Author Topic: Cherry wood  (Read 7501 times)

Offline rleete

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Cherry wood
« on: April 05, 2011, 08:15:22 PM »
I bought some cherry pen blanks from ebay.  They were a good deal, and I have been using them for pens.  The problem is, it doesn't look like cherry.  It's not red.

Web searching reveals that it is probably sapwood, and is only streaked with reddish brown.  Some sources say that cherry gets redder and darker with age, but I don't want to wait years for this stuff to turn, if it ever does. 

What I want is more like what you'd see on cherry furniture.  A deeper, darker red.  I'd really like to avoid staining it, but I may have to, to get the look I'm after.  Other sources say to try using caustics to help redden it.  Has anyone tried this?  Results?
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Offline woodguy

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 08:37:43 PM »
Cherry varies widely in colour and does not achieve its final colour until it is exposed to light for a period of time. For that reason Cherry furniture is usually stained to get a uniform dark red colour.

Oiling the wood and placing it under fluorescent light or in the sun with a mask blocking the light on part of the wood will demonstrate in a day or so how light changes the colour of the wood. Oil seems to accelerate the process.

Offline Joe d

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 09:20:20 PM »
rleete

You can try staining it with some lye, or sodium hydroxide.  It will vary from one piece to the next, but this usually
gets it red (or at least reddish... YMMV).

Try it out on a scrap bit :)

Joe

Offline Troutsqueezer

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011, 12:31:33 AM »
Cherry wood is rarely red in color. The term "cherry' might cause one to think it's cherry in color but it's really closer to a mahogany (sans staining). Closest to red might be Paduak, but it gets browner as time goes on.
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Offline Bernd

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 03:33:18 PM »
Hey, don't you remember my, err..... the wifes unfinished kitchen. It's made of cherry. It's more of a reddish brown to tan color. Depends on how close you get to the bark. Next time I have you to my house I'll give some cherry. I can even get it down to the size you want. Bring a blank I'll make some up for you.

Also sent you a PM here.

Bernd
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Offline rleete

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2011, 04:52:46 PM »
Got the PM.  Thanks for the offer, Bernd.

I have quite a bit of this wood, all cut from the same piece by the looks of it.  I'm going to have to try some of the suggestions, as it's just too bland for my tastes.

Full strength on the peroxide/lye?  Any idea if it has to be sunlight to darken it, or will an intense halogen light do the trick?  I suppose some experimentation is in order.
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Offline rleete

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 09:07:55 PM »
Oiling the wood and placing it under fluorescent light...

Well, whadaya know, it works!  No oil, as the pen was already finished with friction polish.  But I stuck it under a floursecnt light.  It's been there for only about 4-5 hours, and there is already a noticable difference.  I'm going to leae it overnight, and then flip it over and do the other side.

Thanks!
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Offline Divided he ad

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2011, 04:22:01 AM »
Roger,


Don't k now much about the brown (red) stuff but what I do know is............

Quote
I'm going to leave it overnight, and then flip it over and do the other side.


You need a mini rotisserie!    Come on man....  :proj: 


A little stepper motor, some gears and a battery.... Hours of turning and an even finish  :thumbup:     :)




Just my 2p (c)




Ralph.  Oh....  :worthless:     :wave:
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Offline woodguy

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2011, 02:22:06 PM »
It is interesting to note that the colour does "level out". A friend built a sofa table in my shop and took it home where his wife put a candy dish in the centre of it. Some time later she removed the dish to dust the table and found a candy dish sized blob of light coloured wood. Leaving the dish off for a couple of weeks with the table in the same location fixed the problem. You can't tell there ever was a colour difference now.

Not that I object to the rotisserie idea though......

Offline Joe d

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2011, 08:56:58 PM »
A little follow-up for you...since I know that  :worthless:

Here are three bits of cherry that have been aging in my garage for (from left to right) 1,2, & 3 years
you can really see the difference in darkening


A little squirt with some sodium hydroxide


and with a light coat of oil.  You can see on the left upper corner the oil on an untreated area


I've never seen two bits of this (even from the same tree) that colour to the same tone.

Have fun!

Joe

Offline rleete

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2011, 09:10:28 PM »
Sorry, Ralph.  After seeing the pics Joe D posted, I'm going to take the easy way out, and use chemicals.

Last thing I need is yet another project!
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Offline Divided he ad

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2011, 06:00:40 AM »
Quote
Last thing I need is yet another project!


Fair enough  :lol:  We've all got too many I suppose?



Have fun and don't forget the before and after pic's  :poke: 






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Offline rleete

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Re: Cherry wood
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2012, 07:41:56 PM »
Bumping this back up to give results.  Joe D's suggestion of lye worked very well.  Almost too well, in fact.  I got some VERY strong sodium Hydroxide from work.  This stuff will nearly melt your face from the fumes alone.  Diluted with water, I put some on the wood, which it turned nearly instantly.  Hours later, I noticed the wood had become very dark, and was becoming soft and crumbly.  Drying it out did not help.  Too strong.

For the next batch I thinned it considerably, and used less.  Very good results.  Pens were made and given way. 

Sunlight did turn the wood, but it quickly faded right out.  Leaving a piece in direct sunlight on the porch for about a week turned the one side significantly darker, but a week in the drawer under the lathe showed it faded back to nearly nothing.
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