Saturday, January 30, 2010

Buying Curly Cherry

Jeff Fleisher and I made a trip the other day to Willow Run lumber yard in Harrisonburg, VA, in the Shenandoah Valley. He was looking at some highly figured walnut boards as a possibility for the Winchester desk he will be making in the class we are taking. I wanted to look at curly cherry. Jeff drove us from his place in New Market in his bright yellow pickup truck with the license plate BMBL BEE. Willow Run is just a half hour from his place.

The walnut boards Jeff was looking at were matched, cut from the same log, and had a beautiful figure to them. But Jeff isn't certain yet whether he is going to use solid wood or veneer his desk. He said there is some really pretty veneer available and he might use that.

I pawed my way through a large bin of curly cherry and after that another pallet of it. There was a lot to look at, mostly 8-10 foot boards. I pulled out a dozen and took them for the outside of the case. Some of the boards are shown in the picture. Only one was what I would call spectacular and I could not find a matched set to use for the four drawers, which I would like to have the same pattern to them. I'm going to look elsewhere for four boards cut successively from the same log and that have a special curly figure to them.

When we got back to Jeff's place, I tied the load to the top of my Subaru and away I went up I-81 to I-66 and back home. The boards rode well.

When I got home, I put them inside on a shelf I had cleared, stickering them between small lengths of thin board to allow them to acclimate to the humidity level in my basement shop. In a couple of weeks, I'll begin crosscutting them to rough length after marking them up for the parts they will make up. I'll talk more about that process as I get into it.

For the rest of the cherry, I may have to make a trip into Pennsylvania. There are some good lumber companies there that have Pennsylvania cherry I may be able to use for the drawer fronts and slant front and writing surface of the desk.

More later.


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