General: Figured or curly cherry is a rare mutation found in cherry wood. The wood is also referred to as Black Cherry or American Cherry. Cherry is found in the eastern half of the United States, from the plains to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. It also occurs in high elevations in Mexico. Pennsylvania is a hot spot for cherry.
Description: Curly or figured cherry has all of the basic characteristics of the parent wood listed below. Curl is compression grain perpendicularly crossing the face of a board producing alternate stripes of hard and soft board fiber. This phenomenon creates a chatoyantcy in the board varying in strength depending on the degree of compression leaving the viewer with the illusion of a three-dimensional surface.
The heartwood of cherry varies from rich red to reddish brown and will darken with age and on exposure to light. In contrast, the sapwood is creamy white. The wood has a fine uniform, straight grain, satiny, smooth texture, and may naturally contain brown pith flecks and small gum pockets.
Workability: Cherry is known as being one of the best all-around woods for workability. It is stable, straight-grained, and machines well. The only difficulties typically arise if the wood is being stained, as it can sometimes give blotchy results—using a sanding sealer prior to staining, or using a gel-based stain is recommended. Sapwood is common, and may contribute to a high wastage factor.
Common Uses: Cabinetry, fine furniture, flooring, interior millwork, veneer, turned objects, and small specialty wood items.
Thicknesses: 4/4″ and 8/4″
Widths: 4″ to 9″
Lengths: 8′ to 10′
Surfacing: Skip planed
Curly Cherry Links: