Grain Orientation... just a little bit more..part II

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Blog entry by degoose posted 07-02-2011 09:45 PM 1584 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a small example of not following the grain orientation…

I must have inadvertently switched two of the pieces the wrong way…

Most will not notice the problem, some will know straight away and some will not be sure why they think there is something wrong… only that there is…

This may not be an earth shattering, world ending moment but for me this is paramount to killing a great board… a little dramatic you might think but I take great pride in following my own advice and this is just not good enough… off to the fire for this one…

Only joking… still a nice board… but not a great one….

BTW this is made exclusively from European Walnut…and more pics to follow when it is finished sanded and oiled…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

13 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4187 posts in 3214 days

#1 posted 07-02-2011 10:06 PM

Very nice Larry, but I see the grain issue. When you do the glueup, is there anyway to do a quick crosscheck, like putting water or some such on the wood to make the grain more visible? I assume this was a problem with subtle grain pattern, with the mistake not obvious until it was too late.

Details make all the difference in a lot of projects. Even my utiliarian multpurpose bench (decided minibench was confusing) will perform better just with some cord keeps strategically placed. So it is not done till they are done. I will hopefully present that as a project on Monday with any luck, with all the stuff in it. Monday is a holiday.

Have a good day. It is beautiful here in La Conner today, but it was cleanup day, so did housework this morning, and will eat in the nearby 5 star restaurant (1 block away) as our reward tonight. On a plane tomorrow.

Have a good one….......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10146 posts in 4102 days

#2 posted 07-02-2011 10:51 PM


That’s not a DRY fit?!

If not a dry fit, are you going to Cut the bad pieces out & fix the orientation errors?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View rrdesigns's profile


531 posts in 3236 days

#3 posted 07-02-2011 11:24 PM

I just ran into a similar problem with a checkerboard design that was part of an accent strip on two sides of my board. Caught it after I had glued up quarter sections but before glue-up of the final piece. Ended up having to reduce the width of each accent by one blade’s width by cutting them apart, fixing the error by flipping the errant pieces and then glueing them up again. A nuisance but not firewood quality.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3723 days

#4 posted 07-03-2011 12:46 AM

Looks good, Larry.

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3932 days

#5 posted 07-03-2011 01:36 AM

Been there, done that.
Ticks me off too.
But then again, I could go on and on about all the screw ups that I have done.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 2604 days

#6 posted 07-03-2011 02:10 AM

i see it too…but in all honesty i reckon it is only going to be you that knows.if it is presented as a gift to someone they would think it beautiful and heap the praise on you,and thats always good for the is annoying tho but in my opinion not something to make me reduce the project to firewood.stick it on an online auction and get something back for it!

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View whiskeyturner's profile


95 posts in 3170 days

#7 posted 07-03-2011 02:47 AM

As my dad is fond of saying …..”a blind man would be glad to see it”
It took me some time to see it, but yes once seen it’s hard to miss especially to the craftsman …. But I wouldnt beat mymself up about it !

-- There is always an opportunity to learn. . . .Steve Mcgrady. . Sydney, Australia.

View hooky's profile


365 posts in 3368 days

#8 posted 07-03-2011 05:53 AM

this is very unlike you

i know its something you always look for

were you unable to see it before you glued up (i only ask out of curiosity and learning experience for us all)

if the grain was unable to be seen at work we usually rub it with thinners as this wont affect the finish that goes on later

keep up the great tutorials


-- Happiness is a way of travel , not a destination (Roy Goodman)

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 3733 days

#9 posted 07-03-2011 05:59 AM

its not too bad. call it yin-yang and try to imply that this is a demonstration of a philosophical principal, and thats why it should be sold for twice the price….

yes, been there and done that. i just give those to friends i don’t like that much :-)

say, son’t you find the walnut too porous? i find that although its still really nice, when i wipe the oil i get this porous texture.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1200 posts in 3137 days

#10 posted 07-03-2011 06:56 PM

It seems to be that you are not only great craftman but great teacher as well.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3635 days

#11 posted 07-03-2011 08:07 PM

Stev7fe welcome to the club LOL . I always still make mistakes and am not ashamed to admit it. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View KnotCurser's profile


2026 posts in 3118 days

#12 posted 07-04-2011 03:41 AM

Yup, I can empathize as well. Been there, done that as well!

I have made a MUCH bigger mistake when it comes to checking the grain though….........

Once I sprayed a bunch of water on the end-grain sections to ensure I had the pattern correct. 20 mins later all the pieces looked more crooked than a Hollywood Lawyer! Now THAT one ended up in the fire bin! Doh!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2984 days

#13 posted 07-05-2011 03:34 PM

I try to pay attention to grain orientation but the finale ouput is never what I wanted.

There must be a disease simillar to color blindness.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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