Matching Boards in Furniture

(Part 1 of 3)  It is always extremely rewarding when visitors ask how many boards are in the field on this cherry blanket chest top.  Unless creating a decorative effect such as a bookmatch, my objective is to minimize changes in color, grain pattern, grain direction and figure at joints.  Ideally, the viewer’s eye is drawn instead to highlights such as dovetailed corners and to the overall style of and proportion of the piece.  (There are two breadboard ends and four boards in the contained field.)

Good matches seldom happen by accident.  But only a few minutes are needed to evaluate alternative orientations and select the best.

These three all white hard maple boards were selected for the bottom of a sideboard.  In this orientation, rejected, the oval-and-arch patterns in the outer boards are too close to what will be the edges of the glued assembly.

By simply swapping the first and third boards, a much more balanced appearance results.