I think I am becoming anti-laminate

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Blog entry by richgreer posted 12-25-2010 05:30 PM 5636 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am already anti-plan. I don’t like making anything by following someone else’s plan. Figuring out how to make it is half the fun and I often change my mind about a dimension or joinery technique during the making process based on how it looks to me.

I am anti-hardware. Whenever possible, I like to make things that contain no metal. Probably no one else cares, but for me it is a point of honor to not resort to the use of metal.

I am anti-fancy design. I think the beauty is already there, in the wood, and my job is to help reveal that beauty. Clean, simple designs that show off the wood is my preferred approach.

Now, I think I am becoming anti-laminate. I was about to make a cheese board with strips of walnut and maple. The maple I was about to use was a curly maple with a very pretty grain. I stopped and asked myself why I would cut that maple up into strips. I left the maple as a solid piece and made the cheese board. It’s beautiful because the wood is beautiful. Then I made a pepper mill out of a solid piece of Hormigo Negro. WOW. I may never glue 2 alternate woods together again.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

8 comments so far

View terrilynne's profile


836 posts in 3311 days

#1 posted 12-25-2010 06:20 PM

There is something about a beautiful piece of wood. It makes you want to touch it and oohh and aahh. Then the design and planning or changing a piece in mid stream, it makes it truly your own. Each finished piece being a work of art.

-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3726 days

#2 posted 12-25-2010 06:36 PM

That is the great thing I love about about woordorking…everyone can put their own ideas and individual creativeness into each project so that everyone’s work doesn’t look the same.

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3371 days

#3 posted 12-25-2010 06:41 PM

Interesting topic. You seem to be raising the basic issue of “good design” versus “poor design”. I think we all here love wonderful wood. Is it also how we use the wood (design)? Fancy design can mean different things to different people… some probably being really good design, and others being hideous. Just my two cents, but it would seem the whole topic of “design” and what constitutes “good” design is worth a lot of discussion. After all, why would any of us intentionally invest time making something which ends up being a poor design. In any event I think we agree on the lamination issue.

Hopefully, many others will continue this thread. Thanks for bringing it up.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Dusty56's profile


11847 posts in 4106 days

#4 posted 12-25-2010 06:45 PM

I agree with your thoughts , however , I also enjoy laminating various woods together when appropriate : )
I don’t sacrifice beautifully figured woods when I can make something out of them by themselves.
Merry Christmas , Rich !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Tim29's profile


307 posts in 3568 days

#5 posted 12-25-2010 07:28 PM

Design counts for alot. I like to use thin strips of walnut with a majority of oak for my “good” projects. I have seen this approach many times and it can be wonderful or hideous. I do agree that if you have a nicely figured piece of lumber, don’t ruin it by cutting it up without thinking. Thanks for bringing up this topic.

-- Tim, Nevada MO

View tdv's profile


1202 posts in 3488 days

#6 posted 12-26-2010 02:26 AM

Rich the only thing I feel is that all wood has it’s own beauty so to me mix & match is ok sometimes it improves stability, sometimes a piece of plain wood is brought to life with colour. I agree that a beautiful curly board shouldn’t be interfered with, I guess there’s a place for all in design & it’s a great way to use up pieces that would be too thin or small to use alone

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3436 days

#7 posted 12-26-2010 04:42 AM

Rich, point in question, suppose you need a wider board and only had a narrow one, does that mean you will not laminate it with a complimenting wood to make it wider? I do see your point and hope you are seeing mine. Different perspectives for different folks.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 3227 days

#8 posted 01-02-2011 01:00 AM

Richgreer i think i know exaly what you mean. The beauty is there already,and with the right design it will show of in all its beauty. Mixing different kinds of wood is something i do when its needed or when i am short of one sort of wood.

The most beautifull piece of wood is a “wild” piece that only is formed into shape.

Happy new year :)

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

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