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Thread: What metals look good with what woods?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Madison, WI

    What metals look good with what woods?

    I'm working on a headphone project, and was wondering what metals people thought looked good next to which woods. The choices of metal I have for various bits are as follows:

    -Brass (solid and mesh), in shiny, satin, or antiqued finish
    -Copper, solid and mesh, in shiny, satin, antiqued, or any of the other billion copper finishes out there
    -Stainless steel mesh
    -Aluminum, brushed or polished

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    I think any of them would look good with the right woods. Personally, I think I'd try for contrast. With dark woods, I'd lean towards stainless steel and aluminum. With lighter woods, the brass and copper would probably be my choices. With the chunk of rosewood you were showing the other day, I think I'd vote for stainless steel. Aluminum would also look good, but unless it's coated with something or anodized, it can tend to blacken your skin when handling it. Others will probably recommend the darker metals for that piece of wood. I don't think there's really a wrong answer.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Bradford, Vermont
    Joseph, a great deal hangs on the line & proportion of the piece in question. In certain designs, the silvery metals work very nicely with chocolatey woods while the red-yellow metals are more visually attractive with lighter woods, but some other designs call for a reversal of that general rule. If you'd be so kind as to divulge drawings, I think we could give ya a better answer there.

    At the very least, you could even sketch your plan on paper, cut out the "wood" parts, and hold them against various hues of wood. Do that at least twice - once with the "metal" parts filled in with each of the sample metals.

    Or do something similar on the computer, with - say - SketchUp.

    EDIT: Have you considered jeweled surfaces, too? For the metal, I mean? I'm not pushing 'em, it's just that folks don't think about 'em very much & they DO look NICE.
    -- Tim --

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