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Thread: Newbie with a a question about Cherry.

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    8,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dwight View Post
    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.
    If the finish on your daughter's table is still good then it's unlikely a cleaning product caused the bleaching; more likely the sun.

    Yes, most commercial furniture is dyed/stained to "harmonize" the color and to limit color change with time. Most customers don't want the color to change, lighter or darker.

    John

  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
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    2,001
    This thread reminded me, many years ago I picked up some 'steamed' cherry. It was more uniform in color throughout the batch. I dont know exactly the process, but assumed they simply exposed the wood to steam?

    Anybody familiar with this?

  3. #33
    23" W x 2 1/4" T. I have all the slabs planed with a slab dining table as the end project. Working my way towards that.

  4. #34
    I cut down a walnut and had the logs steamed at father in laws saw mill.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Utterback View Post
    I cut down a walnut and had the logs steamed at father in laws saw mill.
    Steaming walnut lumber turns the sapwood brown to closer match the heartwood. It gives it uniform brown color, too, and takes away all the reds, greens, and yellows often present in walnut when steam is not used. It's perfect for the mass production furniture industry where uniformity is prized, but, like stained cherry, consumers get conditioned to think that's what the wood really does look like.

    I've never heard that cherry would respond to steam in a similar way until I read Carl's post above. Can anyone confirm that? I see a lot of white sapwood in commercial cherry lumber so I'm skeptical.

    John

  6. #36
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post

    I've never heard that cherry would respond to steam in a similar way until I read Carl's post above. Can anyone confirm that? I see a lot of white sapwood in commercial cherry lumber so I'm skeptical.

    John
    I did some searching after your post and it seems there is such a thing as steaming cherry to even out the color. Which makes me wonder if it ages differently with sunlight exposure.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
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    2,113
    OK, lots of talk about cherry fading. One of the first things I learned here about wood, is that cherry darkens after exposure to light and oxygen. Eventually the process reverses, and it will start to lighten. But for indoor furniture that may be decades. So it does both but not in a short timeframe. The darkening is what I've experienced. Nothing old enough yet to see it fade.
    Hobbyist

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