I have always been interested in combining different species of hardwood into a project, but I have never done it because I am not sure what would look the best together. I mostly work with red oak, cherry, and maple, but would like to incorporate other species to make my projects “pop”. Do you have any suggestions?
Rob Johnstone: Working with multiple species has been done for ages and ages. Mixing them for aesthetic reasons is simply a matter of personal choice. Walnut accents on a cherry cabinet, for example, add drama and flair. Knowledge of the characteristics of the wood you wish to use is important.
Purpleheart will turn dark brown over time … teak should have its glue joints wiped down with acetone before glue up (to remove natural oil that can impair the glue bond). One piece of advice I have comes from personal experience. My coffee table at home is of my own construction. It is square and has a glued up top consisting of an outer frame made up of cherry surrounding a matching frame of curly birch that, in turn, surrounds a field of Carpathian elm burl. In my mind, it was a beautiful thing. Once it was completed, it looked a little like an archery target. My advice: go easy and experiment before you build.