Wood for my next project

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msparker

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I'm looking to start my next project and need to do my least favourite part... Buying the wood! I really wish I had a store to work from but oh well.

The plan is to make two bedside tables something like the attached image.

I'm hoping to get advise in a couple of areas:
1) Wide waney edge board Vs gluing up some rough sawn boards. I'm working with handtools only. I'm thinking a wide board will make for the most attractive output and avoids the need for a join which could be imperfect if I don't have the right stock (colour, grain match etc). Is this a mistake? Are there stability issues? Will I make life more difficult for myself?

2) Suggestions for species... I have a very long shortlist that includes: cherry, oak, ash, plane, sweet chestnut, sycamore, maple. What would people suggest for a modern look, good workability with handtools and suitability for this sort of design

Thanks in advance!
 

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marcros

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what are the dimensions of the top? you may struggle to get a single board wide enough.

you have a wide range of timber colours there- what would suit the rest of the furniture in the room? what is available locally, it can be very frustrating to try and track down a "common" species when there is nothing nearby. I had this battle with sweet chestnut. I wouldn't know where to get London Plane from around here either.
 

yetloh

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For a modern look the paler species work well. I have a soft spot for sycamore it's not as hard or heavy as maple and easier to work and doesn't have tp come from the other side of the world. I have never had any stability problems with it. The only real problem is that it has to be dried very carefully if it is not to have a nasty grey stain, so you need to buy from a reputable supplier.

Jim
 

Woody2Shoes

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I guess you'll pay a premium for wide boards and/or waney edge ones (which seem to be excessively popular). I wouldn't be shy of jointing boards to make larger ones. +1 for sycamore.
 

RobinBHM

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The only real problem is that it has to be dried very carefully if it is not to have a nasty grey stain, so you need to buy from a reputable supplier

Quite a few years back I bought Sycamore from WL West and Sons, they used to have Sycamore that had been killed using heated plates between each board....zero stick marks.
 

grumpycorn

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I wouldn't know where to get London Plane from around here

Scawton's near Thirsk have it listed on their website (close enough?), though I've not visited them myself yet - it's definitely on the cards next time I need to go shopping.

I realise that you were probably talking theoretically, but just in case.
 

msparker

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I've been looking at English Woodlands Timber who seem to have suitable boards in a number of species including sycamore, although the place I've bought from generally is Surrey Timbers who have the benefit of being open Saturday mornings. I've not seen much that works on their website but they have rough sawn stock in most of the american species and have a large slab inventory not on their website so may chance it and go have a look.

Are there any practical issues with using wide boards? I think I'd be looking for something that once square is about 400mm wide. No planer to worry about as its all with hand tools.

With sycamore, if there is a drying issue is it obvious? Would it generally be on the surface so visible? How far does it penetrate?
 

msparker

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what are the dimensions of the top? you may struggle to get a single board wide enough.

you have a wide range of timber colours there- what would suit the rest of the furniture in the room? what is available locally, it can be very frustrating to try and track down a "common" species when there is nothing nearby. I had this battle with sweet chestnut. I wouldn't know where to get London Plane from around here either.

I think about 400mm which should be doable in waney edge, although perhaps most boards that wide are cut too thick (I want ~1" to finish to 3/4).

This will be the first new piece in our bedroom which was initially furnished with IKEAs finest so there are no matching constraints as of yet. What it does mean is it would be good to get something that could also be used for a bed and a bigger chest in due course.

I think then it mostly comes down to aesthetic and workability.
 

msparker

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I guess you'll pay a premium for wide boards and/or waney edge ones (which seem to be excessively popular). I wouldn't be shy of jointing boards to make larger ones. +1 for sycamore.

Any tips on picking boards with jointing in mind or ways to make the joint more aesthetically pleasing? On furniture that's been painted in the past I've done some joints that look truly awful due to the material I had available with cathedral grain that just couldn't be oriented to look good! I've seen the tip of jointing on the sapwood which works for some species quite well.
 

Woody2Shoes

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Any tips on picking boards with jointing in mind or ways to make the joint more aesthetically pleasing? On furniture that's been painted in the past I've done some joints that look truly awful due to the material I had available with cathedral grain that just couldn't be oriented to look good! I've seen the tip of jointing on the sapwood which works for some species quite well.
Either resawing a thick board, or getting adjacent boards from the same tree (from a boule), or - more economically - just getting a board or two more than you strictly need (never a bad idea in my humble hoarder's opinion!).
 

yetloh

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Quite a few years back I bought Sycamore from WL West and Sons, they used to have Sycamore that had been killed using heated plates between each board....zero stick marks.

I have bought from W L West, but I now go to English Woodlands who have invested heavily in their business and are very well organised and customer friendly. I have had consistently good sycamore from them.

Jim
 

Mal-110

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Built two of these 6 months ago from two planks of oak. Remarkably similar to your sketch. Tried to keep one board for each cabinet. The oak was considerably paler when i purchased it. I had the woodyard dimension it roughly for me. I was lucky that the grain matched fairly well. The legs I bought ready made.
 

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