I am currently working on a cherry post and panel shaker style dresser, and I have some concerns about the drawer fronts. The dimension of the drawer fronts is going to be 9 x 26. Because of the height, I will have to glue up the fronts. I would like to book-match the fronts and laminate them.
Basically what I would end up with is a drawer front 3/4 x 9 x 26 consisting of a 3/8 x 9 x 26 birch, (inside drawer) and a 3/8 x 9 x 26 cherry outside face laminated together. Is this asking for trouble with wood movement and possible splitting?
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor M:
You could be setting yourself up for trouble, especially if you mismatch the grain in the two species. The radial shrinkage of birch is nearly twice that of cherry. The tangential shrinkage is fairly close, so if you do choose to glue up the two different species, pay close attention to grain direction.
Comment from contributor T:
I would not recommend gluing two different species together. Although the type of cut may help reduce differences in expansion, you will always have enough variation to cause your drawer fronts to cup slightly. This is similar to what happens in solid wood when it cups, slight stress variations within the one piece will cause cupping, warping and everything else. I have done what you are talking about with poor results, probably not noticeable to the average person, but you will notice it will look "off" to the average person. Unless you have very nice hand cut dovetails with close spacing near the edges, expect the edges to curl. Mechanical fasteners are your best bet in this situation. Even better, use a solid cherry front, or laminate two pieces of cherry together if you need to book match.