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Forum topic by HawkDriver posted 10-07-2011 02:32 AM 870 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HawkDriver's profile


447 posts in 2601 days

10-07-2011 02:32 AM

This post is actually wood working related, but I felt best to place it in the non-shop area. I have a coworker/friend who asked me to build a modified blanket chest for him to give to his wife for her birthday. He wanted it made out of cherry. For friends and family I will generally draw up a cost estimate and let them compensate me for my time at their discretion. Living in the high desert means that the majority of the time I am having small amounts of materials shipped in. In this case, I need about 40 BF of cherry. Shipping gets pricey for that amount. My friend is now considering having me build it out of pine and stain it. I hate staining and personally feel that if I have to stain something then I chose the wrong species. Part of me wants to tell him to buy the cherry or go to a furniture store and try to find something close to what he wants. I’m torn between wanting to help a friend and sticking to my woodworking morals.

Any ideas?

-- Patrick, Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

6 replies so far

View Trillium's profile


58 posts in 2648 days

#1 posted 10-07-2011 03:53 AM

HawkDriver, I saw a postscript on a signature on IAP that might be significant here….
“What I build is for others….how I build it is for me.” I personally think that you should suggest a wood quest together to find the cherry. Explain your feelings about staining…he obviously respects your skills..he should respect your preferences and desire to maintain your woodcraft reputation.
Good luck

-- Lou

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4186 days

#2 posted 10-07-2011 03:59 AM

If this was just a person you didn’t know well, I would tell you to stick to your “morals”. But since it is a friend, I think you should go ahead and do it. However, you should definitely tell him that it goes against your better judgment, and that you can’t guarantee it will be a thing of beauty.

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

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2658 days

#3 posted 10-07-2011 04:19 AM

Show him a piece of pine stained with cherry stain and warn him “this is what it will look like” and then see if he still wants to go with pine. You never know. I built my daughter a pine case stained with red mahogany. The ugliest thing I ever did but she loves it! I told her not to tell anyone who built it!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3514 days

#4 posted 10-07-2011 04:35 AM

We try to do everything natural also, leaning towards promoting the natural beauty of the wood species. And besides, I hate staining projects. With us, I typically will not turn down work. If stain finish is insisted, then I will typically look to outsource that work to a wood finish contractor. We have quite a few contractors that do nothing but finish work.

What your friend really wants you for is your craftsmanship, so I would give that to him and explain that he can contract out for a stain finish if he prefers.

-- .

View HawkDriver's profile


447 posts in 2601 days

#5 posted 10-07-2011 05:49 AM

Thanks fo the response guys. I’ll show him a piece with stain on it, maybe that will give him some perspective. If he is some how wowed by the stain then I guess I will probobly do it for him. If he shows any hesitation I am sticking to natural wood….. Maybe I can talk him into a plain pine box…..

Trillium, that quote is great!

-- Patrick, Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3074 days

#6 posted 10-07-2011 07:36 AM

Bring him over and let him see this piece of pine crap I got dumped on me. lol That’ll learn him real quick. lol
You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

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