Woodworking with Cherry | Popular Woodworking


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Scientific Name: Prunus serotina

Other common names: Black cherry, cabinet cherry

Growing regions: The Eastern half of the United States, plus Arizona and New Mexico; and Mexico and Canada

Tree Characteristics: Moderate size, reaching 70 feet in height, with a trunk about 20 inches in diameter

Wood Characteristics: Heartwood varies from rich red to reddish-brown with narrow brown flecks and some small gum pockets. Hard, straight grain with smooth texture. Moderately strong and durable, can be steam-bent

Workability: American cherry works well with hand and machine tools. It has a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges. The wood is good for turning. It glues, nails and screws well

Common uses: Furniture, turnery, pattern making, joinery, musical instruments, tobacco pipes, cabinet making and decorative veneer

Availability: Easily obtainable in a wide variety of thicknesses

Wood movement: There is medium movement in service

Finishing characteristics: Cherry has a tendency to blotch when stained, but can be polished to an excellent finish. The heartwood darkens with age, even after the finish is applied

Special features: The timber has good wood bending properties

End grain


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