Different looking Cherry

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Forum topic by Brian024 posted 01-28-2011 05:58 AM 1459 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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358 posts in 3369 days

01-28-2011 05:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cherry

Has anybody worked with cherry that looks like this? I’m assuming this is the sapwood, but I have never seen it with dark steaks in it. The board looks like it was cut very close to the center of the tree so is there a chance that the sapwood could run that far into the tree? Also the grain and texture looks like curly cherry, which I have never seen since it seems to be a tough find in my area. The board is 13” wide by the way.

12 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1612 posts in 3431 days

#1 posted 01-28-2011 06:07 AM

Looks like spalting

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3511 days

#2 posted 01-28-2011 08:47 AM

looks like a normal piece of cherry to me. One of the lumber yards I used to go to would have many different bins of cherry to pick from. One of those bins was very cheap and would have boards that looked like this. Low quality, I gather

-- Childress Woodworks

View barryvabeach's profile


159 posts in 3013 days

#3 posted 01-28-2011 02:27 PM

Hard to tell from the pictures, but your description of the dark streaks reminds me of some cherry I got from Florida – it did not look much like the Penn cherry were are all used to , though it was much cheaper. It did have the same cherry feature that it darken as it aged, though not the same look as Penn cherry.

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3433 days

#4 posted 01-28-2011 02:40 PM

yeah, it doesn’t look like sapwood to me – that’s kind of a pale yellow. this looks like “rustic” quality stuff. the dark streaks look like some soft maple i had once. I guess a light version of what’s called ‘ambrosia maple” which is caused by light spalting. spalting can be very heavy, in which case you see really thick black lines, or very light, in which case they’re more like blue and in a pattern like what you’ve got.

in terms of quality, i dont know – there are no knots or cracks, and it looks pretty straight grained. it might be discounted (not sure how you got it) but I wouldnt think any less of this wood compared to regular cherry :-)

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3636 days

#5 posted 01-28-2011 02:41 PM

Looks like the local “wild” cherry I get here in KY. The dark lines are mineral streaks I believe.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View FatScratch's profile


189 posts in 3272 days

#6 posted 01-28-2011 03:03 PM

Looks just like most of the cherry I get in Cleveland, OH. There are usually all kinds of wonderful colors in it from yellow to deep red. I find most of the pieces I buy like this have the most figure once a finish is applied, and would typically pay more for this kind of board. If you look in my projects, the last one posted is a cherry jewelry box; the board it was made from looked very similar to the one you posted, prior to finishing. If you look at one of the side pictures, you will see some darker streaks in the cherry (it is finished with only oil and shellac). The board you posted will make a wonderful project!

View tnwood's profile


258 posts in 3056 days

#7 posted 01-28-2011 03:20 PM

I’ve got several pieces like that. I bought them in central NJ a number of years ago and the mill claimed they were spalted. Part of one board is punky so I suspect that is the case with the stuff I have.

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 3369 days

#8 posted 01-28-2011 05:56 PM

Thanks for the replys and information guys. I did a quick bit of research on spalting in cherry and some say that it isn’t spalting in the true sense but certain resin’s that are in the wood that cause this, it’s just called spalting since its easier. The quality of the board seems really good, no knots, just the color was different. I paid the same price as I normally do for cherry, around $3 bd/ft. I’m still going to use it, I was able to get all the parts for the table this it being used for out of this one board which I guess is a good thing since any normal cherry would be a big contrast.

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3511 days

#9 posted 01-28-2011 06:03 PM

Well, there is no “resin” in cherry or any hardwood for that matter. Resin is produced in certain softwoods in their “resin canals”. Maybe like you said how some call it spalting because it’s easier? I think Rhett has the best explanation of them being cause by minerals. That would make the most sense to me, but I’m no expert with this by any means…

-- Childress Woodworks

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3511 days

#10 posted 01-28-2011 07:07 PM

Mineral Streak A darkened or discolored wood area, caused by minerals which the tree extracts from the soil, can be either mineral streak or mineral stain. Mineral streak appears as a blackish blue, well-defined streak running parallel with the grain. It is commonly found in maple and birch, and occasionally in oak and cherry. The streak can be measured easily by its length and width.

I found this here. Scroll to the bottom….

-- Childress Woodworks

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2927 days

#11 posted 01-28-2011 07:17 PM

I have seen clear, thick brownish globs of sap coming out of two different types of cherry trees; sometimes it is gooey, sometimes it’s thick. I don’t know if is a resin, sap, or whatever, but it’s there. From the looks of the growth lines it looks to me as if those boards were sliced from the outer heartwood surfaces of a very large tree. It may not be typical, but it sure is beautiful; nice lumber in my book.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 3369 days

#12 posted 01-29-2011 12:53 AM

It’s going into a small round table and I thought I was going to have a tough time matching and getting a good enough look for the top because I have to do a glue up to get the right width. I’ve also noticed that this has a stonger smell to it, but yes it is definitely worth being used.

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