From the February 2009 issue #174
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When I opened my furniture-making and restoration shop in 1976, the woods considered best for high-end furniture were walnut and mahogany. Of course, oak and maple were also used, and sometimes cherry.
As had been the case through the previous three centuries, cherry was still thought of as the poor man’s substitute for mahogany. The coloring is similar, but mahogany had always been considered the higher quality wood. A large part of the reason is that mahogany colors evenly and cherry blotches.
Blotching is uneven coloring caused especially by stain penetrating deeper in some areas and leaving more color when the excess stain is wiped off the surface.
Times have changed, and cherry is now the favored wood with a great many woodworkers. Mahogany is hardly even considered for use anymore, and neither is walnut very popular. But cherry still has the blotching problem and everyone wants to know how to deal with it.