eball

Wenge Buffet Table

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I am looking to make a 6’ x 16” buffet table out of solid quarter sawn wenge. Its gonna be expensive and Ive heard how hard it is to work with.

My question: with it being quarter sawn, the grain is super straight….should I be worried its going to split on me when I put weight on it? 

Should I add additional support strips underneath the tops?

Also, I am assuming dovetails will be out of the question with the risk of splitting.

I was thinking of ebonized oak for a secondary wood? Any other suggestions?

Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 10.57.41 AM.jpg

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I've never heard of QS wood being more likely to split than flat sawn. Not sure why that would be the case but I've never heard of that.

Will the secondary wood be visible when everything is closed? If not does it need to be black? I'd just use maple or poplar. Something inexpensive but durable. I don't like to work with oak much and with a splintery grainy wood like wenge you might be looking for something less porous as a break.

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In for the smarter answer..

 

I absolutely love the look of qs wenge. Have made a free jewelry boxes with it. Angry crap.

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Wenge is tough to work with, but the QS may be easier than straight grain to work with. I have used a small amount of wenge and other than it’s really expensive, it’s going to be hard to get smooth. If smooth isn’t the goal, then wore brush it to raise the grain a little more. 

First time i used wenge i broke a dovetail bit on it. Go slower than usual; it’s tough wood. 

With a wenge table I’d got for actual ebony rather than a substitute. But I’m a G&G fanatic who uses ebony with QS white oak so *shrug* 

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Chip brings up a good point. 

Consider your finish early. Wenge has huge Red oak style pores. If you're going for a flatter look, you should consider the grain filling earlier than later. Black TimberMate does well for me.

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On 1/11/2019 at 7:26 PM, Chip Sawdust said:

Wenge is tough to work with, but the QS may be easier than straight grain to work with. I have used a small amount of wenge and other than it’s really expensive, it’s going to be hard to get smooth. If smooth isn’t the goal, then wore brush it to raise the grain a little more. 

First time i used wenge i broke a dovetail bit on it. Go slower than usual; it’s tough wood. 

With a wenge table I’d got for actual ebony rather than a substitute. But I’m a G&G fanatic who uses ebony with QS white oak so *shrug* 

And get ready for splinters :o 

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23 hours ago, pkinneb said:

And get ready for splinters :o 

LOTS of splinters !

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On 1/11/2019 at 2:06 PM, eball said:

Any other suggestions?

Alas, only further questions for now.

  • You mention a secondary wood but I don't see in your concept sketch any indication where that would be.
  • Your sketch appears to have a face frame. Why?
  • Are the doors flush slabs?

Looking at your sketch, I'm questioning your choice of material. If you're set on Wenge, I'd be curious if there's any way to find a sheet good veneered in Wenge on one face. Paste two sheets of 3/4" back to back and edge band it. All you'd need to do then is four feet in solid wood. Your doors can be flush slabs, and you wouldn't have to put a face frame on it.

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17 hours ago, Bombarde16 said:

Alas, only further questions for now.

  • You mention a secondary wood but I don't see in your concept sketch any indication where that would be.
  • Your sketch appears to have a face frame. Why?
  • Are the doors flush slabs?

Looking at your sketch, I'm questioning your choice of material. If you're set on Wenge, I'd be curious if there's any way to find a sheet good veneered in Wenge on one face. Paste two sheets of 3/4" back to back and edge band it. All you'd need to do then is four feet in solid wood. Your doors can be flush slabs, and you wouldn't have to put a face frame on it.

Secondary wood would just be the bottom and the interior shelves.

Design is based on what my wife saw and wants.

Cant find much in the way of wenge plywood (except online... not sure of the cost savings by the time I ship and edge band...)

but you give me something to think about.... appreciate it.

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My question is, with quartersawn wenge being pretty boring and flat cut being very attractive, why would you want to make this out of quartersawn?

Also, note, wenge plywood is VERY fragile. Splits if you just look at it sideways.

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Aha. Can you provide a picture of what the client has in their mind's eye?

I was hard pressed to justify building this piece in solid timber already. Now I'm leaning even more towards plywood. Never mind trying to find Wenge plywood. Go with a red oak ply (open pores just like Wenge) and then ebonize it. Pocket the difference in cost and treat your wife to a nice weekend getaway.

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On 1/14/2019 at 1:13 PM, phinds said:

My question is, with quartersawn wenge being pretty boring and flat cut being very attractive, why would you want to make this out of quartersawn?

Also, note, wenge plywood is VERY fragile. Splits if you just look at it sideways.

Wife likes the straight grain.

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On 1/14/2019 at 1:13 PM, Bombarde16 said:

Aha. Can you provide a picture of what the client has in their mind's eye?

I was hard pressed to justify building this piece in solid timber already. Now I'm leaning even more towards plywood. Never mind trying to find Wenge plywood. Go with a red oak ply (open pores just like Wenge) and then ebonize it. Pocket the difference in cost and treat your wife to a nice weekend getaway.

Basically a recreation of the pic (with different legs). Were gonna do walnut but decided the color wasn't right.  She really liked the QS wenge we found. 

Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 9.59.01 PM.jpg

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