Durability of Cherry?

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Forum topic by JoeinDE posted 06-22-2009 08:16 PM 1211 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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444 posts in 3499 days

06-22-2009 08:16 PM

I am planning to build a step stool with storage for my 2-yr old son to use (think stairs with flip up steps). The steps are going to mounted on hinges. I have some 4/4 curly cherry (American black cherry) that I recently acquired, but I have little experience with cherry. The wood that I choose for the steps has to be able to withstand slamming into the sides (which will be 3/4” maple ply) and being stood upon by a 35 lb (and getting bigger all the time) rambunctious little boy. Will cherry be able to handle this without getting to dinged? If I use the cherry I will be using at as thick as possible for maximum strength (13/16”). Will putting a “hard” finish on the cherry help reduce signs of the wear that this piece is going to take?


3 replies so far

View johnpoole's profile


74 posts in 3641 days

#1 posted 06-22-2009 08:53 PM

“rambunctious little boy” covers a lot of ground.. when mine were that age they could ding large rocks.. cherry should work, not as hard as oak but not as soft as others.. i built a couple of toy boxes out of cherry that have lasted 30+ years and they are still being used by great grand kids.. i have refinished them, but they did wear well. the ones i built out of pine and painted are long gone. the cherry will handle the weight better then the plywood. depending on the span i might add a brace down the center hortz to the tread.. that will give you zero flex

-- it's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime i want

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444 posts in 3499 days

#2 posted 06-22-2009 08:56 PM

Thanks, John. I like your idea of of using a brace to minimize flex.


View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3903 days

#3 posted 06-22-2009 09:02 PM

I’d be surprised if 4/4 cherry even flexes under the weight of an adult over such a short span. I think the bigger issue may be how the plywood sides hold up and things ding and chip into the plys. As long as your son doesn’t have pebbles stuck in the sole of his shoe, I’d think a hard polyeurethane finish would be plent to protect it from damage.

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