Tight Weave the Down and Dirty

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Blog entry by dustbunny posted 08-08-2010 07:16 PM 9072 reads 62 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Several people asked me to blog the process of the tight weave board.
The original tight weave board was posted by degoose here as a blog. Larry Rocks !!

I don’t actually have one to be made from the start right now, so I pieced together what I have to try to illustrate the process. In some places you will have to use a little bit of imagination, but I think it will be clear.

Okay, the key to the weave or the tight weave boards is-
1. lumber should be square
2. cuts must be accurate
3. continuous grain

Otherwise the glue up will be a gaping crooked mess, doable, but not fun,
and the continuous grain is eye pleasing.

First I start with sizing my wood to the length, width and thickness I want to use.
For this board I started with square strips, the main color of the board,
5 strips = 2” wide x 1 1/2” thick and 14 1/2” long
4 strips = 2” wide x 1 1/2” thick and 20 1/2” long

Pinstripes from stock – you will need 18 – 1/8” strips so the width is 1/8” plus the kerf, times the # of strips.
10 strips = 1 1/2” thick x whatever width x 14” long 8 strips = 1 1/2” thick x whatever width x 20 1/2” long

I did use multiple pieces of stock for this, it doesn’t really matter about the continuity of grain because it can’t be seen in the 1/8” pinstripe. Mix and match is fine for these.

This will make a 13” x 19” board. Adjust the lengths to your desired board size.

Now use your imagination and pretend the stock shown is the appropriate size, you will see later how it will look after making cuts.


The Pinstripes-
I set my Incra miter gauge as a thin stock guide to cut 1/8” from the blade.


I move the Incra to the front of the saw, set the stock against it and bring the rip fence up to the stock.
Remove the miter gauge and cut your strip. It should be 1/8”.
Set the miter gauge back in place and repeat the process for all of the pinstripe stock.
You can make a thin stock cutting jig for this purpose, which I will eventually do. See here. Nice work drewdawg. There are others also, but I am short on time for this blog. Feel free to add your jigs to the comments : )



Now with all the pinstripes cut, you are ready to cut your main color stock. The first cut will be the left side of all of the stock. I set my Incra as a thin stock guide again for just over 1/8”. The reason ? After gluing up all the strips, I will run them through the thickness planer, so that both main color pinstripes are approximately 1/8”.
The reason ? The glue will change the dimension of the stock width, I want it as accurate as I can get it and I like a nice easy fraction to work with for the width as this will be the length of the squares to be cut.
This should make sense in a minute.
I forgot to take a picture of this, but it is the same as the setup for the first pinstripes, just a bit wider.


As you might be able to see the walnut on the outside edge is just a bit thicker than the 1/8” maple pinstripe.
I did try to keep the grain orientation on these cuts.

Now you want to cut the main width of the weave. I think I cut them to 1 7/16” but it will depend on how much you lose with the kerf of the blade and still have enough off the cut to be wider than 1/8”. You can even go to 1 1/4” if needed. This cut is a rip cut against the fence to the width you choose.
I made them off the side opposite the first cut, again for grain orientation. This is again done with all of the main color stock and will leave you with the right outside edge stripe.


This cut will leave you with the right outside edge stripe.


Just for clarity this is what you will end up with, although this is different main color and pinstripes, I think it will make it clearer. This is what I have now to be glued up.


Now you can glue up the stock so that you have strips to cut your squares from.
Once the glue is dry I thickness plane the edges to bring it to an nice fraction leaving the outside stripes approximately 1/8 (+ or – ). 1 7/8” worked out perfect for this.


Now it is time to cut the squares to 1 7/8”. I put a scrap piece of stock against the ripfence and measure to cut 1 7/8”. Move the block to the front of the saw and tape to the fence. Don’t leave it up along side the blade it will cause pinching.


Using the miter gauge again with backer board to prevent tear out, set you strip against the thickness block on the fence.


Check the cut on scrap first to make sure it is accurate,



then cut away. I number the squares as they are cut to maintain the orientation. I have had a disaster where I didn’t # the squares and the whole thing ended up in a pile on the floor, I spent hours crying and cursing while putting the puzzle back together.

The long strips are the length and the short strips are the width of the board. Each strip of squares will be enough squares for two rows on the board. There should be four blocks left over. I used these to replace a knot in one of the squares. It is always good to have a few extra for this reason.



That is the long and short of it, hope it made sense, let me know if it is still unclear,


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

15 comments so far

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3319 days

#1 posted 08-08-2010 07:35 PM

Cool. Your blog makes it look as easy as basketweaving.

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3875 days

#2 posted 08-08-2010 08:00 PM

That is such a cool pattern. Thanks for letting me watch you think.
So as long as you cut it perfectly, all will fit. I have to work on that perfect part.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View degoose's profile


7231 posts in 3348 days

#3 posted 08-08-2010 08:57 PM

So that’s how it is done.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3030 days

#4 posted 08-08-2010 08:59 PM

Thank you, Xena. Clear and concise, just the way I like it.

Great idea taping the thickness block to the fence. I’ve never done it like that. A real ‘Doh’ moment for me.

I might give this one a go now. Wish I had Incra kit. Oh well shop made it is, lol.


-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3358 days

#5 posted 08-08-2010 09:05 PM

Good, I like your process.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View a1Jim's profile


117086 posts in 3571 days

#6 posted 08-09-2010 12:49 AM

Wonderful blog thanks so much Lisa

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3520 days

#7 posted 08-09-2010 03:40 AM

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have to try this now!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18265 posts in 3669 days

#8 posted 08-09-2010 04:48 AM

Thanks Lisa. It would take years for me to figure that out in betwen migraine cycles ;-)) Great Blog.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3490 days

#9 posted 08-09-2010 05:31 AM

Lisa, thank you , thank you, thank you !!!!!
I WILL try one of these now I think. Excellent blog…....
?? on glue up, do you glue “all” squars together at a time? a row or 2? or what?
Do use clamps or a jig or band clamps?

Thanks for all your hard work and showing this to us!

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3160 days

#10 posted 08-09-2010 01:51 PM

Nice blog Lisa.
Thanks for sharing

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 3358 days

#11 posted 08-09-2010 03:08 PM

ask and you shall receive
thank you very much all makes sence now

-- self proclaimed copycat

View woodsmithshop's profile


1318 posts in 3539 days

#12 posted 08-09-2010 04:11 PM

great blog Lisa

-- Smitty!!!

View dub560's profile


615 posts in 2907 days

#13 posted 08-09-2010 08:56 PM

very detailed work, i imagine that you are very patient to complete a piece like this

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10091 posts in 4046 days

#14 posted 07-20-2012 10:06 PM

... well… better late than Never…

Beautiful Project, Tutorial, and Workmanship!

Thank you very much!

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

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3951 days

#15 posted 04-26-2014 10:26 PM

I know this is an older post but I love this board and I want to try one. Great job on this blog it’s very helpful but I am wondering what the glue up procedure you used is? These pieces are made to a tight tolerance to get the desired effect..and I just see every thing wiggling and moving when you add glue. You must have to do them all at once…I don’t see a way you could deal with misalignments if you were gluing In sections…


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