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Forum topic by Marn64 posted 12-12-2016 10:31 PM 442 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Marn64

295 posts in 619 days


12-12-2016 10:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question walnut grain

Ok,
So I still have had no luck reading the grain on this walnut so I decided that pictures might help. Here they are photographed together as if they were still one board, and photographed individually. When I photograph the individual pieces, it is in a right to left order :)
Whole:
1.
2.
3.
Whole:
1.
2.
3.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee


11 replies so far

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1672 posts in 1727 days


#1 posted 12-13-2016 12:12 AM

Just looking at the faces of that wood tells me nothing. Feeling it would help. If you run your hands across it and it’s smooth, you’re going with the grain. If it’s rough, you’re going against it. Same for the edges.

But on the edge you can see how the grain is more wavy – that’s showing you which way it’s headed on the faces. This shows you what will happen when you plane the wrong way, you get jiggedy-jaggedy tear-out nonsense. You want to plane the grain as it goes uphill. Sometimes it reverses itself and you have to go at it from the other side.

I don’t know what tools you’re using but those boards look pretty darn clean. That doesn’t mean you’re tear-out free. I see some areas that could give trouble if you’re not paying attention. In fact I think I see some tear-out on the second-to-last photo? Maybe not.

Pretty walnut, good luck with it.

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Marn64

295 posts in 619 days


#2 posted 12-13-2016 01:18 AM


Just looking at the faces of that wood tells me nothing. Feeling it would help. If you run your hands across it and it s smooth, you re going with the grain. If it s rough, you re going against it. Same for the edges.

But on the edge you can see how the grain is more wavy – that s showing you which way it s headed on the faces. This shows you what will happen when you plane the wrong way, you get jiggedy-jaggedy tear-out nonsense. You want to plane the grain as it goes uphill. Sometimes it reverses itself and you have to go at it from the other side.

I don t know what tools you re using but those boards look pretty darn clean. That doesn t mean you re tear-out free. I see some areas that could give trouble if you re not paying attention. In fact I think I see some tear-out on the second-to-last photo? Maybe not.

Pretty walnut, good luck with it.

- ColonelTravis


I really can’t tell, this stuff was surface planed and I honestly don’t feel a difference with my hands. The second to last photo isn’t tearout, its a little bit of figure. The reason why I’m asking with these boards isn’t for reducing tearout, its for gluing up. On a guitar body you want all of the body pieces in one direction.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4505 posts in 972 days


#3 posted 12-13-2016 01:57 AM

Best guess is it’s running right to left on the top face in the edge grain pics. But, like Colnel travis said, there are a lot of grain changes.

I don’t know 1 darned thing about guitar making but Ripthorn is accomplished in the art and a pretty helpful guy. If you shoot him a PM and ask him to take a look at your pics, he might have some tips on how to handle these boards.

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

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papadan

3584 posts in 3202 days


#4 posted 12-13-2016 02:24 AM

Get a small piece of material as was stated earlier. Women’s stockings, panties or similar material work best, but an old T shirt should work. Drag the fabric along the board and it will catch if it is against the grain.

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ColonelTravis

1672 posts in 1727 days


#5 posted 12-13-2016 02:32 AM

Gotcha. OK, so because I look at wood grain initially for my tools, I look for it in a certain direction. It doesn’t have to be oriented this way for your final project, obviously, it’s just a way to start things off.

I look for where the grain is headed upwards. Not all boards will have grain uniformly going upward (or downward if it’s flipped) the entire length. For example, in your last photo, I would plane in the direction of the arrows until I get to that crest, where the grain starts to go down. Then I would probably plane from the other side because I would expect a little tear-out if I kept going L to R the entire board. I don’t know. I’d have to have it there with me. Anyway, when I get a new board, that’s just how I would start to look for grain direction.

It’s hard for me to see the edge grain across that entire length in detail but I see some wavy patterns. Your grain isn’t uniform. It’s not psychotic like the mesquite I use, but it’s not 100% straight. I don’t build guitars, I play them. So I understand you don’t want this body screwed up, however that face grain is so tight it’s not like a bookmatched figured maple. I defer to the makers, but if it were me what I’d be concerned about most is not grain direction in general but how the grain looks when the boards are lined up for your blank. Is this a solid body, hollow?

