Complimentary woods

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Forum topic by Ron King posted 09-07-2020 01:24 PM 490 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ron King

32 posts in 2635 days

09-07-2020 01:24 PM

I want to make a project out of Padauk, but want to mix a secondary wood into the project. I’m having trouble finding a wood that has a complimentary color. Any suggestions?

8 replies so far

View OnhillWW's profile


294 posts in 2242 days

#1 posted 09-07-2020 02:05 PM

Black Walnut, Wenge, Black Palm. That covers the dark end of the spectrum with Holly, Yellow wood, tiger maple et. al on the lighter end of the spectrum.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View therealSteveN's profile


7238 posts in 1583 days

#2 posted 09-07-2020 02:40 PM

I go the other way, if the wood in question is darker, I almost always go light. Maple being a favorite wood anyhow pairs very well to any of the darker ones. By using curly, birds eye, quarter sawn, or just plain flat sawn it can also have a bunch of different looks.

This is something you can easily use Google images for. If you have an idea of 2 woods, put them in a google search, make sure to say Maple, and Padauk same project. Then just pick images. I do this quite often.

-- Think safe, be safe

View SMP's profile


3436 posts in 915 days

#3 posted 09-07-2020 03:34 PM

I also prefer lighter as contrast. I would choose some type of maple, followed by ash or butternut, possibly white oak.

View John Jardin's profile

John Jardin

96 posts in 650 days

#4 posted 09-07-2020 04:53 PM

The great article by Garrett Hack FWW #211 “The right way to use contrast” is the answer to your question.

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2653 posts in 557 days

#5 posted 09-07-2020 07:30 PM

Ebony goes with anything.


QS sycamore.

Birch, beech.

Chesnut, butternut.



Box elder

Sinker cypress

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View johnstoneb's profile


3167 posts in 3182 days

#6 posted 09-07-2020 08:33 PM

Padauk will bleed into the bordering wood. If you go with a lighter wood you will have problems. You may be able to spray a sealer (shellac) on before applying your finish and control the problem. Brucshing just compound the bleed.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View splintergroup's profile


4684 posts in 2232 days

#7 posted 09-08-2020 03:33 PM

Also consider that Padauk will usually turn brown after a short time.

View PBWilson1970's profile


185 posts in 403 days

#8 posted 09-08-2020 05:07 PM

I often look to pictures of acoustic guitar pictures. Many luthiers use contrasting binding to very good effect.

Good point splintergroup! African Padauk almost always turns to a root beer brown if it sees the light of day. A darker corner might take longer to change or to a lesser extent.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

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