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Thread: Wood choice question

  1. #1
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    Wood choice question

    I need some lumber suggestions for the library unit I am bidding on. Originally it was supposed to be all cherry, but they are balking at the costs. Since I don't really want to cut back on the labor, I want to offer some material choices. Their kitchen is that cordovan cherry look and they are wanting to have a similar look for the library. What would you guys use that could be stained or dyed, and how would you finish it?

    Thanks for the help!

    Ed

  2. #2
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    Ed, how about birch? Maybe birch ply? I think with proper staining, you could get a decent fake cheery look. I've not heard of "cordovan cherry" but I'm assuming it to be pretty dark, almost mahogany-like color. I'm thinking the birch grain could be pretty close. You might need to seal it with snading sealer or something prior to finishing it but it shouldn't bee too bad.

    Maybe you could convince them to do a lot of the finish work to save money.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  3. #3
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    That can be a tough one Ed. I'd probably go African mahogany with red/brown stain or dye myself, but then I like to keep cherry natural. That job looks big enough to save some on the wood, but mine are usually so small that I'm conditioned to thinking it doesn't matter much compared to the labor.

    Good luck with it,
    John

  4. #4
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    I lean towards maple as the "grain equivalent" to cherry. I find birch more of a challenge to stain than maple.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  5. #5
    Steve Clardy Guest
    Alder is a cherry replacement, look a like wood.

    I'm still trying to find cabinet pics of a job I did, and send to Al Navas

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys. I'll have to check availability of sheet goods. There's a sawyer near by that I can probably get the lumber from. I'll have to do some experimenting with the finishes.

  7. #7
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    Hi Ed,
    In agreement with Steve, Alder is the cherry lookalike and as Charlie says I too think going with maple plywood will do you right, just where you want to be. Good luck and keep posting.
    Shaz
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  8. #8
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    As some others have said, I have come quite close to the look of cherry using good maple plywood. But, watch out for the crap maple plywood stocked in some of the big box stores.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 04-02-2007 at 12:00 PM. Reason: puntuation
    Cheers, Frank

  9. #9
    Ed

    Just a question, isn't it going to cost you more in time to do a decent staining job? If you are going to "eat" the cost by billing out the materials at the lower rate and maintaining your labor costs on the estimate without the staining, wouldn't you be better off to find a way to split the difference in cost with them and still use cherry?

    Jay

  10. #10
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    Jay makes a good point. If you add to that your time to work out a finishing schedule to make the chosen wood look like cherry, I would imagine you'd lose any cost benefit of using a less expensive wood.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

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