Successful wood combinations, please

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Forum topic by Manasseh posted 10-11-2010 05:41 PM 6501 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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122 posts in 2768 days

10-11-2010 05:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: padauk walnut maple

I am currently working with padauk wood for a keepsake box and looking for a good wood pairing to go with it. I am considering wenge(that I already have) for a border for the lid. What do you think would make a good wood combo for the lid?
I also have some pecan wood with nice color and sap wood, hard maple, and walnut.
All imput is welcome. Sorry, no pics today. Maybe tomorrow.

-- Someday I will be more than a sawdust wisperer

12 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4184 days

#1 posted 10-11-2010 05:50 PM

I’ve done a couple of projects with padauk and maple. I like that combination a lot, but it’s all a matter of personal taste.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#2 posted 10-11-2010 05:53 PM

I was going to say maple also.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

328 posts in 2886 days

#3 posted 10-11-2010 06:02 PM

+1 for maple. I really like red colored woods alongside maple.

-- Scroll saw patterns @

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3218 days

#4 posted 10-11-2010 06:15 PM

Padauk and maple provide a good contrast, I have also used that before. One combo I particularly like is padauk and walnut. It is less pronounced, but they both have a deep, dark color when finished, as well as having a similar open grain look. One thing to consider, though, is that padauk changes color over time, so to preserve the reddish color you would have to use some sort of UV-inhibiting finish. I’m not too familiar with what color it changes to, though I believe it is a shade of brown. If this is true, then it may clash with the walnut down the road.

This box is an example :

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

View whit's profile


246 posts in 3943 days

#5 posted 10-11-2010 06:16 PM

If you’re looking for dark wood, try walnut or ebony. I’d recommend steering clear of open-grain woods – especially light woods like oak and ash. The orange dust you get from padauk, aside from going EVERYWHERE, really likes the small crevices in the open grain. Unfortunately, some wenge falls into that category, too.

Good luck. And post a pic when you’re done.


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View rwyoung's profile


409 posts in 3438 days

#6 posted 10-11-2010 06:20 PM

Padauk will turn a deep purple-brown (more brown than purple unlike purple heart which turns purple-gray) over time. UV or no UV exposure, it oxidizes and turns. Overcoats don’t stop it, just slow it down. Maple tends toward a tan color, for lack of a better example, light maple syrup!

Also, sanding maple + padauk side by side will push padauk dust into the maple. Consider planing and scraping to get the final surface instead of sanding at the last stage.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View Manasseh's profile


122 posts in 2768 days

#7 posted 10-11-2010 06:39 PM

Thank you for all the imputs. All of them very helpful. I did not know padauk faded. I just saw the board and just had to have it, not knowing the future project. It is now the future. So, here we go. Will post pictures of the finished project.

-- Someday I will be more than a sawdust wisperer

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4184 days

#8 posted 10-11-2010 06:53 PM

rwyoung: How long does it take for padauk to fade without UV exposure? I have a small box that is at least 3 years old and shows no fading that I can see at all.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Raftermonkey's profile


560 posts in 2878 days

#9 posted 10-11-2010 07:50 PM

+1 on maple or walnut. My 2 pennies worth.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3040 days

#10 posted 10-11-2010 10:20 PM

I have no scientific data but it seems to me like Padouk fades pretty quickly. I have some that went from the typical reddish/orangish color to a relatively dull brown in less than 5 years . It was always indoors with no exposure to direct sunlight. I have stopped using it (and purpleheart) for that reason.

FYI – I have also used padauk with maple in the past. The contrast stays after the padouk fades.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View BertFlores58's profile


1694 posts in 2888 days

#11 posted 10-12-2010 04:18 AM

Here are sample.. Have your choice… By the way.. I am using Narra, similar with paduak quality…

Narra and Hickory (Cover)... Sides are ebony (kamagong)

I think if you combine it with Wenge, it will look like this… Narra and Ebony… I finished it with Tung-oil so it will darken much..

This one has no boarder but you can see how the sides blend with the endgrain. The endgrain absorbed so much varnish and discolor in a very dark blend … so i like it without borders…

Hope this will help you visualize

-- Bert

View Manasseh's profile


122 posts in 2768 days

#12 posted 10-13-2010 04:31 PM

Thanks for the pictures and input. I believe I will go with a fiddle or tiger maple with a wenge boarder. Man, that Wenge is splintery(i dont know if that is a word, but im using it).
I usually use Tung oil, but may go with a clear coat of something to keep the red as long a possible.

I will use the pecan for an entire pecan box.

Thanks again for the imput. Pics to come later. I promise.

-- Someday I will be more than a sawdust wisperer

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