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Figured Cherry


Figured Cherry

Spectacular wood and where to get it.

By Dave Munkittrick

Nature truly is the greatest artist and figured cherry is living proof. If you’ve ever admired the fluid motion of a flag in a breeze or ripples of sand along a quiet beach, you’ll love the look of figured cherry. It’s amazing where a piece of wood like this can take the imagination.

The shimmering effect found in figured cherry is a result of irregularities in the growth rings.These quirks of nature result in grain that runs up toward the surface of a board, and then dives back down into it. No one knows what causes the irregularities in the tree, but the three-dimensional rippled effect in the wood is dazzling.

We found our figured cherry at Good Hope Hardwoods in Landenberg,PA—right in the heart of cherry country.All harvested trees are replaced with seedlings, allowing nature to rework its magic.

The roughsawn lumber is allowed to air-dry before final drying takes place in a low-temperature dehumidification kiln. The slow drying process helps preserve subtleties of color and reduces internal stresses in the board.Boards sawn from the same tree are kept together.This practice provides the customer with boards of uniform color, texture and appearance.

Good Hope carries plain and figured cherry in 4/4 all the way up to 24/4; prices vary, depending on the grade, width and amount of figure. They will work with you to find the best lumber for your project and can custom cut orders to your specifications.

Note: Color and figure varies from tree to tree and board to board. Expect variations in the wood you order.


Good Hope Hardwoods,, 610-274-8842.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker August 2001, issue #88.

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"Good Hope Chest" by William Locke