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  1. #1
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    Default American Cherry question

    Is there an Australian close equivalent of American Cherry? Is it simply wood from a cherry tree? Can it be had supplied in Australia.
    Thanks
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  3. #2
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    It's wood from a Black Cherry tree - the fruit is edible but it's not the species you see in the shop, kinda like the difference between an eating peach and the old bottling peaches.

    Its quite readily available in Aus from higher end timber merchants, and was very common a few years back when the AUD was high relative to the greenback. Not necessarily cheap though.

    Light, soft, easy to work and to stain thereno shortage of replacement timbers available. Pick a colour you like and you won't need to stain it.

  4. #3
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    In my limited experience, it was possible to find it if you looked for it.

    As far as an Australian analogue, I honestly can't thing of a single one. Most of the Australian woods with which I worked were considerably more open-grained. Part of the appeal of Cherry and Maple is their super tight, easily sheared grain.

    The closest hardwood I can think of to the actual grain properties of Cherry would be Tasmanian Myrtle Beech (Nothofagus/Lophozonia cunninghamii). It is wildly variable, but a nice, straight grained piece of it, while a bit harder, does have similarly tight grain to Cherry.

    But it's still not even really close... I would just seek out some legit Cherry. You'll be glad you did. Call your local hardwood suppliers and if they can't help you ask them for a referral.

    Cheers,
    Luke

  5. #4
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    I bought over a cubic meter of it a few years back. It is a beautiful timber to work with both hand and machine tools. The closed grain gives a super smooth finish when a film finish is applied.

    I think I paid about $6k/m^3. It was a super special deal so expect to pay more.

    The only real "downside" is the super white sap wood. I think of it as a feature and use the sap wood for highlights or other things.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shedhand View Post
    Is there an Australian close equivalent of American Cherry? Is it simply wood from a cherry tree? Can it be had supplied in Australia.
    Sheddy, I'm guessing that you have a US plan you'd like to build which calls for Cherry.
    The Australian Timber Buyers guide lists Cherry heartwood as "pale to pinkish-brown to brown, darkening somewhat on exposure to deep reddish-brown". I believe it's a combination of this colour, low movement once dry, generally straight grain and the fact that it is easily worked with hand tools that makes the wood very popular for furniture in it's home range. That and it finishes very well, though I believe that some Cherry is prone to blotching when stained.

    An Australian equivalent?
    It will depend on the colour you are after.
    You may find that American Cherry is less expensive than Tassie Myrtle.
    regards from Canada

    ian

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    You may find that American Cherry is less expensive than Tassie Myrtle.
    Agreed.

  8. #7
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    If Ian is right, and you're looking at a plan that "calls" for it, I can say that I've made a few Shaker Style pieces, which are traditionally made from Cherry. In addition to Cherry, however, I've used Aussie species such as Crow's Ash, King Billy Pine, Queensland Maple, and Australian Red Cedar. Each has its quirks. Crow's Ash is harder to work than Cherry, King Billy Pine is easily dinged up, and Cedar is kind of hard to get a finish ready surface without a bit of sanding. Queensland Maple, on the other hand, is incredibly workable and reliable along the same line as Cherry. It's not a particularly easy one to find, but I think that it could be used as a good replacement for Cherry, as it's a very tolerable color, it exhibits nice (if not exquisite) grain, and it's possible to find furniture sizes. The only downfall is that it's very often figured, which can make it both expensive and sub-ideal for understated work (like Shaker Style).

    Good luck,
    Luke

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    That and it finishes very well, though I believe that some Cherry is prone to blotching when stained.
    Cherry is not open pored and it finishes beautifully without pore filling.

    I really struggle to understand why folks stain timber at all, let alone Cherry. Sapwood is white but, just work around it.

    If you have to stain Cherry, use either hide glue size or an acrylic timber sealer first.

  10. #9
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    G'day Ian from Canadia (we had an idiot PM who called it that). No mate, no American plan. I have a number of Tassie Myrtle boards and some Tiger Myrtle. I was just thinking I'd like some proper Cherry for making a guitar or two (tops for solid bodies). I don't really like staining any timber unless it's a restoration job and try to make things and keep the natural colours and tones. I reckon Cherry with Huon Pine inlays would look pretty schmicko.
    cheers
    mike.
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  11. #10
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    😳 no way Jose! Who would stain natural Cherry??? 😑
    If you never made a mistake, you never made anything!


  12. #11
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    Hey Mark, mate, new best buddy. I believe the house next door to me is for sale. You should buy it...oh, and bring your Cherry stash with ya! 😎👍
    If you never made a mistake, you never made anything!


  13. #12
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    I am pretty sure Mathews Timber stock Cherry. Give em a call first because I can't recall seeing it in their racks last time I was there, but most of the time I am a man on a mission and don't even stop to look at the purple heart boards they have.

  14. #13
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    I ran away from Crib Point (aka HMAS Cerberus) and I ain't coming back!

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by John.G View Post

    Its quite readily available in Aus from higher end timber merchants, and was very common a few years back when the AUD was high relative to the greenback.
    Maybe wait a couple of days and given the us election results we may be at dollar parity soon

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pac man View Post
    Maybe wait a couple of days and given the us election results we may be at dollar parity soon
    I'll take a US refugee...pay me with Cherry.. 😎 Hehehe!
    If you never made a mistake, you never made anything!


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