One of the pleasant things about moving from a beginner to a more intermediate stage in woodworking is that you start paying attention to things you didn’t really focus on before. My work tonight, for example, involves a little more thought about grain orientation in glue-ups.
I am still working on cutting boards, I have to have a dozen made in the next week or so. As I am moving along, I have had to give some more concentrated thought in regards to the wood pieces I salvaged and how to get the most use of them, and make them as visually pleasing as possible while keeping the project simple. In my last blog, I mentioned that the oak I am using came from a hutch. The boards salvaged has pieces of various thicknesses and shapes to it. I have a few pieces that are over an inch thick and were made up of 2 boards edged glued together. One containing straight grain, while the other has cathedral grain.
Here are a couple of sample pieces -
Now I can approach the use of these boards a few different ways. I could separate the pieces further by ripping the board, or find another matching cathedral grain piece and just edge glue that up. I would be left with a thick board for the purpose and would plane it down further for my needs. Since these are just a decorative bread cutting board, I decided to go a different route and did a resaw down the middle (err…more or less anyway). The resulting pieces gave me what I was looking for, a book matched set.
In this set, the flames will go together, making the knots look like a set of eyes. It will give the appearance of a board with a stripe down the middle.
Once glued, flattened, and rounded, the appearance will be stronger than it appears now.
On another board, the straight grain will frame the cathedral grain, making the cathedral grain board look more like the grain was complete, rather than halved.
These are techniques I never used before and I have to admit that I am having a bit of fun using a larger range of tools on this project and exploring different methods of achieving a look.
Unfortunately, this is the type of thing that probably will go unnoticed except that the board will have a more balanced look without any of the recipients knowing why. When you start having a beer with family members and you start talking about grain orientation, resawing, and book matched pieces, a glaze starts forming over their eyes and you find out that there are discussions about what nursing home to put you in when you get older.
That is why I am so grateful to you folks for the ability to share these things :)
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.