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6571RE: [MedievalSawdust] Grain in joints and finishing questions

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  • Geffrei Maudeleyne
    Jul 2, 2006

      A short story on grain.


      In High School we designed and built our own furniture instead of bird houses. I designed a game table with a checkerboard in the middle. The board had all of it’s grain going in one direction. Then I wrapped it in a frame of walnut with the grain going along the sides of the checkerboard. I filled out the bulk the table top with poplar that ran in two directions and then banded the eight sided table top with walnut that ran in four different directions. The walnut came from someone’s grandfather’s barn attic, many years old. The poplar was kiln dried.


      My shop teacher was in on all of this planning and execution. He should have been executed. We built our projects an hour a day for several months so it did not get a finish until late in the game. By then it was too late anyway. Wood, even when removed from the tree grows and shrinks. I had to fight the top to re-glue all the joints when they pushed each other apart. In disgust, the table now has a painted piece of birch plywood.


      Projects like the 6 board box have room for the legs to get longer etc. you have just an angle to another.


      Compare to:




      If the lines crudely denote grain direction. The interior swelling and shrinking directly affects every other joint. Adding things like dovetails, biscuits, dowels and pegs also affect your results.



      From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of msgilliandurham
      Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 9:07 PM
      To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Grain in joints and finishing questions


      My thanks in advance for any responses I get to the questions below.
      (and yes, this group will get *heavy* mention in my class next
      weekend! :-)

      Question one:
      I've been reading some books on modern carpentry (filling in the big
      honking gaps in my very rough-and-ready knowledge) and one of them
      insists that for a box with a lid, the front, back, and sides of the
      box all need to have the grain running the same way, (i.e., parallel to
      the bottom) or "the joints will fail".

      trimmed for digest users.

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