Yippee Cahier!

innocent ramblings of a dilettante doodler

... and his curiously calligraphic predilection for pangrams, pens, and appalling alliteration ...

Sunshine On My Sketchbook Makes Me Happy

Take a look at how lovely your new Shelterwood edition can appear if you simply leave these cherry wood covers out in the sun for a few days.

While the wordworker in me has always been a fan of FieldNotes, my inner woodworker was immediately attracted to this innovative edition.

This Before and After shows the dramatic change that will occur to the cherry when exposed to sunlight. The toolbox I made for my daughter (15 years ago) and the "grip" on my jack plane are also made from cherry.

This Before and After shows the dramatic change that will occur to the cherry when exposed to sunlight. The toolbox I made for my daughter (15 years ago) and the "grip" on my jack plane are also made from cherry.

Black cherry (Prunus Serotina) is one of fine furniture's favorite woods, primarily because it ages so beautifully. Freshly cut it has a light pinkish-brown, cinnamon color, but over time its color will deepen to a distinctively deep, warm, reddish brown. This aging process can be accelerated by exposing the wood to direct UVA light.

Before & After of the raw wood when exposed to direct sunlight. TIP: Remove the "belly-band" before the tanning session or you'll have a stripe of pale showing!

On days when the weather refuses to cooperate furniture makers have been know to carry their projects into the local tanning salon. If you're stuck in the shade another option is to rig up a makeshift tanning terrarium from a foil-lined box and a visit to your local pet-store for a fluorescent "Lizard Lamp" tube to provide the UVA/B rays for a couple of days.

Here is a quick video I made showing how I then apply an easy, fine-woodworking finish to protect and pop the natural beauty of the wood without staining.

If you enjoy those few seconds of Vanessa da Mata's awesome cover of John Denver's hit the buy the whole track on iTunes