In search of a small piece of birds-eye to finish a special project


My sister is getting married in August. For their wedding gift I'm building a blanket chest. Oak frame with walnut veneered panels and cedar bottom, and dovetailed corners that took about a year off my life. On the front of the chest I've made the center panel come in, and added a ledge in front to create a niche where I'm putting a scale model of the gazebo where they had their first date (which they now live about 1/2 mile from). And did I mention that it turns out it's just about the most complicated gazebo on the planet? I mean seriously, why does a gazebo need a curved three-tiered roof?
Anyway, they also have a thing with the moon, so what I'd like to do is put a birds-eye maple moon on one of the panels on the top over the gazebo. The problem is I've scoured ebay and all I can find is big pieces that I can't afford, and tiny pen blanks and what not that are too small. I've tried writing to the guys selling the pen blanks to see if maybe they could put up a larger piece but so far no joy. The one piece I found that would work the guy wants $6 plus $7 shipping for this little chunk of wood that isn't even quite what I had in mind.
I have some regular ol' hard maple that will do if I have to, but I figured I'd take a shot and see if anyone out there might have an offcut or something they could part with, or failing that perhaps suggest an alternative wood that might work that I might have better luck finding (and affording). I'm looking to end up with about a 4" diameter circle, 1/4-3/8" thick. I would of course be happy to pay a fair value plus shipping. If you want to reach me privately my email is snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com
Thanks for reading,
-Leuf
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wrote:

Couple of questions, I might have what you need- first, is bird's eye the only figure you're interested in? I've got a 4.5" wide plank of nice tiger maple with strong figure that I'd be willing to shorten a little. Second, the tiger maple in question is 4/4 (about 3/4" thick) Can you surface it yourself somehow? I've got a planer, but I'd rather not shave down 13" of figured maple to get one 4"x4" square. For something that small, I don't really care if you pay me anything for it, but if you want it, and can wait a week or two for the postal service to deliver it, contact me directly at jessek@*nospam*bloomer.net, and I'm sure we can figure something out.
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On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 04:48:26 -0500, Prometheus

I was thinking of the birds-eye as sort of looking crater-like for the moon. If I was going to use something else I think it'd probably have to be some kind of burl. I think you can probably find a more appropriate use for the tiger yourself, though I really appreciate the offer.

Yep. I keep all manner of tiny scraps that I think just about everyone else would toss, so I've gotten adept at surfacing them. For that I'd run a groove on 4 sides on the TS and then finish with a hand saw and then use the cut side as the back.
-Leuf
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Time to do some veneer perhaps? You can get small packs from Rockler or Woodcraft if memory serves. Also try http://www.woodworkerssource.net . Hard to buy figured pieces sight unseen but these guys will sell very small quantities.
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wrote:

I had thought about this, but I've never done marquetry before and I try to limit the number of new things I introduce per project, and I figured trying to do a perfect circle wasn't a good thing to try first. At this point I already have the top panels veneered so I don't think it's an option anymore.

Hmm, well woodcraft does have reasonably small pieces, but it's still at 20 bucks by the time you factor in shipping. The little sample pieces from the other place comes so darn close...
-Leuf
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