agonizing over diagonalizing

I still haven't gotten motivated to get any wood, and I don't guess I'm likely to before Santa has come and gone anyway, so this isn't a time pressure thing.
I did a chess box last year out of walnut and maple. I really loved the results, and I've been eager to explore even more interesting ideas involving contrasting woods ever since.
I'm not keen on the idea of doing inlay/marquetry stuff, and I'm thinking in terms of solid construction here.
I'm dreaming up the world's most ridiculously ornate trumpet case, and I have a vision of a box made up of walnut panels that have a contrasting maple what amounts to a squashed sort of X across them.
I could do a maple X with four triangles of walnut, but it seems kind of fiddly and unlikely getting all the angles to come out right with perfectly smooth joints.
The other idea I'm tossing around is to laminate alternating bands end to end, probaby reinforced with dowels or splines or something, then cut them up and shift them around to make interesting geometric patterns. Something like a chess board's construction, but a more complicated, less regular pattern. Maybe something like (this would be mirrored, and is the left half of the blank)
[[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[*****
Then shift it around to look like:
[[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[***** [[[[[[[*****[[[[[[*****[[[[[*****[[[[*****[[[*****[[*****
Or something. I'm open to suggestions. The X thing isn't hard and fast. What I'm really after is coming up with interesting ways to do contrasting wood stuff using regular table saw cuts. No fancy froofery, no bandsaw/scrollsaw stuff here.
And speaking of which. Since 4/4 is really a bit on the beefy side for an instrument case, I'm thinking about resawing these in half. That begs two questions. First, would something made out of this much butt jointed little bits of stuff survive at half of 4/4 thickness? Second, what was the second question? :)
Dunno, I'm just thinking out loud.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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There's some of that sort of stuff pretty common in the guitar-making specialties. And I believe, but cannot seem to lay my hands on my copy tonight, instructions in the Doug Stowe Box making volume from Taunton Press. (THAT'S some convoluted sentence construction for you!)
Now just because it's common, doesn't mean it isn't fussy. My take on it was that I'd want to order new glasses before taking on that level of detail. Or an overhead magnifier lamp. Or both.
On the other hand, it could probably justify a couple of new tools!
Patriarch, who says to keep trying out new ideas. It motivates the rest of us to think.
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You might look up some info on how they make things like herring bone and checkerd banding. It is a series of laminating contrasting strips, then cutting the lamination to strips, laminating again with a consistent offset, rinse and repeat.
You could likely use some similar technique, just scaled up a bit for your purpose. Essentially you do the laminate and cut cycle a few times with no real concern to the final shape. You are just building up an inventory of checkerd/herringboned stock, from which you can start your project.
I did a quick google on making herringbone banding and didn't quickly find a reference. I think some mag (probably FWW) had an article about 6-9 months ago in this. It could have been some other mag, I do read others at random.
I'm thinking something like glue up a stack of walnut and maple boards. Then cross cut them in one inch slices on the TS with the blade kicked over at 30 degrees. Then glue up these slices in a new stack alternating the direction of each slice and slice them again.
BW

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