book match grade

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Forum topic by David posted 06-19-2011 03:56 AM 1305 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View David 's profile


81 posts in 2659 days

06-19-2011 03:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

What is book match grade lumber and how is it graded. If i don’t ask my wife will remove me from the earth if i buy some and it cost more than she approved. Not hen pecked just married to long to start over.

-- David, Center,Texas

3 replies so far

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2577 days

#1 posted 06-19-2011 06:01 AM

Bookmatching has nothing to do with grading per se. What it is, is a board that’s been sawn in half, creating two boards with precisely the same grain patterns on one side each. (another common way it is done is simply to slice a block of wood and keep sequential records of which boards were cut from where)/

It has more application in regards to veneer, when you might be able to mirror particular grain patterns on a door front, or create Rorschach like patterns on table tops.

Boards, on the other hand, can be used for the same purposes, but since the reason is reliant primarily in burl or knotting type grains, which create the greatest patterns, and also which create weaknesses within the boards themselves, it’s not as often applicable. Quilting and other figuring, however, can also be bookmatched, and can be used to create beautiful continuous patterns based on the bookmatching.

A final application of bookmatching applies to things like knife handles. Bookmatching a set of knives is also somewhat similar, using a series of matched pieces, but the effect is more or less often to keep continuity and similarity in the handles by cutting all the blanks from the same singular piece of wood.

Overall, you’re paying for boards that are “twins” (a selection premium) and not for any particular “grade” (a quality premium).

View McKinneyMike's profile


80 posts in 2686 days

#2 posted 06-19-2011 05:21 PM

As Bob stated, bookmatching is not a grade, but is a pair of matching faces of lumber. It is nice for door fronts, matching panels, table tops, musical instruments or any decorative application where the effect will offer impact and symmetry. You can bookmatch anything, but the figured woods are generally where the cost of a bookmatched set warrants the extra expense, but sometimes a nice set of large boards for say a table top, would warrant the expense, but as in all things, it is up to the purchaser if the cost is worth the effect.

-- McKinney Hardwood Lumber --Specializing in exotic and figured hardwood lumber -McKinney, TX

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2983 days

#3 posted 06-21-2011 01:34 AM

Bookmatching grade is somewhat of a fancy term for lumber that has no or little symetrical look to it. If you slice a nice, round log flat and even, you will have the outside edges of the sliced off piece looking similar to each other and a “center” so to speak . If you cut an oddly shaped log or chunk of wood, say half of a crotch piece, then the outside edges of the piece you cut off will not look similar, and there will be little to no “center”; thus, if you take and reslice that piece you can then flip one over to “bookmatch” the first, creating a “center” with the edges that contact each other and have two matching outside edges again. It is common to do this with high figured woods as they rarely have a symetrical look.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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