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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:55 pm 
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Location: Timonium MD USA
I have had this piece of 1" figured Koa for 25 years (10" x 94") and I finally am going to make a sofa table with the Koa as the top.

My quandry is what wood to use for the base (4 stringers and 4 legs and a maybe lower shelf).

Any advice is most welcome and photos would be fantastic.

Thanks
Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:29 pm 
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Make the table from any wood you want. You can use a contrasting light wood or an accenting dark wood.

Insert the Koa into the top as a flush panel and frame it with the wood the table is made of. doing this is not difficult at all. It's just a panel groove although I tend to make mine deeper with longer tenons for security. Make the top as through the long panel rails were part of the panel and use breadboard ends.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Hey Bill,

My inclination is to use a slight contrast, accented with a stronger contrast. So maybe cherry for apron and legs, etc., but then maybe ebony for feet. Or maybe holly and ebony stringers in the apron. In any case, I would be sure that the major contrast is made with small bits, and that larger, structural pieces are more complementary. The idea is to avoid a patchwork effect that will confuse the eye, and camouflage your figured top.

I would use the same idea if you wanted to frame the top as R. Peterson suggested. Make the frame out of relatively plain cherry, with contrasting thin strips of holly and ebony between your koa and the frame.

Just my 2ยข,
Tom

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:55 pm 
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YEKCAM: Thinking of the price of KOA, is resawing the board into thinner slabs and applying to stable substrate an option? Doing so opens the option to bookmatch and other projects that would compliment the sofa table ie. a key box a small decorative tray, a picture frame, a candy dish, a small covered box etc.

I concur on the opinion to use a relatively plain timber for the support structure. Also, that the contrast be complementary rather than stark such as maple/walnut.

Without a doubt the project needs a history attached when it's complete the 5 W's as well as a "how"

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:43 pm 
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I may be reading people wrong (and if so, I apologize in advance,) but if you are going to be using such a nice piece of wood, I would recommend against using a plain wood. That is, if by "plain" people mean to use a wood without much character to it. I think it would be a shame to waste a special piece of wood by surrounding it with something that is not of similar caliber.

Now I don't mean to say make the base out of figured maple or like, but I would choose some nice pieces that would accentuate the design and the beauty of the Koa and vice versa. Paying attention to grain and color selection can make or break the design.

I agree with Tom's idea that if you want to introduce some major contrast use it sparingly.

Personally, I think koa and most species of walnut (air dried) look quite handsome together. I tend to be drawn more toward a darker palette and air dried walnut has great variation of color. If you look for pieces with color but without figure in it they will still have a lot of character without drawing attention away from the koa.

Just my two cents...

peter


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