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Steamed cherry?

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Forum topic by Mark Shymanski posted 2220 days ago 2384 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Shymanski

4982 posts in 2308 days


2220 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: cherry question

Jenn and I are looking at doing a bit of renovation here and are looking at using either cherry or maple (...no we are not using lacewood…) depending on what Jenn’s final vision for flooring/cabintes/tile etc will be. Any way, we were at our local Windsor Plywood looking at both cherry and the assortment of maples they had on hand. We asked about the dramatic tone/colour difference between two piles of cherry. The fellow there mentioned that the darker cherry was steamed cherry…. I am not sure what steamed cherry is or why it is done and what the advantages/disadvantages may be. Can any body enlighten me? Can any one convince my wife that we can’t afford to make cabinets out of lacewood!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2


5 replies so far

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blackcherry

3146 posts in 2418 days


#1 posted 2220 days ago

The steaming is done to give the cherry wood a even color across the board. Sap wood in cherry is white in color so the steaming process even the color to the redishbrown tone. Hope this help…Blkcherry

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Mark Shymanski

4982 posts in 2308 days


#2 posted 2220 days ago

Ahhh, so that is why it is done. It does seen to make the tones more uniform…but I like the variation of un-steamed wood so I guess I’ll have to be careful in selecting what I use.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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GaryK

10262 posts in 2584 days


#3 posted 2220 days ago

Swiss pear is just pear wood that is steamed. It turns it a pink color.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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Boardman

157 posts in 2357 days


#4 posted 2220 days ago

The primary reason for steaming is to increase yeild from a log by turning the otherwise unusable white sapwood into “red” lumber. It also makes color more uniform so customers will not pick over a pile to find true heartwood sticks.

The downside, in many people’s opinion, is that it dulls the color also so that natural tone variations are gone and never to come back. The same is true for walnut. I’ll admit I’m a purist and don’t ever used steamed walnut or cherry.

Cherry darkens from both UV light and oxygen, so the redder pile may have also been just sitting their longer – in addition to the steaming.

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Mark Shymanski

4982 posts in 2308 days


#5 posted 2219 days ago

Ahhh, the increase in yield is why it was started… I could not figure out why they would start steaming wood….but if they were able to sell more of a tree because the colour was more uniform I can see there being an incentive to steam. I’m with you Boardman about not wanting to use steamed wood…I like the variation and tonal range in colour.

GaryK are there many other woods that are steamed? I wonder why it turns pink?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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