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Need some help reading grain

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Forum topic by Marn64 posted 12-10-2016 08:46 PM 459 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Marn64

295 posts in 624 days


12-10-2016 08:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question walnut joining

Hey everyone,
So I am making this black walnut bodied Fender Telecaster and the wood arrived yesterday, but I have been having trouble reading the direction of the grain. This is high quality walnut, it is very uniform in color, its quartersawn, and straight grained. all in all it is very hard to read. I want the pieces to be oriented like the picture below. I am going to post pictures of the wood itself soon, but at the time that I am writing this my camera’s battery has died and the thing takes like, two hours to charge. In the meantime, do any of you have tips on reading the direction of the grain?

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee


8 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1177 posts in 1636 days


#1 posted 12-10-2016 09:07 PM

Look at the wood with a magnifier or take a couple passes with a sharp handplane.One direction should produce a shaving better then the other.
I’ve heard some say to rub the surface with a nylon stocking to feel the difference.Ive never tried it since I don’t have any because I don’t wear them.:)

Aj

-- Aj

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

314 posts in 814 days


#2 posted 12-10-2016 11:30 PM

i heard the phrase repeated many times like “the fur on a cats back”. you can feel the grain with your fingers. one way is smooth other way feel it rub against your finger.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4515 posts in 976 days


#3 posted 12-11-2016 12:07 AM

Look at the edge grain and see which way it runs uphill. That’s the direction the grain runs on the face.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Marn64's profile

Marn64

295 posts in 624 days


#4 posted 12-11-2016 06:57 PM



Look at the edge grain and see which way it runs uphill. That s the direction the grain runs on the face.

- HokieKen


There’s the problem, its so straight grained that it doesn’t have an uphill, it also is so dark and uniform in color that I can’t see any discernible lines.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1681 posts in 1732 days


#5 posted 12-11-2016 07:21 PM

I was working with some walnut last week with grain that was really hard to see. I could tell the direction by feel, like corelz125 said. Also, after using a card scraper I could see the grain lines on the edge.

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

805 posts in 1279 days


#6 posted 12-11-2016 07:27 PM

Maybe I’m a little dense. If you can’t tell which way is “up” on the board, why does it matter which way the board is oriented in the final product?

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View Marn64's profile

Marn64

295 posts in 624 days


#7 posted 12-11-2016 10:45 PM



Maybe I m a little dense. If you can t tell which way is “up” on the board, why does it matter which way the board is oriented in the final product?

- jerryminer


I would prefer to have all the grain in one direction for smooth and accurate routing for the pickup and electronics cavities. In guitar making you have little room for error.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4515 posts in 976 days


#8 posted 12-12-2016 07:02 PM

Got any “cathedrals” on the faces? If not, then your best bet is the “feel” test or taking a couple of swipes with a plane to see which way gives a better cut.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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