View Full Version : "Wood"n't you know it!!

Tom Pritchard
05-08-2005, 10:51 PM
My oldest son came home from college today to see his Mom on Mother's Day :) . While he was here, I showed him the little hall table that I finished recently that is made of cherry and curly maple. While looking at it, he told me that the maple was "ok", but that he much preferred darker woods like the cherry! Now normally that "wood"n't be a problem. Right now though, I have about 30 BF of curly maple in the basement that I bought to make him a bookcase for his graduation present :eek: !

Now I don't know what to do. I could use something to darken the maple, but I would hate doing that. I could go out and buy some cherry to build the bookcase, but that will take additional time (and money).

I want this bookcase to be special for him, so my first inclination is to go and get the cherry :( . What do you think?

John Miliunas
05-08-2005, 10:56 PM
Tough one, but after all, he only graduates once, right?:) Besides, think of all the curly you'll have for other neat projects!:) That, plus the fact that, if you intend to make this a "special" project for him, using wood which you now *know* doesn't rank high with him, really wouldn't leave it as special, would it? Yeah, I know...The things we do for our kids!:) :cool:

Jerry Clark
05-09-2005, 2:02 AM
Yep Tom, bite the bullet and go for the cherry-- If he does not like it it ain't special and he may give it away!:( He will love the cherry and keep it forever! :D

Martin Shupe
05-09-2005, 2:08 AM
My wife says the same thing about curly maple. It is pretty, but she prefers darker woods, cherry being her favorite (mine too). I have a little maple, including some beautiful stuff I got from Donnie Raines, and I have been looking at analine dyes to make it look more like cherry. I am going to make something without the dye, then something with the dye and see which one she really likes best. Also, analine dye can be used to pop the curl, which I want to maximize anyway.

Jeff Jewitt sells a line of analine dye which comes highly recommended, although I have not purchased any yet. Still trying to decide which colors to try.

I think it is Glenn Huey that uses a lot of curly maple, but almost always colors it to look a warm red color. His work has been featured in Popular Woodworking, and I think he has a website, too. He makes curly maple really look stunning!

scott spencer
05-09-2005, 5:29 AM
Hhhhmmm.....Lyptus is darker than CM. I wonder if using lyptus for the face frame and stained CM maple to match the lyptus on the sides would blow him away? I've got some books with some stained CM pieces that are unbelievable...they'll be in front of your eyes by tomorrow! ;)

I also wonder if Luggerts has lyptus....

Jeff Sudmeier
05-09-2005, 8:43 AM

Sounds like you have a dilema on your hands. You can either stain or dye the curley maple (GASP!) or go with cherry instead.

In all honesty what I would think about trying is to pick up some cherry and then stain the CM to match the cherry. You will still have the wonderful curl from the maple and you would be incorporating cherry into it as well.

Good luck!

Doug Shepard
05-09-2005, 8:54 AM
I've used curly cherry before and love it, but if dark and curly is what you're after, try browsing through the pages on gilmer.com. They've got some incredible looking curly bubinga. Pricey for sure, but you did say you wanted something special. Gilmer's site stinks. Nothing's indexed by species, and you've pretty much got to browse every page to see what they've got, but I suppose it's not much different from physically ogling all the other wood on a brick-and-mortar visit to the local hardwood supplier. Here's a sample pic.

John Hemenway
05-09-2005, 12:53 PM
My guess is Doug was really trying to send you to www.gilmerwood.com.

Doug Shepard
05-09-2005, 1:11 PM
My guess is Doug was really trying to send you to www.gilmerwood.com. (http://www.gilmerwood.com.)

Yep. I can never remember which direct links are allowed, and which aren't, so in the attempt to not post the link, I was going from memory and got it wrong.

Kenneth Hertzog
05-09-2005, 1:27 PM
I have many a board foot of cherry and no curly maple if you would like to consider a trade of some sort I'm not to far from you. Slippery Rock, pa
let me know. The cherry has about 6 yrs drying time and was grown in my front yard and 5/4 sawn. Since cut it has seen no weather.

John Shuk
05-09-2005, 11:00 PM
Would it help to finish the maple with BLO. I have some tiger maple chairs that are very old and they are quite dark now. BLO will darken with time.

Tom Pritchard
05-10-2005, 7:59 PM
I want to thank everyone who was kind enough to post a reply to my sticky situation! I appreciate the insight, as well as the helpful advice that was offered! I have made a tenative appointment at a local lumber mill to pick up some wide cherry (greater than 12") for $4.00/BF, and I think I'm going to pursue that option. You are right, both my son and I would be disappointed if he wasn't CRAZY about this bookcase, and I'll only get a chance to do it once.

BTW, he asked me if I would build a podium for him for his first classroom as a teacher! I was thrilled!!

Now, how in the world do I build a podium.... :eek:

John Miliunas
05-10-2005, 8:11 PM
BTW, he asked me if I would build a podium for him for his first classroom as a teacher! I was thrilled!!

Now, how in the world do I build a podium.... :eek:

Sorry Tom, no clue on the "how", but considering it's going into a classroom, you may want to consider Ipe as the wood of choice!:D :rolleyes: :) :cool:

larry merlau
05-11-2005, 3:02 PM
youjust go and get a big cherry stump take the bark off and even could open up some ares of the heart wood to accept pencils and such the top would have a remnder of all the years of his toll in college and the class room :D and it willbe solid :D