Friday, 06 November 2015 15:20

What Do You Consider When Choosing Cherry Hardwood Lumber?

Cherry hardwood lumber is one of the finest North American species in the industry. Generations of woodworkers and craftsmen have chosen Cherry as their species of choice when building anything from chairs and tables, to cabinets, flooring, furniture, and even specialized mouldings.

But not all Cherry lumber is created equal.  The look and feel across the different Cherry grades and characteristics can vary greatly. So it is wise to understand exactly what you need and exactly what your supplier can provide before making a purchase.

We have found it to be helpful to review the following considerations with your hardwood lumber supplier when purchasing Cherry lumber to make sure your order will meet your needs when delivered.

44-Cherry-PR-90-50A Sample Cherry Check List

  1. How important is region of origin to you?  The region that the Cherry lumber is harvested and manufactured in not only impacts the possible freight costs to your location, but it can also provide for different lumber characteristics that may or may not be desirable to you.  Be sure to review the region of origin with your supplier. 
  2. Do you need the color of the lumber to be consistent across the entire load? If color consistency of each board is important to you it might make sense to ask for a specific type of sort such as 90/70 or 90/50 to ensure the color is consistent throughout all the courses of the bundle. This pertains to the percentage of redness on each side of the Cherry board.
  3. Do you plan to have both faces of the board visible after production? Cherry boards can have difference characteristics on each side of the boards. If your application is only going to show one side of a board or you are going to paint your products during production consider a 1 face product.
  4. Do you want to avoid “gummy” spots on the boards or can you work around them? Gum is a natural characteristic of Cherry lumber. If you can develop clear cuttings from different sections of the board and work around gum spots, perhaps this is not a concern to you. However, if long clear cuttings are needed be sure to state your preference to your supplier before ordering. It could impact the Cherry lumber available to you.
  5. Are you looking for that rustic Cherry style? One of the more popular sorts of Cherry is a rustic grade. This means Cherry boards with tight sound knots included which provides a special country design that is still workable and usable in many applications.
  6. Do you have any width or length restrictions on your boards? Cherry lumber is known to have an average width of about 6.0” – 6.5”.  Boards are typically cut in 8’ and 10’ lengths.  Longer lengths, like 14’ and 16’ are more difficult to find and width specific sorts can be special ordered.  So if you are looking for something specific for your manufacturing process discuss it with your supplier to see what is possible.

So what is your preferred Cherry hardwood spec? Let us know. We would be happy to develop a product or grade specific to your manufacturing needs.

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber
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