Last year I built a cherry chest for our bedroom. It has darkened pretty
much like it should.
Today I was digging through my cutoff bin, looking for some scrap ash; the
bin is in a basement corner, under a shelf. It gets no sunlight, and very
little light of any kind.
I found some cutoffs from the chest that are the exact same color as the
chest. Explain that.
As a result of a naturally occurring chemical reaction.
All cherry needs is oxygen and time.
| Last year I built a cherry chest for our bedroom. It has darkened pretty
| much like it should.
| Today I was digging through my cutoff bin, looking for some scrap ash; the
| bin is in a basement corner, under a shelf. It gets no sunlight, and very
| little light of any kind.
| I found some cutoffs from the chest that are the exact same color as the
| chest. Explain that.
No need to explain if you'd studied wood. Aging is merely accelerated by
high-energy UV, not cause by it, and can be accomplished by using a chemical
reaction - e.g. lye - to do the same.
After a period of time you'll end up with deep aging, where the inside of
the board has pretty much the same color as the surface. Takes ten/twelve
years, but I've got some #1 common I bought 20 years ago for $250 MBF that's
red through and through. Works a bit more brittle, though.
I can't explain it like others did; but what you're describing is what
I am beginning to expect with cherry (that light is not what makes it
darken). I'm in the process of setting up an experiment where I take 4
strips of cherry (cut from the same board) and leave part natural, put
water based poly on part, and put oil based poly on part of each in the
same way. I'm going to put one strip in the dark, one exposed to
incandenscent light, one exposed to fluorescent light, and one exposed
to sunlight and see what happens. I'm also going to put a strip of
tape across each section of each strip to affect how much air hits the
Cherry is magic itself. And working with good cherry for furniture is so
much better than many other common woods that it's almost like cheating.
a Californian who pays a premium when he buys cherry...
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