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1003 posts in 1829 days


#6 posted 12-13-2016 03:17 AM

Curious about the guitar bulding and wanting the grain all in the same direction: is that because of acoustic reasons, or because you want all the wood expanding/contracting in the same dimension? If it is the latter, you are fine with those boards, as regardless of undulation in the grain the grain is all running along those boards. They will each expand across their width. If it is for acoustic reasons, you might need to different wood, as those grain patterns will never line up since they are not uniform. You may consider getting some quartersawn material, as it will have a more uniform grain between the pieces.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

765 posts in 2916 days


#7 posted 12-13-2016 11:20 AM

I think you’re being way to ocd in this instance.
The face grain on the quarter sawn board you’ve shown is dead straight and parallel to the edges, and the edge grain, as Colonel Travis has shown(good illustrations Colonel) goes in multiple directions on each piece(as with most wood, depending on the size of the piece)....so it isn’t possible to have everything running the same direction with the material you have. Even if they were split and book matched, you’d have multiple directions on each piece in this instance.
When most refer to “grain direction”, they’re referring to a specific area of a piece of wood, not the entire piece(size and species dependent).
http://www.finewoodworking.com/2014/03/11/a-woodworkers-guide-to-grain-direction

The reason why I m asking with these boards isn t for reducing tearout, its for gluing up. On a guitar body you want all of the body pieces in one direction.
- Marn64

Why is that? aesthetics?
I can’t think of another reason on an electric(acoustic I can understand)....but I’ve never built a guitar, electric or otherwise.

This is from your previous thread….


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.
- Marn64

I assume this is what you’re trying to achieve(or similar). If so, you’ll be routing in several different directions all in one small area…with, across, and against the grain. All you can really control is how you rout it.
I’d make multiple cuts(depth) climb cutting in areas where you’re cutting ‘against’ the grain, which would be damn near the whole thing here due to the shape of the recess’s vs. direction of grain.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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Marn64

295 posts in 619 days


#8 posted 12-13-2016 07:14 PM

Thanks everyone!
So I think I’m gonna be less worried about this. Because I know which way the board was cut, when I glue it up, all pieces will be in the same direction, I just won’t know which direction :)

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View Marn64's profile

Marn64

295 posts in 619 days


#9 posted 12-13-2016 07:17 PM



Curious about the guitar bulding and wanting the grain all in the same direction: is that because of acoustic reasons, or because you want all the wood expanding/contracting in the same dimension? If it is the latter, you are fine with those boards, as regardless of undulation in the grain the grain is all running along those boards. They will each expand across their width. If it is for acoustic reasons, you might need to different wood, as those grain patterns will never line up since they are not uniform. You may consider getting some quartersawn material, as it will have a more uniform grain between the pieces.

Brian

- bbasiaga


This walnut is quartersawn with endgrain 50-70 some degrees with the from the face of the board. As for why I want the grain to be in one direction, its for aesthetics and to have all the pores facing in one direction. I didn’t photograph the back of the boards, but the side without any sapwood on it does line up pretty well, glue lines will be near invisible.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

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Marn64

295 posts in 619 days


#10 posted 12-13-2016 07:17 PM



Gotcha. OK, so because I look at wood grain initially for my tools, I look for it in a certain direction. It doesn t have to be oriented this way for your final project, obviously, it s just a way to start things off.

I look for where the grain is headed upwards. Not all boards will have grain uniformly going upward (or downward if it s flipped) the entire length. For example, in your last photo, I would plane in the direction of the arrows until I get to that crest, where the grain starts to go down. Then I would probably plane from the other side because I would expect a little tear-out if I kept going L to R the entire board. I don t know. I d have to have it there with me. Anyway, when I get a new board, that s just how I would start to look for grain direction.

It s hard for me to see the edge grain across that entire length in detail but I see some wavy patterns. Your grain isn t uniform. It s not psychotic like the mesquite I use, but it s not 100% straight. I don t build guitars, I play them. So I understand you don t want this body screwed up, however that face grain is so tight it s not like a bookmatched figured maple. I defer to the makers, but if it were me what I d be concerned about most is not grain direction in general but how the grain looks when the boards are lined up for your blank. Is this a solid body, hollow?

- ColonelTravis


solid body, its going to be a ‘52 telecaster

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

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ColonelTravis

1672 posts in 1727 days


#11 posted 12-13-2016 07:31 PM

Awesome, I’ve got a slab of Ash drying out to turn into a Tele.
Post updates to your build, I’m interested.

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