Cherry sapwood and heartwood


I am only two years into woodworking as a hobby. A while ago I received my first order of cherry, from my local hardwood supplier. I received 3 sheets of cherry veneer ply, and about 100bf rough cherry, most 4/4 and some 8/4. This is for a rather elaborate kitchen pantry and associated side cabinets.
I recently realized I had ordered insufficient ply, so I ordered two more sheets (which pinches at $90/sheet). These second two sheets are from the same manufacturer, but the veneer is very much different.
The first sheets are distinctly red toned, with little black flicks in places. Really attractive wood. The second set of two sheets are cream colored -- still of obvious of high quality -- and they too, are beatiful sheets of wood. I am assuming the former is heartwood veneer and the latter sapwood veneer.
Instead of taking the two sapwood sheets back, I am inclined to make the shelves from these, and the casework from the reddish heartwood sheets. The serendipitous result is going to look quite nice, with a wonderful contrast produced for the cabinet interiors.
I will be using the rough-cut cherry lumber for face-frames, doors, edge treatments, moldings, etc.
Now, my questions:
Having not yet milled any of the rough cherry, it appears most boards contain both heartwood and sapwood. Should I be attempting to mill sapwood surfaces for facing/banding the light colored sheet goods, and milling to heartwood surfaces for all the exterior show parts? Are there resources on the net that describe the process of doing this well (i.e. with little waste)?
Do those of you who work with cherry every use sapwood on the show side?
Have I shortchanged myself with the second sheet goods order by being first confused upon receiving it, then anxious, and then delighted?
/rick.
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RickS wrote:

Unless you ordered a lot of extra cherry, I think you'd run the risk of not having the proper mix of heartwood and sapwood to pull this off.
In my opinion, planning all those cuts with those constraints would be a total nightmare. What are you going to do if you need a 1 3/4" wide piece for a face frame, but only have 1 1/2" of heartwood..
If it were me, I wouldn't worry about matching all the colors. To me, part of the charm of a homemade piece is that the wood does show some color variation (I use a lot of oak, so I see this in a lot of my pieces). It's nice, again IMO, not to have some totally uniformed colored piece, like the MDF furniture at Walmart.
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Others may respond on this but do they really cut veneer out of sapwood? I would suspect that the difference in tone is due to light exposure or age or both. In time, the lighter sheets should also darken.
For cherry, I always cut off the sap wood which is why I hand select my pieces to assure I have heartwood.
RickS wrote:

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"Jerry" wrote...

It is not just lighter it is a difference color. The cream colored veneer will not darken to the same tone as the reddish veneers. No.... there is a definate difference between the veneers.... one set is creamish, the other reddish... they will never match up (unless stain is entered into the equation).

Hmmm. This is what I wondered too. But having never worked with cherry before (or many woods for that matter) I was unsure if mixing sapwood/heartwood is a reasonable idea in cabinetry.

Perhaps next time I will do this. But with little experience, I have not been certain how much of cherry boards should be heartwood, and/or how much sapwood in the boards is reasonable.
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"RickS" <rick --dot-- s --at-- comcast --dot-- net> wrote:

Strictly a matter of taste. I personally like the appearance of a little sapwood in a cherry piece. Makes it seem more "real" and less like a manufactured item. But more than 10-20% is too much for me.
-- It's turtles, all the way down
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BINGO.
As to solid wood, a bit of time selecting can put the accents where they look the best.
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On Fri, 14 Jul 2006 12:26:48 -0400, "RickS" <rick --dot-- s --at-- comcast --dot-- net> wrote:

Try leaving a piece of the lighter one out in full sun for a few days to see if it will darken up.
-Leuf
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Nah, not needed. A coat of Kilz and both will look the same when painted.
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then "Edwin Pawlowski" wrote..

lol. You could be on the radio with that kind of humor...
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On Fri, 14 Jul 2006 12:26:48 -0400, "RickS" <rick --dot-- s --at-- comcast --dot-- net> wrote:

I have built a number of cherry pieces and never have sapwood where it shows. It is a matter of personal preference. I have been to a store that sell "hand built Amish" furniture where heartwood and sapwood were mixed indiscriminately. What I see is mismatch which I can't get past and see the beauty of the wood or the craftsmanship of the project. I thought it looked horrible. I asked the store owner about it and he said for a 25% premium they would match the wood colors. Some of my projects including some cherry can be seen at:
http://webpages.charter.net/ray93402/Woodwork/woodwork.html

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All a matter of taste. While the design and workmanship of your clock it excellent, the busy look of the quilted wood is distracting to me. I'd rather see a plain cherry with a touch of sapwood. Maybe it looks better in person that the photo?
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wrote:

You are somewhat correct. Flash photography tends to accentuate certain characteristics. Under normal lighting the grain is somewhat more muted. As a matter of taste I think it goods good. You can build you clocks with cherry sapwood paint them orange if that is your taste.
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That would look dumb. Yellow and blue has much more class.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

And it matches the cuckoo :-).
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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NICE work!
Renata
-snip-

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Do what the furniture companies do:
Dye it, stain it, spray it.
Look at the current issue of Wood Magazine.
They have a short story on just your problem and how to fix it.
The vast majority of "cherry furniture" you see in stores may or may not contain actual cherry wood. The finishing folks make the piece look the way it is described.
I have seen many fine pieces of poplar look very much like cherry with the appropriate finishing schedule.
Now is the time to read up on spray finishing and terms like "toners" and "dyes" that make shellac work magic with your two tone cherry.
Now is "not" the time for Minwax or anything similar.
RickS wrote:

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RickS wrote:

HI. I'm thinking the tone difference might be due to the region in which the tree grew. Eastern cherry has the red hue to begin with. Northern/midwest cherry has a browner tone which turns red with age. After time the two will pretty much match. The difference is due to the soil. The same holds true with walnut. Jana
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