“Book-matching” strips

One of the cedar boards I got had a band of darker grain running through it which makes for some striking patterns when “book-matching.” Since I first cut the 2×4 into four 1.5×0.75″ pieces and then each piece into six 3/4×3/16″ strips, essentially a matrix of 4×6 strips per board, I had a number of ways to organize the strips. I could match across then down, or down then across, or I could mirror-match either way, or do a combination of both. I tried all of them and found that different methods worked best for each board depending on the grain. For the cedar board with the dark band, I matched grain across and then mirrored the grain down. If you have only one single plank (3/4″) that you are milling into strips, you have only two options – to match the grain or mirror-match it.

I carefully numbered all the strips (at each end and also in the middle since some strips will have the ends cut off) according to the order I would put them on the kayak. I also put references line periodically across the strips so that I can align them when I am putting them on.

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