Starting a new project to make a headboard for my bed. Trying to use
available stock. Seems I have a slight problem. I don't have enough of any
one type of wood to complete the project :) - I have mahogany, oak, walnut
, hard maple & cherry.
Anyone have any experience on what combinations of these would look good and
not like a patched up kludge? If push comes to shove I can always go buy
what I need but I'm getting lazy in my old age.
Also, in this kind of project - would you use the same stain on all pieces
or does it really matter?
There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who
Nice choise, even if I had enough wood, still I would build out of
walnut and maple, this is what I have for many projects I built, dining
table, dresser chairs etc, they look better as they get older.
But the better or equellant choise is Cherry and Maple. Maple saty the
same color while cherry gets darker.
I disagree. Maple darkens with age, but much more slowly than
cherry so the cherry will appear darker within days of being cut, and
progresively more so with little change in the maple for a year or
ten. After that, the cherry will seem to stay about the same while
the maple darkens over the next several decades.
Black Walnut gets lighter with age. Unless it is finished with
something like a linseed oil finish that darkens it will eventually
appear amber. If left unfinished it will probably be lighter
than the cherry in a couple of years. Much lighter in 5 years.
The dakening of cherry is primarily due to UV exposure, the lightening
of walnut is due primarily to oxidation.
I think any combination of the wooods except for oak with maple
could look good. But there is no accounting for taste.
With walnut and cherry my finish of choice is hand rubbed oil/varnish, a la
Sam Maloof. I have used cherry inlay in walnut table tops with this type of
finish and the cherry eventually darkens past any walnut sapwood present ...
interesting, but very little contrast if that's what you're looking for.
My excuse is that I don't use it much, so I simply don't have that much
experience finishing it.
I'm making a hall table right now with walnut legs, apron and back
scroll and maple top and drawer fronts. Don't plan to stain anything,
just clear finish.
Have a friend who does this all the time, calls it art furniture. His
stuff looks good. He'll stick some Corian inlays in the mix on
Buy more wood and stick with a conservative theme, unless you like to
create a fadish cheap look by using contrasting woods. Mixing the woods
you have is a gimmick. Think of what you'll see 10-15 years from now.
Woodworkers are the world's worst judges of what looks best because
they get hung up on displaying the wood regardless of what looks good
overall, including a good design.
As others have pointed out, rightfully so IMHO, the look can become
'gimmicky' if one isn't careful.
I have made a couple of small raised panel doors, where the panel is
hard maple, and the rails and stiles are cherry. No stains, just nitro-c
lacquer. Over the years, it has become very striking in appearance. But,
having said that, I got away with it, because the two small doors were
part of a wall-unit, where the front edge of some bulky shelves were
also maple, but the predominant wood was cherry. It easily could have
become garish. Instead, the small bits of maple just created a subtle
Personally, I love maple and cherry more than any other species of wood.
Cherry is so nice and warm and understated... and maple can blow your
mind when the birds-eyes turn into pearls that float in a 3rd dimension.
I have seen that on the back of a vintage Les Paul... just incredible.
Swiss pear can be really nice in the right application.
I built a few thousand loudspeakers back in the early 80's and the bulk
of them were walnut veneer. 1/32" on HD PB. I still see some of them
around when they are in need of repair, and I find that walnut just
doesn't stand up to time very well. Orangey-looking stuff. Not nice.
Can be striking. Not my taste.
I just went through my bundle of 110 samples of veneers. I bought that
box at Constantines in New York many moons ago. By the time I discarded
the mundane, boring, too-wild, too busy, pretentious veneers... I was
left with 3 maples and 2 cherries and a pear.
I like maple and cherry together, as will as mahogany with either of
them or walnut.
My personal taste runs towards similar grained woods with limited steps
in color. Try kicking some of the combos into Google Images and see what
ideas you get.
For instance "maple cherry bed"
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