December 6th, 2010 by Peggy Farabaugh
Customers are often surprised to learn that natural cherry wood changes colors over time– quite a bit actually. Natural cherry wood starts out as a light-toned wood, usually with a color similar to the Modern American 3 Drawer Nightstand shown and it takes time to darken as it is exposed to light.
The length of time to go from this light color to the darker color shown below in our Modern Shaker Bookcase varies with the amount of natural and artificial light in the room and can take anywhere from a month to a number of years. Most customers, however report that their furniture darkens to at least this hue within 4-6 months. Cherry furniture will darken even further given enough light.
Our craftspeople suggest exposing the furniture to as much light as possible. For cherry furniture that has an oil finish, you can also speed up the ripening (or darkening) process by re-oiling the furniture often. They recommend re-oiling once a day for the first week, once a week for the first month, once a month for the first year and once a year thereafter.
Adding a dark stain is also a possibility but woodworkers always plead with us to have patience and wait it out instead (there is really no comparison between stained cherry and the real thing).
The result– a natural rich, reddish brown hue that is exceptionally lustrous and supple to the touch. It is truly worth waiting for especially since our furniture is purchased for a lifetime of use.
November 29th, 2010 by Peggy Farabaugh
On the last post we talked about natural cherry wood furniture with regard to grain variations in the wood. Today I wanted to provide some detail about naturally occuring mineral deposits that are characteristic of cherry.
In cherry wood small black flecks occur in the grain where tiny amounts of sap were stored in the cherry tree. If you click on the photos for a larger view, you may be able to see them (or you may have to enlarge the photos: hold down your CTRL key and press the [+] key at the same time).
Mineral deposits (or pitch pockets) are natural and randomly occurring. They do not diminish the strength or quality of your furniture. As we say: they add to its uniqueness.
The frequency of mineral deposits in our furniture varies with each tree utilized but it is largely reflected in the product photos here and throughout our website. Like any other fine furniture maker we cannot guarantee the absence of mineral deposits in our cherry wood furniture and we cannot consider the presence of mineral deposits a reason for furniture returns, per our lifetime guarantee policy.
Looking for Cherry Furniture with Virtually No Mineral Deposits?
Most of our furniture makers are reluctant to offer cherry furniture without mineral deposits for a couple reasons. First, it is against our sustainable forestry principles. Up to five times the number of trees need to be harvested to produce furniture with virtually no mineral deposits. Second, the presence of mineral deposits in cherry wood can be a matter of opinion. What one customer might feel was mineral-deposit free furniture may not be the same for another customer.
If mineral deposits are an issue for you, give us a call. We'll work something out… although I should mention that the price of a "virtually mineral deposit-free" piece is generally about twice that of the regular piece.