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Save some scratch using secondary woods

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Color it
Tall book case
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A dark gel stain combats poplar's
tendency toward blotchiness and
lends this inexpensive bookcase
a classic walnut look.

Color it

Do you really want to hide high-dollar hard maple under a dark stain when inexpensive poplar will do? Other inexpensive woods mimic pricier species, as well. For example, alder makes a low-dough cherry substitute with only minor color tweaks. And well-chosen soft maple is a dead-ringer for hard maple, especially for bookcase backs, shelves, or case dividers that will be partially covered or obscured. Even that infamously contrasting walnut and cherry sapwood can be tamed with dyes.

Continued on page 3:  Celebrate it


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