I am building a small chest out of bird's eye maple, and don't want to spend
that much on the back which will never be seen.
Presumably the best thing would be to use some plain maple, but I have
plenty of ash and oak scraps that I would like to use up. It will be about
10" crossgrain. Any serious problems with differential wood movement if I
mix maple and ash or oak? I have mixed wood on drawers, but not 10".
Look at your design to determine direction of movement and make your joinery
compensate for it. The key to backs and unders is that they generally fill
a void rather than act structurally. Makes a resaw of matching lumber a
good way to go. Just resaw some maple. The oak or ash would probably be
more visually grating than a piece of birch ply.
I have some maple ply, but figured it would not expand like maple, so any
real wood would be a better choice.
The back is somewhat structural, as the lid will be hinged to it. I could
secure it at the top and let the bottom float. I guess that would pretty
much eliminate any problem, but would prefer to secure the bottom also.
Frame/panel my choice. Will you really be satisfied with something made of
expensive wood, and then a chunk of mismatched whatever visible when you
open the chest?
You could dovetail the upper and lower pieces into the carcass.
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