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Thread: I need help with tiger maple table top

  1. #1

    I need help with tiger maple table top

    I am helping my oldest son build a couple of end tables. He picked out a nice tiger maple board for the table top. Here is the issue. The table top is 20" wide. The board is 13" wide. I have been trying to figure out the best way (for looks) to put together the top. Most of the tiger is from the middle of the board out to the edges. So, do I cut the board down the middle, glue in additional tiger in the middle to get me back to 20" or will it look better to add more tiger to the outside edges? I'm afraid, because of the tiger strips, that wherever I have a glue joint it will stick out like a sore thumb. Anyone have any experience trying to piece together a tiger maple table top from a board that is more narrow than the top is going to be and make it look pretty good when it's all put together?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Trying to figure-match highly figured woods in a lineal fashion is an exercise in frustration. Step back, take a breath and look at the combinations of figure to seek out a pleasing result. Some folks can sculpt, I can't. Some folks can't visualize objects in space, I can. It's not a magic skill, it is just that some of us can do some things and some of us can do others.

    All that blathering was just me trying to sound like I wasn't making myself out to be special; we're just different. End result, if you can't visualize well, you can take pictures of sections of the boards marked out with chalk. Use your computer to cut and paste these selection together different ways.

    Last edited by glenn bradley; 07-31-2020 at 2:09 PM.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  3. #3
    Agree with Glenn. Some would try to put the showiest grain in the middle , but that's where the cereal ,milk , and sugar
    will be ! So I would try to put the best stuff toward the edges , making the top center "more quiet".
    Oops! Just saw "end table" ,so that's where the LAMP will be.
    Last edited by Mel Fulks; 07-31-2020 at 2:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    The grain pattern change at a glue seam is going to be big, so I'd start with a plan that has only one seam. That would be right down the center of the table. That is, you'd see two 10" wide boards. You trim the boards from 13" to 10" in whatever way gives you the showiest pattern on the top.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Fairbanks AK
    One option, just thinking out loud, would be to rip your highly figured board and then put in a spacer down the middle plain sawn/ not figured. Just one idea. I dont love it either, but it is an option.

    Alternatively you could rip one length of board in half to make the edges, than rip the middle out of a second length so you have a highly figured middle, glue line, high figure fading to plain at the edges of the finished top.

    I do like the idea of pasting pictures of the board together on a computer, you could try a lot of alternatives that way; and for the next figured project the learning curve would already be behind you.

  6. #6
    The way that I like to handle that issue is to use a thin strip of a contrasting wood, like walnut. Instead of trying to hide the seam, you are showing that itís supposed to be there.

    Also, I donít think pictures is the best idea. As you turn the pieces of wood around, youíll see that the light reflects off them in different ways. You wonít be able to match the reflection using pictures.

  7. #7
    Thanks for all the suggestions. We will play around with them and try to find something that looks good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    SE Michigan
    The other option would be to re-saw the board into shop made veneer and bookmatch it. Glue it to mdf or bb ply and then edge band it with maple (or even a contrasting wood).

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