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Thread: Matching Wood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Matching Wood

    Making a walnut tabletop. Got a wide board that has curly figure toward both edges.

    I cut the pieces for the top. One wide piece for the center and then ripped the next section to get two narrower pieces for the outside with the curly figure where the boards are joined.

    I read somewhere to flip and rotate figured veneer 180 degrees rather than just book matching so the light catches it properly on both of the joined pieces, and I tried to apply that concept here. The wood looks good to me as does the curly figure, but the curly figure looks like what some sources say are ugly chevrons to be avoided (when referring to just the wood grain and not the figure).

    Does this effect here look normal or should I re-think before gluing up?

  2. #2
    Todd, Iím having trouble figuring out what Iím seeing. Since I donít see any other replies, Iím thinking others might say the same thing.
    If you donít an understandable answer soon , add more info.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Thanks, Mel. Shouldn’t be doing this on my iPhone.

    It will be a round tabletop. image.jpg

    The ring is the approximate size and was my pattern for the apron.

    I haven’t glued the top up yet. I’m fine with the wood grain. But I don’t work much with figured wood and don’t want it to end up looking like Beaver Cleaver mowed the grass in the front yard if I mis-match the curly figure when I join the wood. Book match vs slip match vs flipped over slip match etc.

  4. #4
    OK ! The layout is pretty good. But, if you have enough wood...I suggest getting the grain more parallel, and getting rid of as much of the
    sap wood as you can.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    South West Ontario
    I agree with Mel, the sap wood can be eliminated, it highlights the chevron, you seem to have enough wood. Do look at the end grain so any curve is alternated.
    The problem with grain in a top like that is you get to look at it a very long time!
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Blog Entries
    I also agree on eliminating the sapwood . While you are doing that go ahead and adjust your cut to allow the figure to align better. By the way, I often use sapwood in my pieces as a decorative element. Itís just that this lone sapwood appearance in the material you show may be distracting.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    I took y'all's advice and got rid of the sapwood on the edge of the board.

    Also re-aligned the grain but had to add another piece to get the full 33" diameter. That was a really helpful exercise, as I tend to look at boards straight from the lumberyard as rectangles parallel with the edges cut by the saw mill, instead of trying to find a smaller rectangle within the board that makes better use of the grain. Still a lot of contrast between light and dark rings.

    Now if only I can put a profile on the edge of the top without ruining the whole thing.

    Round Table with Top1.jpg

  8. #8
    Looks good ! You canít go wrong when you listen to us ! Just follow with the grain ,and on the 2 straight grain ends ,I would round them over
    a little with sandpaper, or a router round over bit following the grain direction. That small round over lessens the chance of grabbing a
    ď loose threadĒ and ripping out a large piece. But even sandpaper helps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Fairbanks AK
    That came out good Todd. I don't work with walnut much, but I have read about taking off the sap wood over and over and over. What you finished up with today looks really good to me.

    Profiling the edge is indeed a bugaboo. Have you got a big enough scrap to cut out a circle to find out how sharp your cutter (spokeshave/ router bit) really is? Sounds to me like Mel Fulks in the post directly above mine is speaking from experience with the sandpaper starter, I will give that a try next time I get to where you are now.

  10. #10
    Scott, thank you. That is a trick that goes way back and was shown to me about 50 years ago. I worked in a shop that had one of those
    “lock-mitre” shaper cutters . It wasn’t used because it “wouldn’t work” . Shaper would tear off half inch wide ,or more, pieces. I showed
    them how to “precondition “ the wood by using a 3/8” round-over ,climb-cutting . Shaper feeder on high speed. Then the “real” cut never
    failed. The company even
    started making things of that type stock items that sold quickly and made trim carpenters good customers.
    Last edited by Mel Fulks; 06-14-2021 at 11:33 PM. Reason: Typo

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