Thursday, July 15, 2010

Looking Waaaay Ahead

I have been poking around in the wood inventory looking for some stock for my next  cabinet project.

I have decided that it will be a curved front veneered showcase cabinet with old growth yellow cedar on the insides and a couple shelves. No drawers.

The difficulty/fun now is to find just the right material to use for the outside.

The original cabinet that inspired me to do this one used teak, and it worked very well with the yellow cedar interior. Since it will be a showcase cabinet, the door will be glass, so the interior will be visible from outside. Thus it is important that the two woods be harmonious together.

I have some teak, but probably not enough to do this piece. Besides, I have already done a couple cabinets with teak, so I'm kind of sick of it.

I do want a wood that is darker than the cedar though. So it won't be maple or arbutus on the outside on this one - too light. Also fairly straight grained, but not straight-jacket straight. It needs to work with the straight grain of the yellow cedar, but be a bit different!

Considering some of the possibilities that I might have enough of.

Koa. I have several lovely pieces of koa that I purchased in Hawaii a few years ago. Some have some pretty gorgeous figure in them, but most of them have somewhat wild grain and are going to be extra nasty to work with. Koa is tough enough to work at the best of times. The colour would be a great match with the cedar though. And there are some gentle curves that would be perfect for the curved top and bottom pieces. A possibility.

Cherry. I have a crapload of cherry that I harvested myself. I think I can pull together enough to make this piece. Most of it has quite a pink tinge to it though, not sure about pink with the yellow cedar. I have some paler cherry, plenty enough for this piece, but the paler urban cherry has a lot of dark patches in it I'd need to work around. Cherry will definitely darken and mellow over time.

Maccasar ebony.  I am lucky enough to have some of this.  Its dark colour might be too much of a contrast with the cedar, but I think it could work.

Yew. This intrigues me, I have enough for this piece and I harvested it myself. It is air dried, salmon coloured, and a joy to plane. Unfortunately it warps like crazy. However, something more light brown-y and less orange-y is probably a better choice.

And so it goes. And it is fun to go through the stacks of wood and think about what would work in the cabinet I have in my mind's eye. Red cedar? New Guinea walnut? Brazilian walnut? Jarrah? English brown oak?  Planchonia? Cocobolo? Claro walnut? Spalted maple? Catalpa? Elm? Red oak? Alder? Some bought, some harvested, some traded/gifted.

Keep digging through the pile, turning over planks, setting them aside, going back to them, putting some back, taking out others for consideration.

While this is going on, I have actually started the Hammond Glider disassembly.

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