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Whats wrong with this wood?

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VENNY

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I've bought the sideboard, just a couple of bits to bring it back to life. It needs the legs shortening as at nearly 1m high, its a bit too high for a sideboard. Its a south African brand I have been told. Some nicks to the corners but I was thinking knot filler squared off if I can find the right colour. Then some serious elbow grease polishing and buffing, unless there are any other issues.
s-l1600.jpg
 

MARK.B.

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To high:unsure:all down to personal choice of course:) looks about right height and in proportion to my old eyes(y)
 

Droogs

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Looks far more like Elm to me than Teak. As said above a board with a ripple grain to it, very nice bit of wood.the effect can be seen most prominently in sycamore below

1636408444767.png
 

Ollie78

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It is figuring as mentioned above. The technical term for the effect of the light refraction on the grain is chatoyance or chatoyancy.
Good for the pub quiz or scrabble.


Ollie
 

VENNY

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To high:unsure:all down to personal choice of course:) looks about right height and in proportion to my old eyes(y)
You're right the proportions are fine from an aesthetics point of view, but its not functional. So I need to figure how much I can shorten it without throwing off the aesthetics and wrecking a nice piece of furniture. In part I need to know how longs the legs are and then I'll have an idea who much can be lost.
 

VENNY

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Maybe use a new leg design altogether, a square tapered splayed leg would help keep proportions.
It’s all original from the 70s I’d like to keep that as much as I can. There seems to be an obsession with sticking hairpin legs on mid century furniture. I know you’re not suggesting that😀. But I like the squareness of everything on it. But if it came to altering the legs I may chamfer the legs.
 

kinverkid

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The legs and frame are almost definitely teak, the frontages may be fooling us because I think it has bleached with exposure but I think that they are also teak. Nice ripple. Gary
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TRITON

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The box I made yonks ago from I think an Ash the council cut down in our shared garden and I saved a chunk had some lovely rippling effect to it. I used the riven technique to quarter it then dressed it all down by hand, no machinery.
I've only the one pic, stupidly because it was a gift for someone didn't take many.
About%20done%20I%20suppose%20006%20(Medium).JPG
 

toolsntat

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I've bought the sideboard, just a couple of bits to bring it back to life. It needs the legs shortening as at nearly 1m high, its a bit too high for a sideboard. Its a south African brand I have been told. Some nicks to the corners but I was thinking knot filler squared off if I can find the right colour. Then some serious elbow grease polishing and buffing, unless there are any other issues.View attachment 121479
Nice workmanship in keeping the bottom grain lined up which makes me think the left drawer might be better on the right hand end of the other two.
Left one out, other two move over.
Cheers Andy
 

KimG

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Yes I would go with Ash as most likely, at first I thought it might have been Elm, but it isn't quite irregular enough or the right colour for Elm. I agree with Pete too, I don't think it's teak, the grain and colour is wrong.
 

recipio

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I think you mean perpendicular to the grain. They are ripple or fiddleback features and on the bottom below the glue line some olive marking found mainly in maple but also ash. I'd agree the wood is ash.
 

Sean33

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Hi All
I've just joined the forum as I will be restoring furniture for my new house and plan for everything inside and out to be restored, refurbished or made by myself. I have seen this sideboard that needs a little work but the wood has strange lines parallel to the grain, I've not seen that before. Does anyone know what it is? Thanks for any help.View attachment 121423
I would suggest it is ripple/curly, If it helps i always pay more for grain like that!
 

spanner48

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I suggest it may be Sycamore or another Acer species. The figuring is called "fiddleback" and is highly prized amongst luthiers - amongst others - for precisely that purpose. You're very lucky to have got such large single pieces, all so figured.

It occurs around and below the point where a branch grows out, and is caused by the compression from the weight of the branch acting on the fibres supporting it.

When Acers are felled, wise lumbermen will save these "joint crooks" specifically for the figuring.
 

Richard_C

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Nice piece, sort of G Plan but not quite, maybe made by Nathan or similar.

If you search online for "mid Century sideboards" and select images you will get dozens of pictures. Might help with leg ideas. A search for mid century furniture restoration will also yield results, some sensible. Read a few and see what might work for you.

