Mixing grain orientation

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by William Rogers, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    I want to do a small hollow form and at the opening I was going to add three pieces about 3/4" ranging from about 3" at the base to 1-1/2 at the opening. The hollow form will be endgrain and I have two pieces of endgrain Blackwood. For contrast between the Blackwood I have holly or yellow heart, but these pieces would be side grain. Is it a "no-no" to mix endgrain and side grain?
     
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  2. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Well you didn't tell us what the hollow for is. 3" and smaller won't have much movement. If you can make the blackwood overlap the opening and use a flexible glue it should never be a problem. Ideally you should not mix grain directions but a lot of us have gotten away with it mostly due to dumb luck picking woods that didn't have a lot of movement. You can find information on the web about wood movement of each species. So ideally you can simply compare the woods your using and see. Be aware that wood moves differently in 3 different planes so you need to read up on that to better understand what your getting into. Side grain across the grain is the largest movement and endgrain the least so what you are trying to do will have the most problems.
     
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  3. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    John, a bit more description. I was thinking of doing about a 6-7" base hollow form maybe 8" tall with the opening described above if that makes sense. Since the pieces are somewhat small and end up about 1/4" thick after hollowing, I was more concerned about aesthetics than wood movement, although that needs to be considered. I don't have any particular reason for this piece as I just want to make it
     
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with John that it wouldn't be a problem for small items. Cross grain glue joints can be a problem on large projects where wood movement is a more significant factor, but even with furniture that is in constant-temperature constant-humidity air conditioned space, seasonal movement will often be minimal.
     
  5. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    I'll try this again. What I wanted to know is if it would look strange with one wood with side grain orientation sandwiched between endgrain wood?
     
  6. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Hopefully, what you do with the wood will be more noticeable than the wood itself.
     
  7. john lucas

    john lucas

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    No I've seen some really cool pieces that had end grain inbetween some side grain. I can't say for sure that they would last a lifetime with cross grain glue joints but the wood movement on each piece would be pretty small. I saw someone do a basket weave kind of look with vertical grain going up and down and horizontal grain going sideways so it looked just like a woven bowl.
     
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