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Contrast wood or not

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 08-16-2017 10:17 PM 331 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CharlesA

3258 posts in 1549 days


08-16-2017 10:17 PM

My next project will be a Shaker style linen press to function as a wardrobe. Dimensions will be roughly similar to our current wardrobe, so a bit wider than the example pics below. I’m going to go with two sets of side-by-side drawers because of the width of the piece. Here’s my question: I have some quarter sawn sycamore that I bought to use as contrast wood at some point on a cherry piece. I could make the drawer fronts out of the sycamore. My sense is that it won’t work on something like this (i was thinking more on the scale of a Shaker side table). Any thoughts:

Quarter sawn sycamore:

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson


11 replies so far

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Aj2

1086 posts in 1549 days


#1 posted 08-16-2017 10:53 PM

I wouldn’t stray from those two designs they are really pleasing to the eye.
In fact you really want something that looks great for years to come try to source all the Cherry from the same tree.
And pay close attention to the wood grain that was choosen for the door and drawer fronts.They have good harmony.
Maybe you can use your sycamore for the inside or back panels.

-- Aj

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papadan

3484 posts in 3120 days


#2 posted 08-16-2017 10:54 PM

Charles, I think you should stick with the Cherry on something as large as this wardrobe. I don’t really think a contrasting would look that good on such a classic piece.

-- Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

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TheFridge

7697 posts in 1237 days


#3 posted 08-16-2017 10:58 PM



Charles, I think you should stick with the Cherry on something as large as this wardrobe. I don t really think a contrasting would look that good on such a classic piece.

- papadan

Ditto

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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leafherder

1203 posts in 1703 days


#4 posted 08-16-2017 11:21 PM

From the perspective of someone with a degree in History who has been researching our local Shaker community, any type of contrasting wood would be in opposition to the Shaker style. Shakers were about simplicity and functionality, not surface adornment or artistic expression. Yes they made some designs that modern eyes consider beautiful, but during the Victorian Age when the Shakers were active their designs were considered too plain to be fashionable.

Do you want something in true Shaker style or a modern interpretation of the style? A Cherry and Sycamore piece could be quite attractive – but you could not call it Shaker.

Best of luck on your project and be sure to post it when you’re finished.

-- Leafherder

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CharlesA

3258 posts in 1549 days


#5 posted 08-16-2017 11:35 PM

Thanks. I am not doing a Shaker reproduction. I like the Shaker aesthetic.

That being said, I have a whole boatload of shaker books from a Shaker historical site, and there are tons of variation in shaker styles. Here are a couple of examples of contrast in Shaker furniture:

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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pintodeluxe

5351 posts in 2564 days


#6 posted 08-16-2017 11:41 PM

I say no contrast on shaker style pieces.

The arts and crafts style has plenty of good examples of contrasting wood, but mostly with inlays.

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

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papadan

3484 posts in 3120 days


#7 posted 08-16-2017 11:44 PM

Charles, I like that little table, but think that desk has too much contrast to it. The drawers look good but all the panels are too much. MHO

-- Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

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CharlesA

3258 posts in 1549 days


#8 posted 08-16-2017 11:48 PM

The conclusion from my reading is that there was a lot of variation in Shaker style, but it was kind of essentialized as folks started writing about the style. Some of the stuff is hideous.

That being said, I was leaning against the contrast wood—I’m just jonesing to use that sycamore.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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papadan

3484 posts in 3120 days


#9 posted 08-16-2017 11:53 PM

So build the whole thing out of Sycamore instead of Cherry! ;-)

-- Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

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CharlesA

3258 posts in 1549 days


#10 posted 08-17-2017 12:00 AM

Talk about overwhelming . . .

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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CharlesA

3258 posts in 1549 days


#11 posted 08-17-2017 12:26 AM

Thanks, everyone, for talking me down.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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