You've been asked to make a slab of purpleheart that is 20"x20"x2"
You can glue it up from pieces of purpleheart or you can use MDF and
some really nice purpleheart veneer.
Assuming you have the tools and skills to perform either task, which
one do you do?
david boise ID
Umm, it's hypothetical. But thanks for posting once. Can I get one
more? Let's just say it's ornamental and cost isn't a factor. What I'm
after is why you might choose one method over the other.
david boise ID
On 7 Oct 2004 20:03:05 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (David Bogie) wrote:
so then you would have 2 hypothetical answers, appropriate for 2
the veneer over MDF would be more stable in some situations, such as
the top of some piece of indoor furniture. the glued up slab might be
more appropriate for an outdoor use, such as a sign.
so your question was lacking, if you meant it to return some real
On 10 Oct 2004 15:49:43 -0700, email@example.com (David Bogie) wrote:
I didn't mean to impugn your woodworking skills or your experience,
just pointing out that your question did not present in a way that we
could clearly see what it was that you wanted.
On 3 Oct 2004 19:15:27 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (David Bogie) wrote:
Go board ? It's the only thing I can think of that would use a slab
with those dimensions.
I wouldn't glue it up from sheets (you did say laminate). If they're
looking for a 2" thick board, then they want something that shrieks
"solid timber". 4" wide strips would be OK, but anything that starts
to look like Ikea's "glued together rubberwood scraps" just doesn't
cut it quality-wise. Make sure the purplehart came from the same
board, because you want the colour to stay consistent as it changes.
You also want a god scrape / sanding pass to take the surface down a
touch - invisible glue smears around the glueline can become very
obvious in a timber that changes colour over time.
Then ignore everything I've just said and choose entirely on price.
Sorry, I thought I had seen the term "laminate" applied to almost any
build up that involves full-length glue-up. I guess I should have also
stipulated the woodworker had the required taste (as well as skills
and tools) to make all necessary quality and aesthetic decisions in
favor of the maximum presentation.
Thank you for the very thorough post, Andy. One doesn't see the word
"go" often outside of rec.games.go, do you play? But can you tell me
why you would you choose to do the glue-up instead of the veneer?
That's what I'm really interested in.
david boise ID
On 7 Oct 2004 19:49:17 -0700, email@example.com (David Bogie) wrote:
I'd expect the etymology of laminate to imply laminar planes.
I wouldn't, but then I'm not making it, and I'm not the customer.
The super-thick Japanese boards are for playing on the floor, whilst
kneeling. Using one of these on a table looks ridiculous.
For playing on a low Japanese table, the board thickness is about an
inch and half, so as to make the playing height the usual 8".
Westerners, except the most flexible, will want it higher.
My ideal go board is thick MDF, with a pale ash, beech or maple veneer
on it. It's about an inch thick and using MDF instead of ply gives
more mass, and thus more stability. I play on a low table, sitting on
the floor or sofa. I generally kneel, and many of my guests kneel too
(the iaido bunch), but the ones I play go against don't bend well
I have no interest in the really thick boards. Even though my lounge
is already full of stacked timber, I'd regard the use of a whole log
as wasteful for a game board. About an inch or two is enough to give
stability. As part of the aesthetic of thick solid timber in Japan,
it really wants to be either one piece, or as close as you can get to
it. 20" is more than you can likely find, but if you can get 18" as
solid then I'd use that. 20" would be an unusually wide board
(although not so unusual for length).
Purpleheart isn't my choice of timber, being too dark and distracting.
You should certainly avoid knots or "loud" figure. My own ash-veneer
board has been criticised for the grain being a bit too obvious.
Proportions for a go board are rectangular and not square. Square
isn't iki. The marked out area is usually 38.5 x 42 cm, with the
players on the narrow edges. The border around this is either
symmetrical or very asymmetrical, so the whole board is still
It's all great fun till someone loses an eye. I've been playing go for
thirty years. I've had many, many boards. The purpleheart in my
collection looks absolutely fabulous with a lovely set of
purple-veined clamshell stones I got from Kurokigoishi
The 2" board is a bit thick for standard western tables but, as you
say, we don't kneel easily as we see the other side of 35 to 50.
