LumberJocks

Ambrosia Cherry?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Walnut_Weasel posted 1794 days ago 1424 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Walnut_Weasel's profile

Walnut_Weasel

360 posts in 1847 days


1794 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: ambrosia cherry

I was in Parkersburg, WV this weekend and stopped by the local Woodcraft. They had Ambrosia Cherry for $3.30/bf. I am extremely new to woodworking and thought this seemed to be a very good deal; however, I wanted to get everyone else’s opinion for a couple of reasons.

1) I see ambrosia Maple all the time and from time to time ambrosia sycamore but I have never ran across ambrosia cherry. It this just an extremely rare wood? And if it is rare, why? (does not occur often in nature? or difficult to work with and no one wants to buy it?)

2) Why was it just $3.30 a BF when normal cherry seems to run around $7.00? (Perhaps this is related to question 1?)

So I went ahead and picked up about 25 bf of lumber and lugged it home in my Toyota Corolla!! (I have pictures but my wife is out of town with the camera – sorry) Obviously I have not had a chance to see this wood finished yet, but in its natural state it is very stunning! The wood has been milled long enough now that the faint red tone is beginning to come out, and there are long grayish/blue streaks in the wood around the ambrosia holes. I can’t wait to become skilled enough to do this wood some justice. Until then it is just going to have to be stored in the garage!

If anyone has any tips regarding this wood please let me know. Thanks.

-- James - www.walnutweasel.wordpress.com


8 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2446 days


#1 posted 1794 days ago

It is possible that this is legit. Ambrosia wood is created by ambrosia beetles which infect the wood with a fungus that they use for food. The beetles can attack any hardwood species and are especially fond of newly cut wood. The only problem that I can see with it is that if the fungal infection is too advanced then, instead of just coloration, there will also be degradation of the wood itself. But you would be in the best position to judge this.

As far as the price goes $3.30 a bf is about right for this region. In April I bought 200 bf of kiln dried select cherry for $2.40 a bf. Normally this runs about $3.40 but, because these were only 7-7.5 feet in length my supplier need to move them out of inventory.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Durnik150's profile

Durnik150

647 posts in 1946 days


#2 posted 1794 days ago

I talked with the owner of a couple Woodcraft stores and he mentioned that the “Ambrosia Cherry” is truly Ambrosia Maple that has been high pressure steamed thus causing all of the wood, inside and out, to turn a red such as a cherry wood.
While we can debate the ethical issue of labeling, I would assume you are using Maple as far as cutting, movement, finish, etc.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View Walnut_Weasel's profile

Walnut_Weasel

360 posts in 1847 days


#3 posted 1794 days ago

Interesting info guys.

Scott – Regarding the “stains” they are not very degraded and soft as I have typically found in ambrosia maple but I assume it depends on how long the wood had been “infected” as to how soft the wood becomes.

Charles – The possibility that this is actually maple that has been labeled as cherry is interesting. It may be possible based on the figuring of the grain – however I doubt it would be hard maple because it seems to be about the same hardness as cherry and not harder than hammered hell the way maple typically is.

-- James - www.walnutweasel.wordpress.com

View Jordan Curcio's profile

Jordan Curcio

13 posts in 890 days


#4 posted 890 days ago

I know that this post is old, but I came across it while searching for Ambrosia Cherry Lumber. I am a high school woodshop teacher that used to order this lumber in large quantities for classes. It is an extremely interesting wood. It actually is Ambrosia Maple. It used to be produced by Willis Lumber Company in Washington Courthouse in Ohio, Which closed down last year. They found out by accident that if their kiln was heated about 15 degrees higher than normal, the chemical deposits left behind from the ambrosia beetles would turn the wood a light pink. Between the similar grain patterns of cherry and maple combined with the pink hue, it resembles cherry hence the name ambrosia cherry. I guess they didn’t think that “Pink Ambrosia Maple” would catch on. The wood is absolutely gorgeous however, It is very difficult to work with. Because of the high kiln temps, the wood has a tendency to be extremely dry and brittle. It cracks and splits easily and also creates large amounts of tearout. I just happened to be looking for some. I used some to build my daughter a crib, and had about 50 bd. ft. left. I am looking for a little more to build some cabinet doors. If anyone knows where to find some, please let me know!

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

563 posts in 2166 days


#5 posted 889 days ago

You want Ambrosia Maple or Ambrosia Cherry? We call it Wormy Maple here. How much do you need and where do you live?

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/35711

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View Jordan Curcio's profile

Jordan Curcio

13 posts in 890 days


#6 posted 889 days ago

That counter top you made is awesome! It is amazing how some people consider that a defect. I love the unique look of that wood. I am looking for the ambrosia cherry, only because I would like to try to match the lumber that I already have. It is the same but has a little bit of a pinkish tone to it and looks much darker than regular maple. I live near Pittsburgh. I probably need another 50 board feet.

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

563 posts in 2166 days


#7 posted 889 days ago

Thank you for your compliment on the counter top. I’ll check Tuesday and see if my maple vendor has any Ambrosia Cherry. I’ve got plenty of the Ambrosia Maple that we call Wormy Maple. I usually keep some of it in stock. I’ve got to build a farm table with a black frame and a Wormy “Ambrosia” Maple top..should be interesting.

I know they steam their No#1 Cherry but not sure about the Maple. Everyone I do Cherry for likes either Common Cherry or Rustic Cherry. Rustic has a lot of knots and Common is not steamed so every board is uniform in color.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

563 posts in 2166 days


#8 posted 889 days ago

I called my Maple vendor this morning and was told they have no Ambrosia Cherry and have never had a call for it. He said you might could find a vendor that had some Rustic Cherry with the dark streaks in it which they have had on occasion.

Good luck.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase