Jatoba Glue-up Ripping Stategy

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Forum topic by john8 posted 06-04-2012 05:38 PM 928 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 1755 days

06-04-2012 05:38 PM

I have 2 pieces of 10 foot 8/4 Jatoba being used for a raised counter. One is 4 1/2 inches wide and the other 14 inches wide. I want a finished piece that is 17+\- inches wide. I could either rip the wider piece into thirds and rip the 4 1/2 inch piece to match or just rip the 4 1/2 inch piece down the middle and glue one to each side of the bigger piece. I’m not sure which would look better in the finished product. The easiest 3rd option would be just glue the small piece to the wide piece but I think that has has symmetry issues. The less ripping the better but I want it to look as nice as possible. Thanks

-- john

7 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3642 days

#1 posted 06-04-2012 06:03 PM

I hate to be the party pooper, but I would rip everything to equal (or nearly-equal) widths. But you can always test your idea. Crosscut the narrow board, and lay a piece on both sides of the wider slab to get an idea how it would look. If you are satisfied, go with it.

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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3384 days

#2 posted 06-04-2012 06:09 PM

I’ve gotta go with Charlie.


View john8's profile


32 posts in 1755 days

#3 posted 06-04-2012 06:17 PM

That’s 100% for equal rips. If it was any other kind of wood, I may not have even posed the question. My gut feeling though was that the sandwich effect may not look good but this is my first glueup. Thanks guys.

-- john

View Tennessee's profile


2410 posts in 1938 days

#4 posted 06-04-2012 07:43 PM

Hoped you have not ripped yet. I’d try cutting the large plank in half, and putting the narrow one dead in the middle. You can try this look by simply lying the narrow plank in the center of the large plank, and look directly down on it with light overhead. It will give you a nice pattern. If you don’t like it, you can rip them up equally.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View gfadvm's profile


14932 posts in 2114 days

#5 posted 06-05-2012 01:50 AM

I favor Paul from Tenn.’s approach. I would look at the mock up in natural sunlight as Jatoba often exhibits an almost iradescent grain that you will want to make sure all pieces are oriented to catch/reflect the light equally. This should make your joints invisable (or nearly so). My experience with Jatoba is it is very stable so the wider planks should not have a tendency to cup.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View MNgary's profile


294 posts in 1841 days

#6 posted 06-05-2012 01:50 AM

Does the wider board include center of the trunk/branch? I’m wondering if there’s an advantage to removing the center of the wider board to minimize later cupping of the counter top. If so, that changes the dynamic.

-- I dream of the world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View john8's profile


32 posts in 1755 days

#7 posted 06-05-2012 02:00 AM

Firstly, thanks for all your ideas. I haven’t really considered the strategy based on what the grain looks like in the big board. I just unwrapped the shipping cellophane today but have it covered with the cardboard to keep light off of it. I’ll have to get a better look at the grain. I think its the center of the tree, based on the extra end cut scraps they sent. I like the natural sunlight test. Good idea. Thanks

-- john

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