Natural Finish for Cherry

I've just about finished my first project in Cherry, a Stickly nightstand, and need to determine how I will finish it. The large pieces are not yet assembled, so that should make finishing easier. I definately don't want to stain the cherry, and instead prefer to let it age naturally. What finish do you recommend that is simple, unobtrusive, and that won't interfere with the natural color change process. I've used clear shellac on other (non-cherry) pieces before, but don't know how that would look in this situation. Whatever suggestions I get, I'll end up making a test board first. I'm just looking for a place to start.
The finish should be simple, because based on my past experience I have a tendency to spend far far to long on finishing out of some crazy desire to have things perfect.
Thanks Chad
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Any of the varieties of Tried and True oils make excellent choices for cherry, providing you DON'T want a film finish.
Rubbed out shellac (with wax) on cherry is beautiful, and should provide for sufficient protection for a nightstand.
And there my experience with finishing cherry ends...
Patriarch
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I don't consider this a bad trait. Usually by the time I've gotten to finishing the project, I'm so far behind my self-appointed schedule that I rush the finish and do a mediocre job.
Dan
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I have used Watco clear oil on a couple of cherry stands. It looks quite nice and leaves the cherry looking like cherry. After all this is why i chose to use it in the first place. After a couple of applications and wipe downs, I put a coat of Watco satin wax on. They do however get "thirsty" every now and then so I re-oil them and apply another coat of wax.
Paul
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Waterlox. SH - Waterlox posterchild
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.astro.sunysb.eud says...

You can use any finish you want to use. The question you should be asking yourself is how much protection will the piece need for reasonable expected daily use. THEN you pick one of the finishes that fits the protection parameters.
A finish is, first and foremost, to protect the wood. Looking pretty is a desired secondary requirement.
If it looks pretty but doesn't provide enough protection it won't look pretty for long.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
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On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 13:02:21 -0500, Chad Bender

Chad, if you do not need the protection of a sealed surface I would just go with oil - either Danish or pure Tung. You can't mess these up and, to maintain, you simply rub in some more. A nightstand doesn't have to stand the same wear and tear of a kitchen table for example so an oil finish with perhaps a wax rub out would allow the beauty of the wood to come through with an easy to maintain finish.
The beauty of the piece will be a function of how much work you put into rubbing in the oil and sanding/polishing after the oil hardens. This is my favorite way to finish cherry.
You can check out some of my pieces on my website for examples.
TWS http://tomstudwell.com/allprojects.htm
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Tom, what the hell is that thing in your mouth? It looks like a regulator or a snorkel.
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<g> that 'thing' is called a 'Resp-O-Rator'. It may look weird but it is actually a very good dust filter that works much better than a dust mask, especially if you have a beard and glasses. Dust doesn't seep around it and my glasses don't fog up.
The filter cartridges are located behind your head so last longer since they are further away from the heavy dust. Like I said, looks weird but sure works well.
TWS http://tomstudwell.com/allprojects.htm
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That's why I thought it was cool -- I also have the beard problem. I thought about one of those full face masks with the belt-battery air supply, but they're pretty steep. How do you keep your nose closed?
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There is a clip, similar a swimmer's nose clip, that keeps the dust out.
TWS http://tomstudwell.com/allprojects.htm
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On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 19:57:18 -0500, TWS wrote:

<snip>
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try that on some scrap and see how I like it. I've actually not used oil on anything before - this is the first piece I've built where a protective finish is not as high of a priority as a good looking one.
Chad
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On Tue, 02 Nov 2004 09:55:37 -0500, Chad Bender

Chad, just be sure to follow the specific instructions with the product. If it tells you to flood the surface, wait 15 minutes, flood again, wait 30 and then wipe off - it's for a good reason - oil penetrates to bring out the natural beauty of the wood. Let the product penetrate at the right pace. Let it harden according to recommendations, sand with fine grit sandpaper, pads, or steel wool and repeat as often as necessary. Other than that it's pretty simple.
Keep doing this until the wood looks the way you want or it doesn't absorb oil any more. I much prefer the feel of wood done this way than any plastic coated piece... TWS http://tomstudwell.com/allprojects.htm
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On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 13:02:21 -0500, Chad Bender

Waterlox Original in Satin. www.waterlox.com It makes cherry GLOW!
--
"Given the low level of competence among politicians,
every American should become a Libertarian."
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On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 13:02:21 -0500, Chad Bender

For a small enough project (nightstand would qualify), I have had good luck with Behlen's Polymerized Tung Oil Varnish from Woodworker's supply. For large projects (like the entertainment center I'm building), I'm using danish oil followed by Watco clear wiping poly.
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In article

Ammonia fume then oil'n'varnish'n'naptha. Short, sweet, a little mad scientist mixed in for good measure and beeeeyoutiful.
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
____

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On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 21:49:17 -0800, Fly-by-Night CC

Heh heh heh. I love it when ya talk dirty, Owie. ;) I believe he said "natural", not "aged", though. Fuming would darken that puppy in a heartbeat. (But at least it wouldn't be RBS, wot?)
Some folks are worried about -= PROTECTION =- for some reason. I did an oak dining set in Watco, did NOT fill the pores, and it looked like new for years...with daily use.
I Watcoed Mumsy's front door (West-facing, SoCal sun daily) every 6 months (half an hour job) for several years and it held up well. The porch was shielded from rain, but no special UV treatment was needed. I redid the door when I noticed it fading a bit. She couldn't tell the difference until I was done.
There were weathered oak towel racks and hooks in the bathroom when I moved into this house. I cleaned one, rubbed a couple coats of Waterlox on it, scuffed it with maroon scotchbrite, and waxed it with Johnson's paste wax. I hang my towel on it daily in that wet environment and it still looks like new.
I simply don't understand this fanatical fear or need for -= PROTECTION =- that some folks have. Maybe it's just a sales buzzword for Minwhacked. Cause fear = sell more junk. It has been my experience that most finishes will work in about 90% of applications.
--
"Given the low level of competence among politicians,
every American should become a Libertarian."
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.astro.sunysb.eud says...

I like orange shellac rather than clear. It "warms up" the wood better.
Try some finishes (blond and orange shellac, Watco, tung oil, etc. on some scraps from the project and pick the one you like.
--
There ARE no Iraqi WMDs!

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