The objective of this study was to investigate effect of steaming time on surface roughness of beech (Fagus orientalis L.) veneer produced using the rotary cutting method. Three roughness parameters, average roughness (R-a), mean peak-to-valley height (R-a), and maximum roughness (R-max) obtained from a stylus type profilometer were used to evaluate the roughness of the veneer sheets. Surface roughness of the samples cut from the inner portion of the logs showed a significant dependence on steaming time. Among the specimens 20 h steaming time showed the smoothest surface. Surface roughness of veneer samples taken from both outer and middle portion of the logs did not show any statistically significant difference as steaming time was changed. Based on the findings in this study, it appears that steaming time should be approximately 20 h to have an ideal surface quality of the veneer with a minimum cost of production. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.