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Thread: cherry darkening question

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    cherry darkening question

    I departed my QSWO comfort zone and am making a Limbert coffee table that my wife requested and she wanted it in cherry so here I am. USCWOAP. I made the top with the best I had and glued it up about a week ago. When I make a top I always leave it in the cauls until I'm ready to finish working on it - always the last piece I make. And I know that cherry darkens in the sunlight - which I have a lot of in my shop - but knowing something and thinking of it are 2 radically different animals as one ages. So now the top has these 2 nice, pale stripes. I went after the underside with 120 grit on the ROS but can still see - faintly - the stripes.

    20200629_175748.jpg

    Will this auto correct? Keep sanding? Plane the top? Start over? If it will auto correct is that dependent on the finish? Should I prop it up in the sun? (it's currently hermetically sealed under some moving blankets on the bench). My wife, bless her heart, saw it and told me that, while she understood a lot of my stuff has "features", stripes on her coffee table was a feature too far.

    Thanks for any info or suggestions.
    If it wasn't for the "last minute", nothing would ever get done.

  2. #2
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    In my experience this will auto-correct but, let it do that before moving forward. A lot of folks set cherry in the sun for a tan. In sunny SoCal this suddenly dried and split some cherry in about 20 minutes so I have moved away from that method. With a window between the sun and the material you have a little more time / control.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
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  3. #3
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    I agree with Glenn. It will most likely auto-correct...eventually. I have a table top from cherry I made several years ago. There are a few things sitting on the top. Even after a few years, I move the things around every few months. There is a slightly lighter color where the things sit and after moving them, the lighter spots blend in within a week or so.

    At the risk of some wood movement, Iíd uncover your top and leave it exposed for a week or two and see what happens.

    I donít think finish will make a difference in how the wood colors...unless it has some high UV protection mixed in.

  4. #4
    Cover the dark areas with opaque paper and leave the light areas exposed in the same location or a brighter location where they were when you had the cauls in place. Check the progress regularly. You could even keep it locked up in the cuals over the opaque paper.
    Lee Schierer
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  5. #5
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    It just takes time...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    It just takes time...

    I must be older than you Jim. LOL

    So it's in the shop basking in indirect light. We'll see what develops. Thx for the suggestions folks.
    If it wasn't for the "last minute", nothing would ever get done.

  7. #7
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    Similar experience as Phil. Our night stands have lamps, books, radio, etc that caused differences. I moved things around a couple of times early on and have not checked in years. Likely, everything is okay and not worth checking further.

    What are the finishing plans?
    Rustic? Well, no. That was not my intention!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Utterback View Post
    Similar experience as Phil. Our night stands have lamps, books, radio, etc that caused differences. I moved things around a couple of times early on and have not checked in years. Likely, everything is okay and not worth checking further.

    What are the finishing plans?

    She wants to - gasp - stain it. I have many cut offs to test on. Basically no plan yet. We are going to try stains, dyes, light shellac wash, no shellac wash. etc etc. All suggestions are appreciated. And I'm not too concerned with "blotching". We'll just see how the testing goes. Whatever she likes will be the finish it gets. (I'll draw the line at paint)
    If it wasn't for the "last minute", nothing would ever get done.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Carey View Post
    She wants to - gasp - stain it. I have many cut offs to test on. Basically no plan yet. We are going to try stains, dyes, light shellac wash, no shellac wash. etc etc. All suggestions are appreciated. And I'm not too concerned with "blotching". We'll just see how the testing goes. Whatever she likes will be the finish it gets. (I'll draw the line at paint)
    General finishes makes a dye stain named Vintage Cherry which isnít too ghastly.

  10. #10
    It could be months before it evens out.

    It’s not a sin to dye cherry to even out the color faster.

  11. #11
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    One has to think about this carefully...applying dye to "even out" color doesn't actually eliminate the lighter area that wasn't exposed. It just makes everything darker if applied over the whole surface and if one darkens just the light spots, when they get darker, well... I leave cherry alone and in my experience these kinds of marks will disappear with just time unless it's a chemical stain from a sticker or something like that.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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