The delightfully idiosyncratic un-squareness of the goban is a great
topic among go players; endless and often ridiculous speculation. The
same silliness is applied to theories about the inverted pyramid on
the underside of traditional Japanese floor boards.
But, actually, all I'm trying to find out is why some woodworkers like
to do glue-ups and some like to do veneers. The fact that this
imaginary thingy might have been used as a go board has nothing to do
with a completely hypothetical situation.
Thanks for your participation and your comments.
david boise ID
On 8 Oct 2004 18:09:46 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (David Bogie) wrote:
I didn't realise you played yourself, from your first post. I thought
you were a woodworker looking to make this for someone else.
About ten since I learned to play, but I don't play that often.
But is that the point ? I'm all for aesthetics, but I think this can
sometimes go too far. What's it like to play on such a dark board?
I'm sure you've met bad players with too much money and a goban
proudly standing on a coffee table! (you presumably play from a
ladder) My idea of a good board is one that's good to _play_ on, not
necessarily to look at. It's just a plank ! There's a limit to how
much you can dress it up before you've just started putting
gingerbread on it.
Wow ! Those are rather splendid
Just glass round here. A potter friend keeps promising to make a set
in porcelain, which would be nice.
I've always fancied getting some slate stones (can't afford
clamshell), but haven't found anywhere that sells a "half set" like
It's for sharpening the stones....
BTW - How big is this thing meant to be ? Sizes for stones and such
are quite fanatically constrained, but I've never seen anything
written about sizing heso.
Inspired somewhat by your board, I made a new board yesterday - the
quickest and easiest ever! I had some offcuts of Valchromat around -
a pre-coloured high-grade MDF, in dark grey. I made up a full size
and a quarter-size board (probably an Xmas present for my son), then
inlayed them with white-dyed epoxy. When I've worked out how to
flatten the inlay without damaging the surface, they'll be done.
I think a go board is near-hypothetical, but interesting because of
it. There just aren't many woodworking projects that are so simply
flat and unsupported - most other pieces are a hollow box, where
there's some level of bracing from the other sides.
IMHO, the crucial question here is thickness. I'm not going to mess
around doing an 18" wide glueup of narrow strips, and a glueup of 2 or
3 wide strips wouldn't be stable unless they were at least 2" thick
(and eating into my best quality prime-cut timber pile). I make such
glueups regularly for cabinets, but they have some sort of bracing or
breadboard end, not a bare board. For a thickness beneath this,
plywood (or MDF, for I have no shame and it is denser) is a better
substrate, even if I need to veneer it.
For a thick board, I'd really feel that it was solid timber or
nothing. I've got lime here that could make a goban, but even at that
thickness it would be quite lightweight. It would be a lovely
commercial project if someone wanted to pay for it, but I'm not giving
up the thick timber when I don't need to.
On 10 Oct 2004 17:04:20 -0700, email@example.com (David Bogie) wrote:
Those prices do look good. I might try and get friends to pick some up
Heso - the pyramid thing.
BTW - Do you know anything about the business of ruling lines with a
sword ? I also collect and restore swords, so I have the hardware...
Ah, but do they ever sell ? I'd love to make such a high-ticket
piece, but I think I might have retired before I ever sold one.
I'm at a craft fair in a couple of weeks. I'll have two chairs there
and one will have a deliberately enormous pricetag. I don't really
_want_ to sell it, I'd prefer to keep it for myself, and if it makes
the other one look like more of a bargain, then that's fine by me.
Thanks - I'd not seen that before. I'll have to try and find some -
for a change from the infernal yu-gi-oh if nothing else!
"When men die, their Maker may reward them for their efforts by allowing
them to live again as male dogs. Thus freed from inhibition, they can spend
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