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Forum topic by DannyW posted 06-22-2019 03:31 PM 381 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DannyW

179 posts in 219 days


06-22-2019 03:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question entry bench oak walnut mahogany padauk cherry

I am planning to build a shoe storage bench for our entryway and could use some advice on what woods go together well. I have some red oak that I was planning to use for the frame and was thinking walnut would look good for the top, but I am certainly open to other suggestions. I asked at my local Woodcraft and got suggestions for walnut, padauk (sp?), cherry, and mahogany; the walnut is the only one that I had been thinking of but it got me to thinking of what other combinations might go well together. I plan on a clear finish of some sort for both the frame and top, instead of painted surfaces. What do you guys think?

I was also wondering about the thickness of the top and what would look good. The legs will be 1 1/2” square with panels between and 3/4” trim. I was thinking 1 1/2” or more but again was wondering if something else like 1” or less would be appropriate for a 4” bench. It will never have to hold much weight, I was thinking more of aesthetics. Woodcraft had some beautiful Peruvian Walnut but it was only available in 4/4.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

-- DannyW


22 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5457 posts in 2773 days


#1 posted 06-22-2019 03:35 PM

I think a 5/4 top would be proportional.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

528 posts in 601 days


#2 posted 06-22-2019 04:15 PM

I really like natural oak/walnut.

5/4 top wood be max for a 1.5 square leg. More than that, it will look top heavy. If the walnut is what you want, 4/4 wood definitely work for the top.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3116 posts in 996 days


#3 posted 06-22-2019 05:29 PM

I like tops that are minimum a full 4/4, but 5/4 is also very nice on many pieces. For me it is about the overall size of the project. On something smaller 2’ x2’ or less 5/4 looks HUGE to me, and 4/4 would be more appropriate, unless the entire size is smaller, say 3/8, or 1/2 stock on the sides, then 3/4 may appear too thick.

As far as wood species mixing. My rule is a little goes a long way. A secondary wood as a contrast trim, yes.

2, 3, or 4 species mixed as entire sides, top or bottom can start looking messy pretty fast.

I usually will cut pieces the general size of what I want, and hold the pieces together with rubber bands, or clamps, band clamps, so I can see what it is going to look like. When I like the mix, I’ll cut to fit. I’ve found even laying them next to each other can/will cause nightmares later.

-- Think safe, be safe

View DannyW's profile

DannyW

179 posts in 219 days


#4 posted 06-23-2019 12:31 AM

Thanks for the feedback! It seems that I am going with 4/4 walnut (probably black walnut) for the top unless somebody says different. I suppose the side panels should be red oak plywood to match the red oak frame, correct? I have a little birch ply left over but that wouldn’t go I don’t think; the color and grain are too different.

BTW I did see what everybody on here has been talking about re “real” baltic birch plywood today at the lumber yard. The only BB plywood that I have used before is from the big box stores and does not have many plies and has LOTS of voids. The yard I went to this morning had many different choices for BB plywood and it was all so beautiful, almost no voids at all and many plies. I was afraid to ask the price but boy did it look nice. I didn’t spend enough time there to understand the differences in the choices but I would assume the differences are significant enough to justify stocking that many different kinds. I can see that I have a lot of learning in my future.

-- DannyW

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CWWoodworking

528 posts in 601 days


#5 posted 06-23-2019 01:01 AM



I suppose the side panels should be red oak plywood

- DannyW

If this is something you want to keep for a long time, glue up some panels and make them solid wood. Nothing wrong with plywood, but IMO having walnut on top of it would look less than desirable. Especially if you are doing a light/natural finish on the oak.

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DannyW

179 posts in 219 days


#6 posted 06-23-2019 12:55 PM

Thanks CW, good idea. That would indeed look better. I will still most likely use plywood for the shelves but that is hidden for the most part and doesn’t have to match anything closely.

