Designing With Grain
English-walnut sideboard demonstrates how grain patterns can take a piece to the next level
Synopsis: The artful use of grain patterns can enhance the design and functionality of a piece of furniture. Not only can you arrange the grain to complement the overall shape of a piece, but choosing the right types of grain for different furniture parts can help those parts function better, combating movement in doors, drawers, and other parts. Using an English walnut sideboard as an example, Jason Roberts shows how to choose the correct grain type-flatsawn, quartersawn, or riftsawn-for different furniture parts, how to get the most from every board, how to straighten the grain when cutting parts, and how to resaw a beautiful board into veneer to get the most from it.
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From Fine Woodworking #206
Have you ever looked at a piece of furniture and thought something wasn’t quite right, but you couldn’t put your finger on it? The craftsmanship was impeccable and the proportions were nice. But something about the design still wasn’t right. Chances are, it was the way the grain of the wood was arranged in the piece, or what I call the grain graphics.
Grain can add lines to a piece of furniture and enhance your project, but if it doesn’t complement the shape, it will compete with or overpower the design. Color is critical, too. If it isn’t consistent, it will be distracting. It takes extra time and effort to consider grain and color carefully when buying boards and cutting them up, but the benefits are many, and they go beyond appearance. Choosing the right types of boards helps certain furniture parts to function better, combating movement in drawers and doors, for example.
This sideboard, made from beautiful English walnut, is the perfect prop for a lesson in grain…