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Thread: How do I find wood with good endgrain?

  1. #1
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    How do I find wood with good endgrain?

    I'm hoping to make some earrings by cutting slices off of a wood laminate block - by gluing together pieces of various woods and cutting slices, I can reproduce a neat design rather easily.

    However, it seems that the wood I've bought (bloodwood) is completely unsuitable - it has ginormous, visible pores in the endgrain and would look awful for this purpose. Can anyone tell me how I determine if wood is suitable for this purpose or not?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Shaul View Post
    ...Can anyone tell me how I determine if wood is suitable for this purpose or not?

    Thanks!
    I think it's primarily from experience...seeing a variety of woods in the flesh. I think for what you're looking at, many of the harder exotics would look nice. Cocobolo, any of the ebony species, and desert ironwood come to mind. Cherry and maple also have nice tight end grain, although the grain patterns are often pretty bland.
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  3. #3
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    Looks like it's just the nature of bloodwood. I figure I'll be using ebony, bloodwood, and maple with a bit of either ebony or dyed veneer for the fine black lines.

    Your comments are very much appreciated - if you think it's lousy, tell me!


    Last edited by Joseph Shaul; 01-17-2010 at 05:24 AM.

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    Im confused
    "Thereís a lot of work being done today that doesnít have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesnít have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    Im confused
    I'm trying to make a wood laminate "billet" from which I can cut slices to form pendants, like this one:

    http://thedoctorswoodworks.com/conte.../pendant31.jpg

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Shaul View Post
    Looks like it's just the nature of bloodwood. I figure I'll be using ebony, bloodwood, and maple with a bit of either ebony or dyed veneer for the fine black lines.

    Your comments are very much appreciated - if you think it's lousy, tell me!

    I think they'll look cool, and the design possibilities are endless. I'm assuming you'd glue up a "stick" and make it round on a lathe?

    Al Ladd does a lot of "sliced glue-up" veneers. Have a look at the details on some of his jewelry boxes:

    http://www.alladd.com/index.htm

    I think bloodwood or padauk are going to be your only realistic "red" woods...or at least that's all that comes to mind. With sanding, the pores will close/fill up to a certain extent. One word of caution: When you're sanding red-toned wood (or any dark wood) that's glued to light woods like maple, you can get "bleed over" as the pores in the light wood pick up dust from the dark wood. I suspect using a sanding sealer before sanding (and perhaps as sanding progresses) will help minimize the problem.
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  7. #7
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    I'm thinking the sanding sealer will also help a lot to close up those bloodwood pores & make for a more homogenous material.

    Joseph, those are GOOD-looking! Holly for the very-white pieces?

    Kingwood is an excellent choice for medium-dark-brown colors - hard like crazy, though. African blackwood (used to make clarinets) is very fine-grained for black colors. Pink ivory (I shudder at its expense) yields very uniform pink. Good ol' American Black Cherry gives you lighter browns, which gradually darken to very dark browns (after decades), and has very fine end grain. Bois d'arc (osage orange) for orange shades. Mesquite for another darker brown.

    Peek around at the various woods popular for turning bowls & pens & decorative items; those that finish nicely on the lathe will tend to have rather tight end grain.
    -- Tim --

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    I think they'll look cool, and the design possibilities are endless. I'm assuming you'd glue up a "stick" and make it round on a lathe?

    Al Ladd does a lot of "sliced glue-up" veneers. Have a look at the details on some of his jewelry boxes:

    http://www.alladd.com/index.htm

    I think bloodwood or padauk are going to be your only realistic "red" woods...or at least that's all that comes to mind. With sanding, the pores will close/fill up to a certain extent. One word of caution: When you're sanding red-toned wood (or any dark wood) that's glued to light woods like maple, you can get "bleed over" as the pores in the light wood pick up dust from the dark wood. I suspect using a sanding sealer before sanding (and perhaps as sanding progresses) will help minimize the problem.
    I'm actually having a forum member do the turning and slicing for me in return for some spare parts. This place is great!

    I'm building up the assembly as you suggest - it's certianly much easier than doing fiddly little inlays! I've got some 3/8" bloodwood that's fairly nice and maple is certainly common, but does anyone know where I can find some 1/42" dyed or ebony veneer that's suitable for this purpose? I'm having a bit of trouble finding some.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Shaul View Post
    ...does anyone know where I can find some 1/42" dyed or ebony veneer that's suitable for this purpose? I'm having a bit of trouble finding some.
    No experience with either of these companies, but they have various dyed veneers:

    http://www.veneeronline.com/species....ategory=dydbdl

    Dunno if they sell small quantities, though.

    These guys have no minimum order:

    http://www.wood-veneers.com/veneer_dyed.html

    Over on the International Association of Penmakers site (http://www.penturners.org/) there are a number of guys who use veneers for pinstripes. They may have some suggestions.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  10. #10
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    Just yesterday, at my woodturning club meeting, one member, who is very creative and talented, showed a piece where he filled in the pores with some kind of blackening powder. The effect was very unique and attractive. I'll ask him what his technique was.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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