splotchy cherry


Picture posted to ABPF.
I know that cherry has a tendency to be blotchy because of its uneven density. I recently made a cofee table, finished with tung then waterlox that still displayed some splotchyness in the more flatsawn pieces.
O have a new project going and hoped to avoid that issue by selecting riftsawn stock. No such luck. I did a test with denatured alcohol and these are the results. This top was glued up from 4 pieces from the same board. From left to right, 2 and 4 are splotchy.
Will a spit coat of shellac eliminate the splotchies? Why would shellac not splotch like any other finish?
Test on scrap does not work well here as the problem is inconsistency within the same board.
Help.
-Steve
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Here's how I finish Cherry with little or no blotchiness.
I hit it with an oil (watco, linseed, tung, whatever) but use very little oil. I don't flood the surface. It's something like a thimble worth of oil for every square foot (according to Jeff Jewitt I think). I rub this on and let it completely dry. Then I hit it with shellac after that. You could go over the oil with any compatible finish you prefer after that as long as it's not going to penetrate (ie. lacquer, shellac, varnish, etc...).
Basically the oil is just enough to pop the grain but not highlight the blotchiness. I prefer to use shellac most times after that when I'm working with Cherry. Shellac is more of a top coat finish (ie. doesn't penetrate very much).
This is an age old question and you'll find there are a million different answers. Do a google search for "finish Cherry" and you'll be pretty busy! Cheers, cc

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