What I mean is that with the quilted pattern being so random, asymmetric, and devoid of grain direction (to some degree), when doing glue-ups for a wide raised panel, some selection of purpose be made about the boards. That is, in order to get a tasteful layout, my only conclusion is to select boards with a deminishing pattern from top to bottom, thereby eliminating the random, and in my opinion, chaotic look of the quilts. Too much quilting is no better than too little.
The thing about quilted maple is that the quilt density changes over the length of the board, and the cathedrals seem so random as well. Using an oil finish will bring out both (to some degree), but doing that before cutting and selecting the pieces may make the glue-up problematic. Perhaps using a sponge with water might work. More experimentation is required, except for the fact that the material is so expensive. One hates to make mistakes.
Using water on a sanded board has produced the desired effect. The cathedrals are quite evident, and although not having symmetric and regular edges, do provide a means to judge grain direction. Some degree of pattern and regularity is evident. I think I can now select portions of boards that will "match".
The other option is to "book match", but I have not found a sufficiently thick board to do that. I will check it out.
My general approach to the rails and styles is to use quilt free lumber, allowing the detail of the panel to carry the work. Less is more. These are to be 1 3/8 inch passage doors.
You could book match the good boards and back them with lesser quality quilted stock to get the thickness you need - assuming the product is mostly one sided. The booking of the grains gives direction and pattern and symmetry where there is none. Admittedly, more work, but it does solve one problem.
Thank you! I thought about doing just that, but hesitated about laminating those boards. The panels are to be 3/4 in. thick (or thicker) and my worry is the panel raising depth on the finished glued-up board. It seems the backing board would have to be on the order of 1/4 inch or less to hide the seam. I would have to hide the seam in the grove as the panel is reduced in thickness. Does this sound reasonable? Otherwise, I may be reduced to finding 8/4 boards to do the book match.
On the other hand, I think laminating the boards can work especially if I use a double sided raised panel. I can split the seam in the grove and not waste so much wood thinning out the boards.
Better have some sharp cutters to raise quilted maple, especially if it is big leaf maple. I prefer to get thick stock and resaw to get a matching pattern when I do premium work. You could also rim some mdf with solid stock, and veneer the field to get the flitch match of the veneer.
With a 5/8 inch raised panel cutter and laminating two 1/2 inch book matched pieces, I can get a double sided panel 1 inch thick. This will place the seam in the center of the 1/4 inch tenon. This should do the trick. My hope is to get two 1/2 inch slabs from a 6/4 board without too much waste. Of course, if it can get it with a 5/4 board, that would be better. Hope springs eternal.
Regarding Rich C 's comments - I agree - sharp tooling will help. The first time I bought some ever-so-precious Quilted Maple, the seller asked me if I knew about working the stuff. Not wanting to give away I never had worked it before, I said I knew a bit, but what do you know?
He said "saw and sand, my friend, saw and sand." He was right.
I will be using new Freeborn shaper tools with the T alloy, not carbide. I planed the boards with a helical head surface planer and they seemed OK, but yes, the sanding at very high grits was the ticket. By the way, I started using Bush Oil. It seems the only way to make those quilts "pop" along with the cathedrals. Does anyone know if that is suitable alone, or should it be topped with a lacquer, shellac, or urethane?
I would respectfully suggest to be careful with two 1/2" layers of booked matched material for panels. It may seem like a sure thing but, from my experience it isn't. Rich C. suggested rimming mdf with solid stock and vaneering the faces. I think this would be a better choice. You will have a stable panel and you wont have to machine the end grain of the panel.
I try to remind myself, I am not a fool for making mistakes but, I am if I don't learn from them.
Thanks for the suggestion, but the client wants a solid wood door. Laminate and MDF is definitely a no-no. These are interior doors for an upstairs master suite, so I feel relatively comfortable things won't go asunder.
Since I cannot find suitable quilted maple in 6/4 to do the book matching and I dread planing out a perfectly good piece of 4/4 to obtain a 1/2 panel, I might just use a 3/4 piece with a 1/2 inch glue-up on the back and increase the grove thickness to 3/8 - still in the planning stage.
I can hear what Geoff is saying. If it were all nice straight grained stock, it would probably be OK, but Quilted is another kind of beast.
It tends to move in ways that are not predictable, and putting two Quilted solids face to face may invite more of the unknown than you may want. Wood will move, period.
And the 3/4" with a 1/2" back sounds like an imbalanced panel. I'd find a more cautious way. The solid 4/4 would be where I would go, or thicker and bookmatched, with no face laminations. No funny business.
I don't understand what the back of an interior door is? If you are now suggesting doing a lamination with two different thicknesses you should make a sample, change its moisture content and see if it cups. Additionally, what qualifications does the client have to tell you, the woodworker, how to build a door?
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