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Thread: Newbie with a a question about Cherry.

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Domestic (black) cherry and European (sweet) cherry wood are actually quite different. European cherry is much lighter in the first place, only a little darker than domestic maple. I am attaching a picture of some finished piece of European cherry.

    IMG_0771.jpg

    From some research it appears that domestic cherry is mostly species of prunus serotina whereas European cherry is species of prunus avium. I don't doubt that both bleach out if exposed to enough sunlight like in outside exposure. However, European Cherry has a very different starting position.

  2. #17
    Unscientifically:

    I made a writing desk made of wood that looks exactly like your board in color and curl. FWIW, this has been in near a window for about 8 years and the color got a little more golden/orange, but has not faded in the least yet.

    IMG_5062 (Large).jpg

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    If they were stained or dyed, that bleaches a lot more than the actual wood (in the case of cherry) does IME.

    That depends upon what type of dye or stain was used. Some stains are very light stable and will protect the wood they are applied to from fading. Many common interior wood stains fall into this category. The metal complex dyes (Transtint, et al) also are very resistant to fading.

    John

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    That depends upon what type of dye or stain was used. Some stains are very light stable and will protect the wood they are applied to from fading. Many common interior wood stains fall into this category. The metal complex dyes (Transtint, et al) also are very resistant to fading.

    John
    Agreed.. but it's one of those things where .. there are just too many variables to say a specific yes/no Especially for woods that "suntan". I have some 20 year old cherry tables that have done nothing but darken, and you know.. Arizona isn't exactly devoid of UV. In fact, the carpet it sat on was bleached.

    I'd have to check, but I recall also some dark antique furniture my parents owned that also hadn't bleached.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  5. #20
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    I have some cherry that was milled over 70 years ago and stored in a barn that is dark all the way through the pieces. It does not get darker when exposed to light. Here's a piece I recently used.
    old cherry.jpg
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

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  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    A small (2 of them) cabinet I did from some figured cherry. These are circa 2000, so just over 20 years old. Believe it was simple watco Danish, then from time to time some tried and true finish. IMG_4414.jpgIMG_4415.jpg

    They sit by a window so you see a bit more darkening and some of the figure is lost.

    A bigger thing to watch out for is if you leave something sitting on the top while the rest is exposed, you will get a light spot underneath it since it does not see sunlight.

  7. #22
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    Cincinnati, OH
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    That is a very nice cherry board. How wide and thick is it? Welcome aboard, brother!
    Rustic? Well, no. That was not my intention!

  8. #23
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    Nov 2006
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    N.E. Ohio
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    Here's a piece I recently used.
    Man you do good work!
    That hound looks so real it's hard to imagine it's made out of Cherry! What did you use for the white? ( )

    On topic - I love Cherry. Probably my favorite wood.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  9. #24
    Does dyed wood fade more than stained?

  10. #25
    When I first moved to Austin, I made a simple bookcase out of some solid cherry we had laying around the Minimax USA shop. Nothing fancy, just finished with BLO or perhaps tung. Don't exactly recall. Later on, it lived on the front porch and got a fair amount of sun. You can see it in the far left corner of the photo below. It did fade but parts stayed dark. I guess the moral of the story: "Sunlight does things to cherry that you may or may not find desirable, depending on your taste and depending on the project".

    Erik
    Inside porch.jpg
    Ex-SCM and Felder rep

  11. #26
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    Cherry is one of my most favorite species to work with. I will say that I find it to be a best practice to acquire quite a bit more than is called for so there is enough material to carefully sort for grain and color so that the "show" pieces of the project meet any expectations of uniformity. No two trees produce identical color and while things mostly get close over time with oxidation and UV, if you want a uniform color, start out that way. (The same holds true for air dried nor non-steamed KD walnut)

    That board in the OP is a very nice figured piece of cherry and would be quite expensive from most sources.
    --

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

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Cherry is one of my most favorite species to work with. I will say that I find it to be a best practice to acquire quite a bit more than is called for so there is enough material to carefully sort for grain and color so that the "show" pieces of the project meet any expectations of uniformity. .
    Jim, i will add a thought that took me too long to realize, but I now I know. With cherry, and other woods as well, Having a list or sketches of the "show" pieces established before you purchase the wood is huge. For gluing up a side or top, try to pick a board with enough wood to make the glue up from that one piece. Also with drawers that are side by side, as on a buffet, try to find a piece wide enough so no glue up is needed and also long enough that you can keep the original orientation. Then the drawer fronts show a continuum from the original board. When I look at my older pieces, when I didn't think about stuff like that compared to my more recent stuff when I did, it makes a huge difference.

    I'm sure experienced woodworkers know this, but would like to pass it on to any people just getting into making furniture.
    Last edited by Ron Citerone; 01-22-2022 at 10:41 AM.

  13. #28
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    Ron, I like to do similar things when selecting material, whether it's in my head or written down. Grain and color matching before you even start building is the first and one of the most important steps in the finishing process. Many of us started out with just acquiring material by board foot which gets the build done, but doesn't necessarily make for a stunning end result. Good material selection can be and is the difference between a great result and a totally amazing and eye catching result.
    --

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

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Engel View Post
    Does dyed wood fade more than stained?
    I'm pretty sure stains made from inorganic pigments will remain stable longer than dyes, although some dyes are quite light stable, too. The benefit of stain with regards to light stability is that the pigment sits on the wood so it shields it. With dye I don't think that's the case because the dye is in the wood. I know of many exterior rated stain products but not one exterior rated dye.

    John

  15. #30
    My cherry furniture is all less than 10 years old and is darkening, not bleaching out. But I made some cherry furniture for my daughter more than 10 years ago and one piece, their breakfast table may have bleached out on the top. It got light for some reason. I don't think they abuse it but it could also be a reaction to a cleaning product, I guess. I noticed it when visiting but did not realize it could be sun bleaching. It is not real even.

    I agree completely with the comments that there is a lot of variation in cherry. I have two coffee tables in my great room with cherry tops and they look like they are made of different woods. Each top is consistent within the top, however. I selected boards to get that result. I wonder if the sun bleaching may be a bit board dependent too.

    Maybe the lack of consistency and the sun bleaching are reasons commercial furniture made of "cherry" seems inevitably to be stained or dyed.

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