Grain direction on box - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-23-2019, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Grain direction on box

I was thinking of making a cell phone charging station similar to this:



Basically a box with a charger inside, and parallel dividers on top to hold smartphones and tablets.

I have some 1/8” thick lacewood sheets which I thought I would use for the faces, with a scrap-wood frame inside. The attached photo shows the idea.




I’m trying to think through how to orient the grain:

Top & Bottom: The top will have slots cut through to insert the dividers. The dividers need to be parallel to the USB charging box—the end of the phones should be right over the opening where the cords come out. So, should the top and bottom faces have grain parallel to the dividers or cross-grain?

Sides and Edges If I run. The top and bottom perpendicular to the USB charging station, then I think the grain can be oriented to look like it wraps around. That would mean two sides without openings will have short grain running vertically. The two ends, open for the cords, will have grain running along the length. Since there are holes in the ends, it seems those would be better with grain running lengthwise.

Dividers Grain vertical? Grain horizontal?
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-23-2019, 12:36 PM
CharleyL
 
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When working with solid wood (not plywood) it's best NOT to create cross grain joints ie. joints where the grain runs one way in one piece and the opposite way in the piece joining to it. As the wood changes in moisture content from day to day changes in the environment, the wood will change width in the across the grain direction much more than it will in the long grain direction. It usually doesn't take very long before the glue joint breaks, cracks appear, or the project warps (possibly all three). Finishing all surfaces with a good moisture proof finish helps considerably.

Orienting the grain the way that you show in the photo looks OK for all but the back spacer piece. You might want to consider making this piece differently, so the grain runs in the same direction as the other pieces.

Charley
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-23-2019, 03:47 PM
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Not much movement on those small pieces ...

I would "wrap" the grain, like you would a gift package.
Start on the top and wrap it around the ends and the sides.

So, the grain on the ends would be vertical, the grain on the sides would be horizontal. But's that just my approach ......

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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