fabric are pulled through precise cutouts in the shaped wood and stapled from behind.
Belleville Chair
Hersteller: Vitra
Design: Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
An extremely thin and thus light exposed wood shell with oak veneer as well as special connection solution with the plastic frame.

Interesting facts about shaped wood
Concentrated Becker know-how.

Do you have questions about the production, processing or material properties of shaped wood?
Here we have compiled the most important answers and information for you.


Tools for shaped wood: We know more!

Generally, you can get samples for prototypes. If we have individual blanks in stock, we can deliver them to you at short notice at cost price. Incidentally, our press tool database will inform you about our manufacturing program and the wide range of technical production possibilities. It also includes molded parts from tools that are owned by our customers and from which we cannot press parts without permission.

An aluminum tool is to be preferred if the blank is to be strongly deformed, a particularly high precision is required or if high production numbers are planned.

The price depends on the size, type and complexity of the molded part. The cost of a wooden press die with aluminum heating plates is 3,000 euros upwards, for an aluminum press die around 7,000 euros.

Electrically heated tools are particularly precise because they produce a very controllable, uniform heat distribution. This enables us to achieve greater dimensional stability.

To the point: shaped wood production

Due to the three-stage manufacturing process (veneer production, pressing, machining) and order-based production, a delivery time of around four to six weeks is common. A shortening of this delivery time is possible through our Flex-Order-System with appropriate order sizes.

A minimum lot size of 250 pieces is necessary for economical production. In individual cases, however, a lower number of pieces per order can be agreed.

If the customer wishes, we can also offer molded parts painted and ready-made.

To protect the wood surface, the moldings can be painted opaque or transparent with water-based varnish. Through the use of stains, a variety of different shades are possible (e.g. maple, cherry, mahogany). In addition, the veneer can also be oiled and/or waxed.

Precious veneers (such as maple, cherry, oak, walnut or many other types of wood) can usually be pressed well. They are often used as sliced veneer for decorative top layer. The inner layers are then made of beech rotary cut veneer.

We can peel up to a veneer length of 2,220 mm gross. The width is limited by the size of the presses. It is 1,300 mm.

The thickness of the veneer determines the radius. With a veneer thickness of 2.3 mm, the smallest inner radius is 28 mm, with 1.5 mm it is 25 mm, with 1.1 mm it is only 18 mm, with a veneer thickness of 0.8 mm it is only 12 mm, with a veneer thickness of 0.5 mm it is even only 6 mm.

Yes: Our gluing system is well below the limit specified in the E1 standard. Compliance is regularly verified by an independent auditing institute.

Yes: Molded wood can be directly pressed with laminate (HPL/CPL), decorative papers, primer foils, aluminum and similar materials.

The manufacturing tolerance describes the dimensional deviation resulting from machining of the part (milling, drilling, grinding). It is usually very small, in the range of tenths of a millimeter. Shape tolerances, on the other hand, are caused by changes in humidity in the room climate. This can cause opening angles to change or flat moldings to warp. This must be taken into account in the construction and design of molded parts.

To achieve good bonding, the part must remain in the press under pressure and heat for a sufficiently long time. The following rule of thumb applies: Thickness of the part in millimeters divided by 2 plus 4 minutes.

The wood must be sufficiently pliable for the peeling process, which we achieve with steaming. For this purpose, the logs are fanned with hot steam for two days in special steaming pits. In addition, this electronically controlled process produces a uniform tint to the wood. With our process, we can thus guarantee a uniform wood color all year round.

Development of shaped wood parts – basic info

Thanks to our many years of experience in prototype construction and the development of molded wood for a wide range of applications, we can also build models at short notice. For this purpose, we maintain a dedicated development workshop with ten qualified carpenters and master model makers. Samples, prototypes and other devices are created here. By using our unique seat simulator, we are able to create “ownable” chair models in a matter of hours and in collaboration with you.

Experience shows that, especially at the beginning of a development, the decision on execution and design have a significant impact on the cost of the final product. With our many years of know-how, we can help to set the course for an optimal price-performance ratio at an early stage.

Our designers are specialized in Rhinoceros 7 (.3dm), AutoCAD LT2020 (.dwg and .dxf), Creo 6.0 and Mastercam. In addition, we can read and process all common file formats such as .step or .iges.

Molded wood material: wood species, heaviness, veneer thickness and more.

The diverse material and design advantages mean that the main application is in furniture construction. In addition, shaped wood is also used for toys, vehicle construction, interior fittings, for musical instruments, for accessories and in technology (cable drums, transport tubs, etc.).

The production of rotary cut veneer is significantly cheaper and thus more economical than sliced veneer, because this veneer, due to its relatively narrow strips, must always first be joined and glued together to form a sufficiently large veneer sheet.

Due to its toughness, flexibility, machining and forming capabilities. In addition, we are convinced by the very good price-performance ratio of beech wood.

Yes: With our Becker Incendur® process, we produce flame-retardant molded parts that meet internationally applicable standards. These are used, among other things, for train seats and airport seating.

We produce three standard thicknesses: 1.1 mm / 1.5 mm / 2.3 mm. In addition, there is the special thickness of 0.8 mm. This allows us to produce parts that require very tight radii.

In laminated wood construction, the veneers are all placed in the same grain direction and glued together. This achieves a very high tensile strength – just right for spars, armrests and the side parts of cantilever chairs. In plywood construction, the veneers are laid crosswise (“blocked off”). This gives high dimensional stability for flat parts, such as seats, backrests and seat shells.

Beech raw wood weighs on average 680 kg/m³ (at 12% moisture content).

Our purchasing regions are right on our doorstep: we source our wood primarily from North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Hesse.

The roundwood we use comes exclusively from sustainable German forestry. Sustainability means that only as much wood is cut as will grow back. Due to the strict law of sustainability, the supply is also secured for future generations. German forests are certified according to the ecological quality seals “PEFC” (“Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes”) and “FSC” (Forest Stewardship Council). Both organizations are committed to the sustainable management and conservation of forests with their multiple functions. In Germany, 1.35 million ha are currently certified according to FSC and 7.6 million ha according to PEFC. We are certified as a “Chain of Custody with both organizations.

Our entire manufacturing process is focused on sustainability:

Starting with the very short transport distances of the certified beech logs of max. 60 km from the surrounding domestic forests, the wood residues resulting from peeling are delivered to the particleboard industry for further processing. Other wood residues generated during the manufacturing process are fed into the company’s own heating plant, which is equipped with extensive filters, so that we achieve considerable savings in primary energy: The energy from our heating plant feeds the steaming pits, the large veneer dryer, and our own heating system. In addition, we supply leftover process heat to a company in the neighborhood via a local heating pipeline.

The binding ofCO2 in all our products, such as molded wood shells or laminated wood logs, is maintained during many years of use. If the products are finally utilized for energy, heat and electricity are generated.

Our materials

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