Laying out for best use of grain

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5 Nov 2004
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I'm making a spice chest - you know the kind c 18in tall, 6 or 9 drawers inside behind a door.

The main carcase and door will be made from walnut but I want the drawer fronts to contrast with the walnut, proabably with something highly figured. This maybe either solid wood or veneer.
The drawers are all flush but separated by thin dividers (6mm) made of walnut.

My question is basically one about aesthetic judgement and I know that there isn't necessarily right or wrong but I am interested in opinions on this:

If I layout the fronts from one piece of highly figured timber or veneer, should I cut a 6mm kerf between all the elements or should I fit them as close together as poss?

My thinking is the former because I imagine the eye will fill in the expected continuity in the grain but I'm not sure.

Obviously it might really not make a big difference anyway.

Thoughts please.


If you use solid timber you will end up with removing around 6mm but the time you have a saw Kerf of upto 3mm and have planed the cut edges plus a bit for final adjustments. Enven with veneer I would probably loose the 6mm between the draws( allows for trimming anyway)

If you overlap the drawer fronts (over the dividers) then you could use a narrow kerf saw (japanese for example) and preserve the appearance of a single piece at the front.
Thanks Guys

Jason, you are right. The decision only really applies to veneer doesn't it.

Chris - I hadn't thought of that - I like the idea of haveing the drawers separated by the contrasting dividers but maybe if I find a really stunning piece of timber or veneer I could think about the overlay option.



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