New Curly Figured Cherry tables

American cherry wood has traditionally been used in the manufacture of fine furniture due to its rich beautiful color, attractive grain patterns and workability.

There are different varieties of cherry lumber with curly figured cherry being one of the more attractive and difficult to find. Quality figured cherry is found in less than 2% of all cherry lumber harvested. Such cherry is often referred to as an exotic wood because of its rarity, especially as thick wide boards.

Curly grain patterns are created by curled wood fibers meeting the surface at oblique angles and reflects light differently. The reflected light creates an iridescent surface often described as undulating waves or radiating stripes.

Iridescent patterns in thick wide board figured cherry is visually impressive when presented as the 'open canvas' of a table top.

Currently there are two cherry tables being constructed:

15.75 inches wide x 47.87 inches long x 2 inches thick

17.8 inches wide x 59.75 inches long x 2 inches thick

Both tables will be at the Fine Furnishings Show, Pawtucket, RI on November 3-5, 2017.

There are two additional curly figured cherry table tops of nearly identical size that have been milled and ready for finishing....both equally as impressive.

My current inventory of this cherry will produce 6-8 tables of various sizes, all approx 2 inches thick.

Attached photo is the two tables currently being built before final milling. Grain and curly features visible.

Working with spalted maple

Spalted lumber results from wood subjected to a high moisture environment for extended periods of time allowing for fungal invasion of the wood. This results in fascinating creations in the grain that look like free-form art drawn with a calligraphy pen containing profiles, images, faces, etc. Certain fungi can produce stained areas of blue, pink, red, rust, green and other colors.

When working with slabs of spalted maple there are unique challenges due to the inherent nature of the wood which contains varying degrees of rot and as a result, contains areas of varying density, texture and porosity also referred to as ‘punky’.

The finish applied to spalted maple is different from that used with a dense hardwood, such as cherry or walnut..

In selecting a finish for the spalted maple tables, maintaining the significant color contrast between the top and walnut base was a high priority and to maximize that contrast it was necessary to use a finish that did not alter or darken its natural shade. Most finish materials contain oils/polyurethanes/shellac/etc have an amber color which ultimately changes the shade of the finish. Therefore a water-clear resin is used that penetrates deep into the grain and hardens resulting in a perfectly smooth beautiful finish....the natural beauty of the wood.

In the end, the spalted maple top is encased in resin and that helps to minimize changes in moisture content.

 

End tables, spalted maple

Currently, two spalted maple end tables are being constructed: 15 inches x 21 inches and 13 inches x 20 inches both being 24 inches high. The design has been slightly modified for the smaller size and more specific function.

The end tables will be less expensive than the larger hall tables because of the smaller sizes. 

Both pieces of maple have classic spalted character with intricate scripture-like patterns that possess hidden images of creatures, profiles and faces.

These are pieces of furniture that people will stare at and people will instinctively reach out to touch it, only to be 'wowed' by the silky smooth texture.