I finished my curly cherry bed a few weeks ago (and I will post
pictures as soon as I figure out how) and now I started on a matching
set of night stands. I have several feet of 12 inch wide cherry for
the top (resawn from an 8/4 x 12 inch board) but my plans call for 18
x 18 so I was going to make a mitered border (3 inch wide) of some
contrasting wood. My choices are bloodwood or walnut. The bloodwood
is my preference but I was concerned that when I sand the glued up top
I might get bloodwood sanddust impregnated in the cherry without any
easy remedy for its removal. Also, since the densities of the two
woods are so different, would I notice any post assembly deficiencies?
As an aside, I was machining the bloodwood along with the cherry to
maintain uniformity and the contrast of the two woods was so
I did some minor work on ipe before - mostly crosscutting, ripping,
and routing - but this is the first time I did any major machining of
a very dense and heavy wood. Looking forward to more bloodwood
projects in the future.
Very probably...mitered border pieces on another piece of solid wood
are never a good idea. On plywood, yes..solid wood no.
The alternative is "breadboard ends". Border the lengths of the top
slab with solid then add ends so they overlap those borders. The ends
need to be attached so that the top piece can expand/contract; a
sliding dovetail works well with a single screw in the center of the
end into the top. No glue. It is usual to cut a quirk (narrow groove
or chamfer) on the ends of the long borders where the end borders
adjoin them so that when the end borders move in/out with the top
piece that movement is not noticeable.
Or, just border the two long sides of the top.
That's one idea I never thought of. The breadboard idea was tossed
around but lost out to the mitered appearance, however, making the
cherry 18 inches long and then adding the bloodwood border would be
more appealing (and easier to construct!) In fact, I had laid out
the boards that way on my workbench but was not cognizant enough to
see that as a "finished" pattern. Thanks for that suggestion.
But getting back to the sand dust concern; could this be a problem to
contend with? Any chance of bleed once finish is applied?
This hasn't been a problem for me, but the bloodwood can bleed
depending on the finish. I haven't had a problem with varnishes like
General Finishes Arm-R-Seal, but I did have big problems with shellac.
The other poster already mentioned the issues with mitering around a
solid board. The main difference assembly wise would be that if you
have a joint the bloodwood just isn't going to compress as much. So
the same setup on the cherry might produce a working joint but not be
able to get it together with the bloodwood.
A little goes a long way. I think a 3" wide border around a 12"
center would be too much. If the cherry is really nice curly stuff
I'd want it to be the center of attention, and it's just not going to
get noticed with that bloodwood screaming "Look at me!" all around it.
I would probably just glue up 18x18 tops of the cherry if there was
enough, or go with the walnut.
I'll say this much, it brings scroll saw blades to an early demise :)
Also the sandpaper on my drum sander. If padauk held its color I'd
never go near the bloodwood, so much easier to work with.
run it through a wide belt sander with good dust collection. i did a red
oak/bloodwood, finished with shellac, and had no bleedthrough on either the
sanding or finishing.
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