There are several different types of wood used for making furniture. Some of these woods are easier to work with, while others are considered more complex. Cherry wood is one of those harder ones to work with, but it is also one of the most sought-after woods for crafting beautiful furniture pieces. To get the most out of working with cherry wood, you must prepare ahead of time and learn the best practices for using this valuable material. And here we have the tips for working with cherry wood.
Cherry wood comes in various finishes, and it is best to choose one that works for your project. I have used it in more than one project, and it is fun to work with. It is best to sand it down with a random orbital sander, take your time when cutting, and use some quality glue.
What is cherrywood suitable for?
Cherry wood has a heartwood color that ranges from a light yellow-brown to a dark brown. Its sapwood is usually a pale yellow. Cherry wood can be somewhat tricky to work with because the grain is prone to tear out. However, it can take a high natural polish, and it’s an excellent choice for furniture making.
Cherry wood is ideal for constructing furniture, handcrafted items, and woodworking projects. This type of wood has unique properties that make it highly suitable for a variety of woodworking projects.
When buying a cherry wood
A lot of people consider cherry wood to be a costly type of wood. Cherry wood is used in a variety of different products that are available today. Most homes are constructed with this type of wood, and it is sometimes even used in large office buildings. Before you purchase, it is very wise to do a little research first.
Few things you need to know are:
- Look for wood that has good coloring and texture. Color should be in more significant concern, especially when planning to glue up more than two boards and build a table or other broad surface. Mainly, it would be best if you try to join strips of similar colors collectively.
- Go for the wood that is as straight as possible as it will be more stable.
When cutting a cherry wood
When cutting cherry wood, there are few things you should consider, like, for instance, how big should the piece of wood be and do I need to cut it gently or hardly. When dealing with cherry wood chipped, cut off from having too much bark, you need to know if cutting wood is straight or not. The farther away your cutting line is from the heart, also known as the pith of the tree, the more likely one side of the board will split and open up, causing cracks along the sawn surface.
Here are few more things you need to know:
- It’s best not to cut too deeply per pass when you are smoothing the boards. For best results, make more passes over the area instead of fewer and deeper cuts. Basically, you need to think of cherry wood as your student, who you need to teach calmly instead of bullying.
- Do not use highly sharp saw blades to cut the wood. Doing so will burn it and damage your stock.
If you have ever worked with any cherry wood, you know it is one of the most challenging kinds of wood. It is tough, and it has a high natural luster, which means that it is susceptible to everything you do. This means that you need to be very careful in every step of sanding cherry wood.
Here’s how you can sand the cherry wood
- Cherry is soft and fragile, so don’t use a belt sander.
- Use 80-grit sandpaper on the orbital sander
- Sand in the direction of the lines (the longer parts) and don’t sand across them (the shorter parts). Turn the wood over for an even appearance.
Note: It would be best if you remembered to sand with the grain as it scratches easily when not done correctly.
Finishing cherry wood
Finishing cherry wood has to be one of the more challenging projects I have undertaken. The danger of dealing with this type of wood is not getting carried away with the thought and end up paying for your mistake.
Also, The finishing process for cherry wood is much more involved than other types of wood. This is due to its high oil content, which soaks into the wood and cannot be removed with a simple wipe-on finish. Instead, the surface must be hand-rubbed with a unique blend of oil and wax, along with the use of various grits of sandpaper to achieve the desired smoothness.
Here’s a simple way to finish the cherry wood
- Sand the piece down to remove any minor imperfections
- Stain the wood with a dark or medium brown stain.
- Sand the wood lightly again.
- Stain the wood with a cherry wood finish.
- Using a satin or semi-gloss polyurethane, apply an even coat of finish to the piece.
- Using a clean cloth, wipe off the excess finish.
Note: For the best cherry wood finish, it’s most beneficial to go with a natural oil finish, for example, tung oil, boiled linseed oil, or General Finishes Arm-R-Seal.
Cherry wood is a trendy cabinet and furniture wood, but it also tends to be sensitive. From curling to splitting and everything in between, working with cherry can be tricky. This results from two main factors, namely the molecular structure of cherry wood and the effects of finishing on that wood. While there’s a lot to know about sanding and refinishing cherry, what is described above are a few tips that are sure to put you in good stead when confronted with other projects.