For a couple of years now, I have been making laminated paddles and sticks. I use veneer in many ways, from pinstriping to the outer layer of a piece. During that time, I’ve been limited to whatever wood someone else offers for sale, usually on eBay.
Of late, I’ve been using a lovely band saw at my local maker’s space. It is properly set up, and allows me to dependably cut 3/32 inch slices of wood. After a pass through the thickness sander there, then a few more passes through my new drum sander, they are ready for glue-up with a nice, even finish. It’s nice to be able to make my own pieces, I seem to find much prettier wood than the folks on eBay offer.