-- DannyW

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3117 posts in 2595 days


#7 posted 06-23-2019 02:06 PM

I haven’t seen a box store carry Baltic Birch plywood. They will carry birch plywood at times but that is not to be confused with Baltic birch.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View PPK's profile

PPK

1439 posts in 1231 days


#8 posted 06-24-2019 12:45 PM

I’m personally quite fond of walnut and hickory combination. Another light/dark combination frequently used is walnut & maple. Know that woods like Padauk, purpleheart, bloodwood, osage orange, or any of the really brilliant colors fade over time, and its sped up by sunlight. Not that this is bad, just be aware that they don’t hold their original colors for ever.

One little trick is to simply glue on a 1/4” edge around the board to make it look like it’s 1” thick instead of 3/4” thick. If you but a little back bevel on there, you can’t tell there’s a glue joint.


Can’t get my picture to flip. Sorry. Hopefully you get the idea.

-- Pete

View DannyW's profile

DannyW

179 posts in 219 days


#9 posted 06-24-2019 02:10 PM



I m personally quite fond of walnut and hickory combination. Another light/dark combination frequently used is walnut & maple. Know that woods like Padauk, purpleheart, bloodwood, osage orange, or any of the really brilliant colors fade over time, and its sped up by sunlight. Not that this is bad, just be aware that they don t hold their original colors for ever. One little trick is to simply glue on a 1/4” edge around the board to make it look like it s 1” thick instead of 3/4” thick. If you but a little back bevel on there, you can t tell there s a glue joint.

- PPK


Thanks for the tip I will think about that. As far as padauk and the others fading I have read about that and don’t want to have to worry that in 10 years the top will look radically different, otherwise I might consider something like that. The colors really do pop at first though!

-- DannyW

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DannyW

179 posts in 219 days


#10 posted 06-24-2019 02:14 PM



I haven t seen a box store carry Baltic Birch plywood. They will carry birch plywood at times but that is not to be confused with Baltic birch.

- johnstoneb


I think you are right, I was mistaken. I searched the HD website and they only list a very few Baltic Birch and they are not stocked in the stores (and also are very expensive). The one stocked in the stores is only listed as Birch. And I thought that was expensive at $55 per sheet for 3/4. I’m having sticker shock over here.

-- DannyW

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PPK

1439 posts in 1231 days


#11 posted 06-24-2019 02:23 PM

Unfortunately,
$55 for a sheet of furniture-grade plywood is really not unreasonable. You can sometimes find for less, but don’t count on it. Expect to pay up to $110 or more for a 4×8 sheet for woods like Walnut or “exotic” hardwoods.

Baltic Birch can be ordered thru Menards if you have one nearby. I do so frequently.

-- Pete

View DannyW's profile

DannyW

179 posts in 219 days


#12 posted 06-24-2019 02:44 PM

No there is no Menards anywhere near.

-- DannyW

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8679 posts in 2999 days


#13 posted 06-24-2019 04:03 PM

https://austin.craigslist.org/for/d/austin-3-4-birch-and-red-oak-plywood/6878288889.html

^ 2 months old. Best of luck

Maybe ask some cabinet shops around your area for some plywood.

View tywalt's profile

tywalt

58 posts in 586 days


#14 posted 06-24-2019 08:04 PM

Danny, I see you’re in ATX. I would highly recommend the folks at Fine Lumber up around Braker and I-35 (right down the highway from your Woodcraft). The owner is a genuine good man. Staff is all well experienced and polite.

To your question though, Fine Lumber has a good batch of 11-14” wide 4/4 Sapele right now that I just picked through (plenty of good boards left :) ). I always like the look of Sapele and Red Oak though that may just be me.

-- Tyler - Central TX

View DannyW's profile

DannyW

179 posts in 219 days


#15 posted 06-24-2019 09:38 PM

Thanks Tyler, Fine Lumber is where I went Saturday for the first time. I have not looked at (or considered) Sapele but I did look at their roughsawn and finished walnut. I have not bought roughsawn before and am a little scared of what I am getting, particularly the yield with walnut. I do have a jointer and planer though that need a workout!

I also looked at Woodcraft and can see what I am getting with their s2s Peruvian Walnut. It is far more expensive per foot but if the yield is really poor with roughsawn black walnut it may not really be any more expensive.

-- DannyW

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