The Blog for GW Pens

A peek at what we make

Aging Cherry

Cherry Candlestick Holders

Cherry candlestick holders after a session on a tanning bed.

Recently I made these candlestick holders for my daughter’s school as part of a fundraiser they are holding. As you might be able to guess from the color, they are made from Cherry. But what you might not know is just how light and creamy Cherry is when it’s freshly cut. The beautiful reddish patina it develops typically takes years as the wood is slowly exposed to UV, triggering a chemical reaction with the tannins in the wood.

When I made these candlestick holders I was under a time crunch, but I wanted to make sure people at the fundraiser could look at the wood and say, “I recognize that wood, that’s made from Cherry”. My typical method is to leave the pieces ‘tanning’ in the sun on some foil covered cardboard. It has worked amazingly well for me with Padauk in the past, but three days of cloudy weather had dampened my ability to get the same results with the Cherry.

That was when my wise-guy wife commented, “It’s too bad you can’t put them on a tanning bed.” Wait. Why can’t I? So that’s just what I did, and after a 12 minute session and 2 days of letting that chemical reaction take place, we have the results you see here.

Fascinating, isn’t it? Fine Woodworking Magazine agrees, and they blogged about my endeavor. Head over and see the Before, During, and After shots! Even I’m still amazed at just how well it worked 🙂


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This entry was posted on February 23, 2011 by and tagged , , , , , .
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