Graduating from Red Oak

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Forum topic by Michael James posted 05-18-2010 08:49 PM 1158 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Michael James

89 posts in 3072 days

05-18-2010 08:49 PM

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


16275 posts in 4242 days

#1 posted 05-18-2010 08:52 PM

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


5441 posts in 3687 days

#2 posted 05-18-2010 08:56 PM

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

Michael James

89 posts in 3072 days

#3 posted 05-18-2010 11:51 PM

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


9333 posts in 3457 days

#4 posted 05-19-2010 12:02 AM

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

10528 posts in 3452 days

#5 posted 05-19-2010 12:05 AM


-- 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


8056 posts in 3400 days

#6 posted 05-19-2010 01:07 AM

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


117115 posts in 3601 days

#7 posted 05-19-2010 02:40 AM

I like cherry and walnut too.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 3276 days

#8 posted 05-30-2010 07:45 AM

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!

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