I would be very reluctant to cut the legs down, its an integral part of the look and its not just legs, its a well made frame. It might be the perfect height to stand your record player on so you can use it without bending over :). But noting your practicality comment what you could perhaps do is take off the whole under frame and store it away, make a platform slightly smaller than the sideboard so its not seen unless you are lying on the floor, fit legs to that and and fit that to the bottom. Legs maybe splayed square as others have suggested, or simple short cylindrical.

If yu are new to this, take care not to dive in and 'over restore'.* If its structurally sound I would start by giving it a good clean (white spirit perhaps but test it on a hidden bit) to get rid of years of accumulated wax and ingrained dust then spend a few weeks looking at it before going further. You might find that a good clean and a coat of hard wax or some oil will be enough. Once you start to do more, there is no going back. If the chips are small, you might decide you can live with them. If the back is finished in the same way as the front, that is your trial ground for cleaning and finishing. If not then maybe the mid height rear areas of the sides which are visible but not prominent in most room layouts.

* This from experience. I started in on a kneehole desk that came from my father's house, probabaly 1920's - he got it second hand. I managed to soften and then damage the finish so ended up stripping it right back. It's OK and I still use it, but it lost its 'spirit'. I'm still cross with myself - and that was in 1974.
 

Sgian Dubh

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The figuring is called "fiddleback" and is highly prized amongst luthiers - amongst others - for precisely that purpose. You're very lucky to have got such large single pieces, all so figured.
I'd say the figure in the original photograph isn't pronounced enough really to qualify as fiddleback. The image below falls into that category better.

220-Maple-Fiddle-2.jpg

It occurs around and below the point where a branch grows out, and is caused by the compression from the weight of the branch acting on the fibres supporting it.
I wonder if you might be slightly in error with that description of the cause of ripple or fiddleback figuring? It occurs to me that you might be mixing it up with the cause of crotch figure? As far as I'm aware no-one has definitively pinned down the precise mechanism that causes a tree to develop rippled growth - it seems to be a random and largely unpredictable occurrence, or at least that's what my researches into the topic suggest. If you have sources for what you say I'd very much appreciate you pointing me towards them.

I'm a bit sceptical of what you say because ripple figure sometimes extends the full length of boards that might be anywhere between 8' and 16' long. In cases like this, if the board is essentially clear of defects and knots I can't see how such figuring is related to the close proximity of the underside of a branch.

Crotch figuring occurs at the intersection of two branches, an example of which is in the image below of two leaves of veneer opened out like the pages of a book to create a mirror image. In this example there isn't really evidence of ripple figure within the arching grain pattern, although there is evidence reversing grain between some of the interlocked growth rings. Slainte.

228-crotch-fig.jpg
 

spanner48

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The sample you show certainly looks like classic fiddleback sycamore to me. Maybe best to ask some experienced luthiers?

As for the cause, I report what I was told in Woodwork classes at school in 1958. But perhaps knowledge has advanced since then? This research:


suggests that it is genetic.
 

Sgian Dubh

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The sample you show certainly looks like classic fiddleback sycamore to me. Maybe best to ask some experienced luthiers?
I already have a pretty good handle on what fiddleback sycamore and maple look like, so I think I'll give the luthiers a miss for now, ha, ha. Foresters and loggers are quite adept at quickly spotting wavy grain or fiddleback figure in tree trunks, either still standing or felled - peeling a bit of bark off to below the cambium layer will reveal such figuring, which occurs in other wood species besides maples, including sycamore.

As for the cause, I report what I was told in Woodwork classes at school in 1958. But perhaps knowledge has advanced since then? This research:


suggests that it is genetic.
It seems likely that whoever told you about the underside of branch stems being the cause of ripple figure in a tree's stem was either guessing or perhaps just passing on something heard. In truth I can't imagine anyone, even back in 1958, would really think the near location of a branch could possibly lead to anything other than localised ripple figure simply because ripple or fiddleback figure can, as I've already mentioned, extend the full length and width of all or most of the boards in a saw log.

Many thanks for the link. I hadn't come across that particular study. I'm not a wood scientist but I do have quite a keen general interest in timber technology. It doesn't surprise me that the study comes to the somewhat tentative conclusion that genetics may have a part to play in the development of ripple figure. It seems possible that genetics may potentially have a role to play in all sorts of unusual figure and growth characteristics, such as interlocking grain, pomelle, quilted, bird's eye, and so on. On the whole though, it does seem no-one's yet been able to definitively describe 'the' cause for unusual growth patterns. Slainte.
 

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