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Thread: Interesting article on Cherry

  1. #1

    Interesting article on Cherry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Wayland, MA
    I never stopped loving cherry! I hadn't realized it had gone out of style. I did all cherry trim (with birdseye maple accents) in our current house and it must have been that downturn that made it affordable at the time. I continue to enjoy it every day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    NE Ohio
    Move along - move along - nothing to see here - nothing to see.

    Cherry is a miserable material to work with. Far worse than MDF to work. It's impossible to make any sort of burn free cut in Cherry.
    Lest anyone forget - once the milling is done, the misery has just started!
    Try, just try to put any sort of blemish free finish on that miserable blotchy wood!

    AND!!! If that isn't bad enough - if by some minor miracle you do manage to get an even finish on this material from hell - - as it sits there - just looking at you - it changes color!

    Yep - my recommendation is to just back slowly away from this garbage wood. You sure don't want people buying this stuff and making the price go up....

    (I hope this I mentioned ....I don't want people rushing to buy Cherry and drive the price up...)
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

  4. #4
    I am so glad that Irion is local.
    But yeah, you don't want to go back there, 'specially not that nasty cherry....


  5. #5
    Some parts kind of discouraging: walnut is overharvested, mahogany these days is low quality, "butternut is just about finished as a viable lumber", and so on.

    Overall good article, not that I needed more reasons to like cherry.

  6. #6
    Cherry is one of my favorite woods. Since I mostly make guitars, I favor perfectly quartersawn stuff with visible rays that the cabinet guys don't usually want. I have had considerable difficulty finding stock, as it is generally flat sawn for FAS. I've been able to get my hands on a few pieces here and there, which are primarily used for necks as they aren't wide enough for backs and sides. Such is life, though, and I'm not consuming massive quantities of wood either.

    One thing I will mention, as I've run into it... Heartwood birch is often red, and it's sold by unscrupulous dealers as "Cherry." The texture and general grain when freshly cut is very similar. The difference is that birch doesn't darken like cherry does. One particular guitar has stayed the sort of reddish blonde color a dozen years later, where actual cherry would have been a rich dark brown. That would be a real problem when mixed into cabinet work as they look similar coming from the supplier, but the actual cherry parts will significantly darken as the piece ages, and the birch bits won't. The other give away is that cherry has prominent medullary rays when perfectly quartersawn while birch doesn't. This isn't going to be obvious on flat sawn, though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    John, I have a hell of a time finding quality quatersawn cherry in NJ. I needed some for drawer sides and had to order from goosebay lumber in NH - price was decent until you figure in shipping...

    That said, I'm sure I can venture (further) west into PA and find a source (PA has nice cherry) but haven't found much within an hour of me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Lancaster, Ohio
    I got started on cherry some years back when Yoder lumber offered Cherry 4' & 5', 500' bdft bundles for a little over $500. I bought a bundle and had them to skip plane to 7/8". This is not all clear material, most has a "defect" which is
    exactly what my wife likes. I have not finished any of it yet. Was nice to work with, dovetails cut with a router perfectly. Have approx 4 1/2' long dresser in the bedroom that I use. The top and drawer fronts are in the basement waiting to be finished and installed. Want to buy another bundle late summer if my health keeps improving and they still have this deal.
    Old Codger
    In it for fun

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Clarks Summit PA
    I think this article is 10 years old. I love cherry but good cherry is expensive nowadays.

  10. #10
    Mark, I wasn’t aware of the age of the article. I started googling and found that article. What prompted my search was looking at Groff and Groff’s price list a few days ago and cherry was one of the cheapest lumber species on there. When I first bought hardwood circa 1978, cherry was right below walnut. I guess interest has waned? (No pun intended) 😂

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Colorado Springs
    The stereotype is only men over 80 use cherry. I actually like it. It works really well for shadow boxes.

    Well, sure cherry is now expensive. The only "inexpensive" wood I've seen lately is poplar. But that was a few weeks ago...

  12. #12
    The local woodcraft started stocking QS cherry and oak maybe 5 or 8 years ago. I was like

    The thing is... Mills aren't interested in dealing with guys like me who buy 1-board... A local woodworkers club or a retail store like Woodcraft/Rockler is a different story, though. A bunch of us each buying our 1-board adds up to a pretty decent sales volume... And that justifies the short run at the mill.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Different species of wood have "popularly waves" that are just a natural part of how society seems to work when it comes to aesthetics. Cherry is also one of those species that can be misunderstood by "the general public" because of all the examples they see out there that are uber dark from long time oxidation and that's what their expectations are, despite the fact that freshly cut and finished cherry (un dyed/stained with is a "mortal sin" for many of us) is a much, much lighter color. So if that dark-dark color is the desire, one might as well use a less expensive species with a similar grain pattern and pore size and dye they heck out of it rather than paying for actual cherry lumber. At the present time, other species are the "hot item" so it's potentially a good opportunity for folks who love cherry to "stock up" if they have a few extra shekels lying about.

    Personally, I'm a big cherry fan and it's always been a favorite of mine. I've made many projects from it over the years and have some very nice boards in my rack that are still waiting to tell me what they want to become; one remaining wide board that I bought in 2000 during the very first fall sale event at Willard Bros I attended after setting up shop at our then-new-to-us property. (the one we moved from three years ago) It's mate went into my primary bench top.

    I will also mention that I'm also a big fan of rift/QS cherry and have used that to advantage in the vanities I made for the old property...rift/QS rails and stiles that surrounded a very busy crotch veneer panel. No clash...just beautiful cherry in every way. Historically for those projects, I've created my own rift/QS stock by using the edges of wider, flat sawn boards with the center portions being used for portions of the project that flat sawn was just fine or not visible. For larger quantities, one might need to use a specialty supplier like Horizon...and not just for rift/QS cherry, but other species, too.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 05-17-2024 at 8:57 AM.

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

  14. #14
    Hi John. Grof Lumber in Quarryville PA may be close enough. Very fast shipping via UPS to NJ if you order by phone.
    Long time happy customer.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Princeton, NJ
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by John Kananis View Post
    John, I have a hell of a time finding quality quatersawn cherry in NJ. I needed some for drawer sides and had to order from goosebay lumber in NH - price was decent until you figure in shipping...

    That said, I'm sure I can venture (further) west into PA and find a source (PA has nice cherry) but haven't found much within an hour of me.
    Ask Willard Brothers to order it, they have the same supplier I do and they have no problem getting quartered/rift cherry. I ordered a couple hundred bdft recently and it's top quality stuff.


    Cherry is wonderful, great to work with and has a nice color.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

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