At its essence, creating a book-match means resawing through the thickness of a board. Once the cut is complete and you’ve opened the two pieces, like a book, the grain on each of the two cut faces will almost perfectly mirror one another.
I’ve used book-matched panels on a number of projects. On a small scale, they make great jewelry box lids, but if you own a saw with enough resaw capacity you can create book-matches on a larger scale. I’ve produced book-matched door panels, for instance, and used them on adjacent doors, so each is the mirror of the other. It’s a striking effect. I’ve also created tabletops from book-matched pieces.
The band saw is just the tool for resawing a book-match. You’ll need a resaw fence and, with a few simple setup tips, you’ll be cutting like a pro.
Setting Up the Saw
Before you start cutting, the first thing to do is make sure your band saw is properly set up for resawing. If you plan on cutting fairly wide boards, you’ll need a saw with plenty of capacity.
The general rule with resawing is, “the wider the blade, the better.” I prefer a blade that’s at least 1/2″ wide. The blade you select should also have an aggressive tooth pattern with no more than 3 or 4 teeth per inch (tpi). With your blade installed, you’ll want to check the blade tension and tracking and confirm that the table is perfectly perpendicular to the blade.