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Figured Cherry

Spectacular wood and where to get it.

By Dave Munkittrick

Nature truly is the greatest artist and figured cherry is
living proof. If you’ve ever admired the fluid motion of
a flag in a breeze or ripples of sand along a quiet beach, you’ll
love the look of figured cherry. It’s amazing where a piece
of wood like this can take the imagination.

The shimmering effect found in figured cherry is a result
of irregularities in the growth rings.These quirks of nature
result in grain that runs up toward the surface of a board,
and then dives back down into it. No one knows what
causes the irregularities in the tree, but the three-dimensional
rippled effect in the wood is dazzling.

We found our figured cherry at Good Hope Hardwoods
in Landenberg,PA—right in the heart of cherry country.All
harvested trees are replaced with seedlings, allowing nature
to rework its magic.

The roughsawn lumber is allowed to air-dry before final
drying takes place in a low-temperature dehumidification
kiln. The slow drying process helps preserve subtleties of
color and reduces internal stresses in the board.Boards sawn
from the same tree are kept together.This practice provides
the customer with boards of uniform color, texture and

Good Hope carries plain and figured cherry in 4/4 all the
way up to 24/4; prices vary, depending on the grade, width and amount of figure. They
will work with you to find the best lumber for your project
and can custom cut orders to your specifications.

Note: Color and figure varies from tree to tree and board to
board. Expect variations in the wood you order.


Good Hope Hardwoods,, 610-274-8842.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker August 2001, issue #88.

Click on any image to view a larger version.

"Good Hope Chest" by William Locke

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