Graduating from Red Oak

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by Michael James posted 1534 days ago 747 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Michael James's profile (online now)

Michael James

88 posts in 1652 days

1534 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: cherry walnut design wood contrast

Hey Everyone,

I’ve made a few projects over the last three years – all in Red Oak – but now it’s time to move on. I’m going to be building a widescreen TV cabinet from Woodsmith:

I know I’m going to use Ash for the bulk of it but instead of staining the top and bottom, I’d like to use a more elegant wood like walnut or cherry. That’s what I can’t decide – what wood should I use?

I’ve read the FWW article about contrast but still think that walnut would look nice on the top and bottom and maybe put some dowel pins in the doors but not having ever worked with the wood, I’m not 100% sure about it. My other thought was cherry – the red tones it will eventually be would be pretty cool in my mind.

So, I thought I would get some other thoughts. What do you think? Walnut, cherry, or something else?

-- Michael James -

8 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


15669 posts in 2822 days

#1 posted 1534 days ago

Forget that article!

If you like the way the one in the photo looks (and I think it’s beautiful) you should go with walnut. It will compliment your ash beautifully, IMO. Also, once you work with walnut, you will be hooked.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TheDane's profile


3659 posts in 2266 days

#2 posted 1534 days ago

That’s a tough call … both walnut and cherry cab look terrific. I think it might depend on the room you intend for the piece to go in … walnut may look better in some rooms than cherry and vice-versa. Also, cherry tends to darken with age, so in a couple of years, the piece may look different than it will the day you finish it.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Michael James's profile (online now)

Michael James

88 posts in 1652 days

#3 posted 1533 days ago

Thanks…I’m not sure if this weighs in on the thoughts, but I plan on a clear finish…no colouring.

-- Michael James -

View Gary's profile (online now)


7001 posts in 2036 days

#4 posted 1533 days ago

I’d use walnut. The contrast would be greater. Clear finish would be stunning.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5418 posts in 2032 days

#5 posted 1533 days ago


-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View knotscott's profile


5371 posts in 1979 days

#6 posted 1533 days ago

Both cherry and walnut are great to work with, and look great with a clear finish. Neither are particularly hard to cut, but both burn more easily than oak or ash….keep your blades clean and sharp. Cherry will darken with age, walnut is darker to start with. Note that some folks can have an allergic reaction when working with walnut so be aware. As always, check with the “misses” about which to go with!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View a1Jim's profile


112001 posts in 2180 days

#7 posted 1533 days ago

I like cherry and walnut too.

-- Custom furniture

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

464 posts in 1855 days

#8 posted 1522 days ago

Walnut for sure Michael.


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

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

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase