Tips for putting together highly figured panel?

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Forum topic by LiveEdge posted 05-27-2015 08:40 PM 549 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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474 posts in 1037 days

05-27-2015 08:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: figured maple cabinet door panel

I’m starting to make a wine/liquor cabinet. The body is alder, but the doors will be figured maple. The doors are 14” in width so I’m going to have to glue up a panel. I assume that the figuring pattern will reveal the seams more than if there was no figuring. Are there tips to minimize this? The stock is 4/4 so I don’t think I could bookmatch anything unless I glued the 3/8 maple onto something else as a substrate.

Am I thinking too hard about this?

Here’s a picture of the piece I’m duplicating. I’m not putting the words on. Just the gorgeous quilted maple.

5 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


4823 posts in 2230 days

#1 posted 05-27-2015 08:50 PM

I once worried about such things too. You know what is a perfect grain match? Wood grain Formica. But nobody loves that, do they. I think the natural grain, and yes the seams too, are what make natural wood so attractive. True, figured grain shows jointlines more than plain jane rift sawn stock, but I would still choose the figured wood.

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

View ShaneA's profile


6413 posts in 2015 days

#2 posted 05-27-2015 09:22 PM

If you start with stock thick enough to resaw it, you can bookmatch them. But I agree with the above, that it will not be a big deal if they do not “match”. Most people would never even be looking for that in the 1st place.

View felkadelic's profile


212 posts in 1956 days

#3 posted 05-27-2015 09:31 PM

Keep in mind that if you bookmatch figured maple, due to the reversal of grain direction from one side of the bookmatch to the other, the chatoyance of the wood might look a bit odd. There was an article in a recent Fine Woodworking (I believe) about this.

View FellingStudio's profile (online now)


93 posts in 1099 days

#4 posted 05-27-2015 10:43 PM

You are probably thinking too hard about it.

With any figured panel, the joint(s) are going to show. You can resaw and bookmatch to make it a feature, or you can just slide the boards around until you get something you like.

-- Jesse Felling -

View LiveEdge's profile


474 posts in 1037 days

#5 posted 05-27-2015 10:45 PM

This is all encouraging advice. It will be a while before I can show any results, but I get to start milling the alder up tonight. The figured doors come last, but some sections are HIGHLY figured. I’m quite excited about them.

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