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Thread: Joining different species of wood together

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Joining different species of wood together

    Lately I've been rolling ideas around in my head about an armoire. I discovered my love for woodworking only a couple years ago so I'm still about as green as they come, but with everything new that I build I try to add a little more than my last project. I thought about coming up with a few designs that I could make a template for my router and cut out of the finished product so I can replace them with a different species of wood. I'm just not sure about what species of wood work well together in terms of swelling and shrinking with the seasons. Up until now I've only been using pine because its the cheapest I can get at lowes jacked up prices, but in the next month or so I'll be purchasing a planer so I can just start going to the lumber yard and the skys the limit from there. Does anyone know any wood that can be brought together or will anything due?

  2. #2
    When making jigs and fixtures what you want is stability. Many folks use MDF and are happy with it. I just never build enoguh jigs at one time to justify purchasing a whole sheet of MDF. I use plywood (baltic birch type when I can) and either soft maple of poplar for the other parts. With that said, I do have jigs made from construction grade plywood and pine that I've had for years and they are still functional. I even have a cross cut sled made from regular plywood adn a piece of 2 x 2 red oak. Generally a jig is made to fill a specific need on one or two projects so you want it "quick and cheap". A jig made for production needs would necessarily be made of better materials and have a higher degree of sophistication.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

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  3. #3
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    Keaton, are you asking about which woods can be used together on a project or as Lee has discussed above, which woods are suitable for jigs? I thought you are asking about project woods, not jigs. I'm confused.

    "What do you mean my birth certificate's expired?!"

  4. #4
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    From my limited experience - a few years of making boxes and furniture - I have not had a problem gluing long grain to long grain. The major direction of movement is cross grain. I have had movement issues when different parts of the piece have end grain against long grain, or doors that are a tight fit expanding to fit too tight.
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  5. #5
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    Chagrin Falls, OH
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    I *think* Keaton is asking about pure aesthetics here, but the whole router thing confused me.

    If you asking about wood combinations that compliment each other, my favorite so far is probably maple and walnut. You're right though - the sky is the limit. If you're computer savvy enough, you can create your project in Sketchup and import wood grains and play with it from there.

    There was an article in FWW a few months ago about this topic as well.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Jan 2011
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    Parkersburg, WV
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Bosdet View Post
    Keaton, are you asking about which woods can be used together on a project or as Lee has discussed above, which woods are suitable for jigs? I thought you are asking about project woods, not jigs. I'm confused.
    I was asking about different woods that can be used together actually. I made the post right before I went to bed this morning so its probably not as easy to understand. Sorry.

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