Mixed Lumber project

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by TCCcabinetmaker posted 10-16-2012 06:40 PM 1075 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2859 days

10-16-2012 06:40 PM

So I’m looking at building a piece for a customer with mixed lumber types, and for some reason I’m wondering if the density of the wood is going to be a major concern for wood movement or not. Basically it’s going to be an island, but while inspired by a design from a decorative furniture company, I will be improving the basic design principles, and utility of the piece. Basically I’m just going to glue up pieces of different lumbers in an undecided pattern. I plan on building an interior plywood carcass for the functionality part, and to help keep the wood panels from bowing, and also to add weight to stabilize the center of gravity a bit more.

Basically I’m just trying to get a heads up on potential problems that I’m not forseeing, the woods will probably be maple, cherry, walnut, and purple heart, some mahogany varients have been proposed by my lumber man as well, but it’s not really supposed to be a really dark piece.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

5 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3180 days

#1 posted 10-16-2012 07:00 PM

I had that concern myself in th epast. I have successfully edge glued yellow pint to solid red oaf and I have successfull attached solid red oak to red oak venerred plywood. These are several years old now and I have them in my house so I get to see them often. They appear to be as well attached today as they were when I made the joints. I used biscuits and brown Elmer’s wood glue on them.

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 2733 days

#2 posted 10-16-2012 07:21 PM

If you start with stabilized product at around 8% moisture content, you should be fine. you’re working in a kitchen. you’re customer will use the stove and the oven. That changes the ambient temp in the room. Constant cycles of that will cause the wood to move across its width, not its length. If when you attach the pieces to your substrate you allow for about a sixteenth of an inch of movement, you’ll be good to go. Are you staining this island or leaving it natural? Do you have to match it to surrounding cabinetry or not? If so, remember that cherry blotches. you also have open AND closed grain hardwood in this piece which gives a very different look from wood piece to wood piece. Are you going to fill or partially fill the pieces of wood you use? The island will be used every single day. Stuff placed on it, cut on it, rubbed on it, spilled on it, dropped on it. What topcoats are you looking at and can any surface damamge be repaired by the homeowner herself or will she be calling you in six months because the surface looks like a mine field? I dont think you’re going to have any worries with wood density and movement related to varying density. My concerns when building for the kitchen is the abuse the cabinet takes. Plan for it now. Your customer will appreciate you for it believe me!

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3545 days

#3 posted 10-16-2012 07:24 PM

Really, it’s just Intarsia or Inlaying on a larger scale.

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2859 days

#4 posted 10-16-2012 10:11 PM

Ajlastra you answered some of my questions and tried to raise some new ones. But I will not be staining this piece. The goal is to create a unique piece where all the woods show for their different colors. So clear lacquer finish for the body, and a butcher block finish for the top. I should mention I don’t use the contractor’s grade but rather the professional grade finishes which are much better.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 2980 days

#5 posted 10-17-2012 02:12 AM

You should be OK as long as long as the top of the island is attached so that it can move as it needs to with seasonal environmental changes. The table top fasteners from Rockler are perfect for this. You make a biscuit slot in the upper rails of the carcass. The fasteners are z-shaped. One end goes in the biscuit joint slot, the other end is screwed to the top from underneath. The biscuit slot allows the top to move, but the fastener keeps the top solidly attached to the base.

You are probably are already familiar with this technique of attaching tops that are subject to seasonal movement.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics