Vermont Cherry Furniture

I spend a fair amount of time searching for nice cherry lumber to use in my furniture.  I also like to use local lumber whenever possible.  This week I spent most of 1 day milling milling some cherry logs from a neighbors land.  Two large cherry trees were blown over in a violent thunderstorm in May, 2010.  I learned about these trees in early December and had the logs pulled out and transported to a local sawmill just before the first snowstorm in late December.  With spring finally here it was time to have them milled.  They yielded some very nice, fairly wide 4/4 (1″ thick) and 8/4 (2″ thick) cherry lumber.  The shorter logs with more knots were milled into the 8/4 which will most likely be used for table legs and chairs legs and seats – all parts that are fairly short so the knots can be eliminated.  The two nicest long logs were cut into 4/4 lumber which can be used for table tops and case pieces (bureaus and cabinets).  The photo below shows the lumber stack for air drying at my shop.

Vermont cherry lumber stacked for air drying

I also purchased some extremely nice Vermont cherry lumber this week.  This lumber was cut and milled locally by a man who also works as a veneer log buyer for a large hardwood plywood company.  His veneer log buying job takes him all over northern New England and New York state to look at possible veneer logs.  Veneer logs are large, perfect logs with  no defects of any kind.  Often he will find logs that are not quite good enough for veneeer but would make excellent saw logs.  These he buys and mills with his own sawmill and has kiln dried.  The cherry I purchased from him came from cherry trees that grew near Middlebury, Vermont.  This cherry lumber is quite wide (10″ to 15″) with beautiful color and grain.  In the photo below you can see the end of each board is marked with a number.  This number indicates which log the board came from and makes matching color and grain in a piece of furniture very easy.

Vermont cherry furniture – kit form. Just add skilled craftsman
and several weeks of labor.

Some of this lumber will be made into a dining table for a customer in the Boston area.  I’ll also be making a custom cabinet from it for a couple from New York City who bought their first piece of furniture from me over 20 years ago.  The design for the cabinet is shown below.

Custom storage cabinet design
to be made from Vermont cherry

Richard Bissell makes Shaker Furniture in Putney, Vermont.
Visit www.bissellwoodworking.com for more information.

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