Cherry, American

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Predominantly grown in the eastern regions of the USA, American cherry is a highly prized hardwood for a vast range of interior and other applications. Heartwood ranges from rich reds to reddish browns, while the sapwood is creamy white. Sapwood can be steamed to darken the colour. The wood has a fine, uniform grain with a smooth texture; it can contain pith flecks and gum pockets that are considered to add to the distinctiveness of the timber.

American cherry has good workability, as it is easy to machine, nail and glue. It is also an excellent timber for turning and carving, making it popular in the construction of musical instruments. It is of medium density, has good bending properties, low stiffness, and has medium strength and shock resistance.

The main reason for the timber's popularity for high-end applications, such as furniture, cabinet making, boat interiors and musical instruments, is its ease of workability and that it sands, stains and polishes to a smooth finish, highlighting its rich colouring.

American cherry is readily available in the USA as both sawn timber and veneer and in a range of grades and specifications. It is available in Australia from specialist timber suppliers.

 

Appearance

American cherry heartwood ranges in colour from rich dark red through to reddish brown. The colour darkens on exposure to UV light. In contrast, sapwood is creamy white that can be steamed to a darker colour. This premium timber has a fine, straight grain and smooth texture; it can contain naturally occurring brown pith flecks and small gum pockets, which are considered to enhance the timber's distinctiveness.

 

 

Common Applications

American cherry is a highly attractive timber used in furniture, flooring, doors, joinery and cabinetry, mouldings and veneered panels. It is also an excellent timber for use in the construction of musical instruments due to its colour and smooth finish.

 

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

American cherry works well with both hand and machine tools. It is easy to machine, glue and nail. It is also a good woodturning and carving timber. Once sanded, stained and polished, it attains an excellent finish.

 

Origin of Timber

North America

Readily Available

NSW

Availability - Further Information

American Cherry is readily available in the eastern parts of the USA. It is available in Australia from specialist timber suppliers, who import the timber for use in high-end interior and furniture applications.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

4.50%

Radial:

2.30%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.25%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.13%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

Seasoned:

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

500kg/m3

Unseasoned:

790kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

55

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

85

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

9

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

10.3

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

24.4

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

49

Impact - Unseasoned:

Impact - Seasoned:

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Toughness - Seasoned:

Hardness - Unseasoned:

2.9

Hardness - Seasoned:

4.2

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Not Resistant

Fire Properties

Joinery

Timber joinery products offer a classic, unique and stylish touch to any interior or exterior design. The products are produced for a variety of internal applications including door and window frames, cabinetry, skirtings, mouldings and architraves. When looking to the outdoors, joinery products range from decorative eaves and posts to eye-catching railings.

Many timber species are suitable for joinery products and care should be taken in selecting the perfect timber for the particular product and its intended finish. Rare and exotic species such as Teak and Rosewood can generate pieces of outstanding beauty but material cost and availability are also important considerations.

Commercially available species like Tasmanian oak, Australian cypress, spotted gum and the like, often make the more practical choice, with the added benefit that they can be easily matched with other timber products within the building, like flooring.

Solid timber for joinery products is generally supplied as ‘clear finish grade' but ‘paint grade' options are available and these are usually comprised of a composite material like MDF or glulam.

A large number of specialist suppliers and producers offer the consumer extensive choice of profiles for all of the most common and popular joinery products. Choice is in many cases, limited only by imagination.

Cabinetry is often associated with joinery and most typically includes, cupboards, benches and other similar ‘built in' furniture. Like joinery, cabinetry is generally specified as either paint or clear finish grade and naturally for clear finish grade timbers, appearance and surface finish are critical in achieving a successful application.

 

Mouldings

Timber mouldings add style, class and an elegant touch to any interior, offering a depth of beauty and warmth in a way only wood can. From period times to those more contemporary, timber mouldings have graced the most stylish and chic of interiors, decorating furniture, doors and windows. Decorative mouldings such as architraves, skirtings, cornices and ceiling roses remain an ever popular choice for designers seeking a finished result of beauty, style and quality. Like all timber products, mouldings are extremely versatile and durable, enhancing the aesthetics of any interior and functioning as the perfect finishing touch for designs with a focus on beauty and splendour.

Mouldings can be created from any commercially available species of timber and the moisture resistant wood product, MDF, is also a popular choice. When it comes to style and design, the sky is the limit with many suppliers offering custom matching to existing mouldings, as well as efficient supply of those that are individually designed. Installation is a breeze, with the majority of mouldings easily attached with a reputable wood adhesive. Finishes can be tailored by design requirements and the preferences of the end user, with mouldings commonly being both stained and/or painted.

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