Does grain matching matter

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Blog entry by lizardhead posted 04-14-2016 08:37 PM 1112 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

At what point do you start to be cognizant of grain patterns or grain direction. Are you such a perfectionist that you always pay attention to grain. Do you excuse grain pattern for the sake of saving dollars in waisted materials . Many times when you are doing a 3-D project, like a cutting board in 3-D, grain becomes very important. A stepping block pattern is a good example where you want the grain to be perpendicular to each other . Good, better, best, never let it rest. Always let your Good be Better and your Better Best.

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

7 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7265 posts in 3966 days

#1 posted 04-14-2016 08:55 PM

Glad you have learned about grain orientation… I think it is paramount to a great work…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View lizardhead's profile


653 posts in 3453 days

#2 posted 04-14-2016 09:00 PM

Well I have not perfected it yet but I have been giving it a lot of consideration.

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

422 posts in 3679 days

#3 posted 04-14-2016 10:21 PM

I am always aware of the grain and coloring of each piece I use … but that doesn’t mean I let that control every assembly. Sometimes random patterns and choices can make their own beauty.

However, I’m always most pleased with the pieces that come together with color and grain matched in a way that celebrates the eye candy.

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View Grumpymike's profile


2439 posts in 2927 days

#4 posted 04-14-2016 10:35 PM

Very well put Lizardhead, I try to make the grain continue around the boxes I make and even if the general public doesn’t notice, it does makes them look better.
I use a lot of book matching on the lids so that, like henry’s cheese board, it makes an interesting pattern.
And of course it depends on what you are making as to the attention to grain pattern.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23778 posts in 3717 days

#5 posted 04-15-2016 01:09 AM

Hi Dave,
I know that perpendicular grains are important in those 3D cutting boards and I really want to get into that some day. Book matching is real nice on boxes and cabinet doors etc, but I do a lot with rustic wood and I like to follow the grain lines in determining the outline of the piece.Ii think it pulls your eye toward the grain when I do that.

Have a great day, Dave…...........Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View CaptainSkully's profile


1612 posts in 4170 days

#6 posted 04-15-2016 02:11 PM

Speaking primarily as a maker of furniture, grain matching is extremely important. It takes a nice piece and elevates it to professional level. When doing doors, I try to bookmatch the grain. When doing a drawer front, I go through the extra work to make it continuous with the skirt/apron board. When plugging screw holes, I align the plug grain with the field. When laminating legs, I keep the boards indexed so the grain is as consistent as possible. If I can, I’ll laminate one large blank and cut all four legs out of it (which is how I lost a finger). The end result is that the sweetness of a job well done is better than the regret of cutting corners and saving a few bucks is very short-sighted.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3771 posts in 3721 days

#7 posted 04-16-2016 02:11 PM

It is also nice to have all the drawer faces match, especially for a small box or chest. Not too easy, unless you use veneer.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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