Okay, Jeff, you also stole my spot as being the first chair related
post of the day. Anyway, here's my question;
I am making a set of chairs from some mildly figured 8/4 curly
cherry. The leg blanks are supposed to be 43 x 4 inches, 1&1/2 inch
thick. I could save some lumber if I alternately invert the legs so
their angles nest within each other.
Would this be a good approach or would you expect to see unusualor
inconsistant grain patterns within any chair? I thought I could do
this and when I match up the legs I could pair them off according to
which direction they were cut.
My stock is wide enough so I could "bookmatch" each pair of legs -
original thought when I purchased the lumber - but this seems wastful.
These are to be in my house, not a project for anyone else, so I'm
(or to be precise, my Wife) is the only one I have to please with the
All comments are welcome- thanks in advance,
Given the usual mild taper of chair legs, would you really save that much?
I'd be tempted to go for the best visual appeal, and not worry about
saving a small amount of wood. With the amount of time invested in a
typical woodworking project, a bit more material cost is often a good
investment in the long run.
I'm with Chris.
If well made, a piece can be enjoyed for many years. The extra wood
involved will be long forgotten. The cutoffs could always be used in
hidden places, on other projects, or even for jigs, so in reality, not
that much is truly wasted.
For front or "featured" legs, I like to look for rift sawn stock that
has a 45 degree grain when viewed from the end. This allows all four
sides of the leg to have similar figure.
I'd have to see the wood but the fact that it's curly cherry makes me
think you could get away with that. The fact that it's mildly figured
makes me think maybe not. In the end, it's a judgment call.
Personally, I find you can work with off-setting inconsistencies to
great effect on a single chair. Sets of chairs are another matter. In
the end, it's like a commercial. You Make The Call.
Nope ... it's _you_ that has to be pleased over time. If there is one thing
I've kicked myself time and time again for is not putting in the extra
effort/dollars to get the best grain match possible.
There will be no end to that nagging inner voice if you do otherwise,
particularly with chairs.
When it comes to material and you own projects, if it's worth doing, it's
worth it to:
"Take the time, and spend money".
Well, the deed is done. I got them all laid out book matched style.
I decided to go with the better looking product than try to minimize
my wood consumption. Too late for the quartersawn, but thanks for the
suggestion, Jeff. It looks like I might be able to get most of the
short legs from the same blank as the long legs too, so each chair
will have similar traits. Thanks for the suggestions, I appreciated
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