Question on correct grain direction

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Blog entry by Oldtool posted 10-16-2013 02:24 PM 1814 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Quick question for you guys to help me with:
Building an entertainment center for my daughter, and after I agreed, she said – oh, by the way, I need two matching end tables.
So these end tables will be almost square, at 22” wide and 24” deep. Which way should the top grain run?, side to side?, or front to back?

If the tables were more rectangular, the answer would be easy, run the grain with the longest dimension. But here?, .......

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

8 comments so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2296 days

#1 posted 10-16-2013 02:48 PM

I would do front to back, but it really doesn’t matter.

-- Joel

View jumbojack's profile


1685 posts in 2866 days

#2 posted 10-16-2013 02:54 PM

Determine the orientation in your daughters house. That will give you the front/back. Then it is simple. I like the left right grain.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View stefang's profile


16222 posts in 3576 days

#3 posted 10-16-2013 03:31 PM

Either of the above, or you could make the top a little larger square, them cut it into quarters with diagonal cuts, and realign two of them to get the grain on all four pieces running from the edge in toward the center. The trim the outside to the final desired size. You could try this with a small piece of wood first to see it you like the effect.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View a1Jim's profile


117423 posts in 3819 days

#4 posted 10-16-2013 03:40 PM

One advantage of running the grain front to back is that it would match the grain on the sides eliminating any cross grain wood movement problems when connecting the top.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View pintodeluxe's profile


5820 posts in 3055 days

#5 posted 10-16-2013 06:06 PM

I would run the grain side to side. That is the way a dresser would look.
To me, end grain on the front of a nightstand would look odd. I might consider changing the dimensions to square, or slightly wider than it is deep.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2678 days

#6 posted 10-17-2013 12:04 AM

I think it all comes down to your own personal choice or style. I’ve seen them done both directions, Me, I like the grain going side to side.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Oldtool's profile


2747 posts in 2432 days

#7 posted 10-17-2013 11:46 AM

Thanks guys for weighing in, very much appreciated. Haven’t made a decision yet though, still have the entertainment center to complete first, so maybe by the time I finish it I’ll have a plan.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 2310 days

#8 posted 10-17-2013 02:23 PM

Always the grain goes with the length.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

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