Cherry Southern Guns?

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MTGUNNER

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why not use walnut? walnut has little problems like cherry, it is historically correct , easy to work with and like you say everybody has a maple, you see very little hickory in these guns. that is what I would use,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I think hickory is a georgous wood!
 

oldwood

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I've never seen any "soft" cherry from the Pa. woods. I cut a 22" log from my childhood home property that grew 10 feet from a creek. If any tree should have been soft , that one should have , but wasn't. Have seen curly cherry , and stocks cut from limb crotch grain that had wonderful figure.....all very attractive. Wouldn't turn any of it down.............oldwood
 

44-henry

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A few years back I took a donation of mixed walnut and cherry lumber from an alumni for our wood lab. This was approximately 4000 board feet of lumber that was purchased by the alumni in 1962 and many pieces were over 4" thick. The cherry included has some of the most beautiful coloration that I have seen and works like hard maple. Given when it was harvested and the size of the trees I would consider much of it to be old growth lumber. We go through a couple thousand board feet of cherry in a typical school year (cherry is cheap around here costing less than $2.00 a board foot in bulk) but most of it is pretty miserable to work with. I just got done making a Shaker tall clock and even doing the inletting for the hinges was a royal PIA due to the crumbly and soft nature of the new cherry. My conclusion is that there is good cherry and bad, but it probably was a much different animal historically.

As a side note, we have processed pieces of the old stuff that have had swan shot in it that probably goes back to the early 19th or late 18th century. Always interesting stuff.
 

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GANGGREEN

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I've also not seen soft cherry in my neighborhood (I live in north central PA as well), but even the best cherry is much "softer" than good hard maple or even good soft maple. I've only made one gun with cherry and it was fine, even did a bit of carving on it, which isn't my strong suit. I also have a bunch of furniture in my home that was made with cherry from here on the farm (the desk that I'm sitting at now, a sleigh-style bed in our guest room a nice chest of drawers, etc.) and find it to be very pleasant wood to look at and fairly easy to work. None of this answers whether cherry was common on southern rifles, but just thought I'd offer my opinion about the general nature of good, northeastern cherry lumber.

I've never seen any "soft" cherry from the Pa. woods. I cut a 22" log from my childhood home property that grew 10 feet from a creek. If any tree should have been soft , that one should have , but wasn't. Have seen curly cherry , and stocks cut from limb crotch grain that had wonderful figure.....all very attractive. Wouldn't turn any of it down.............oldwood
 

excess650

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This is a slab of cherry that I bought from a guy in Paw Paw, W Va. I couldn't tell from the photos if I was seeing saw marks or curl, but he thought saw marks. I wish I had been at his place to see, because I would have bought more. It has no stain applied, just some tung oil. 2"+ thick and destined to be a a live edge coffee table.
 

excess650

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I milled some cherry for a guy near Bel Air, Md some years back. I don't recall exactly what the diameter was, but it was 2'+, and I he let me have a crotch section from well up the trunk. Instead of finding crotch figure, I wound up with "trunks" with bark inclusion almost to the bottom. I put it in my shed to dry and it behaved well with very little checking. For whatever reason I thought I should build a flyweight smoothie for my young nephew, so picked a slab to put a barrel in. Grain flow through the wrist is important, so this is the one I went with.


end grain

Its pretty hard, and notice how tight the grain is.

I've cut and milled some black birch, aka cherry bark birch or sweet birch, and will say that it looks a lot like cherry, and even more dense and hard. Christian Springs inventory of stock blanks included maple, walnut, and birch.
 

oldwood

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Can't tell how long the piece might be , but I see at least two possible stocks. There is plenty of extra wood here to extend the forearm with a splice. Cherry is an excellent stock wood , and this curly wood should never be wasted on a Coffee table...........oldwood
 

excess650

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Can't tell how long the piece might be , but I see at least two possible stocks. There is plenty of extra wood here to extend the forearm with a splice. Cherry is an excellent stock wood , and this curly wood should never be wasted on a Coffee table...........oldwood
49" long, 21" tapering to 17", but a piece like that deserves to be admired as it is.
 

oldwood

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Didn't mean to offend you're sensibilities on the coffee table wood. After 140+ scratch builds , my brain has become possibly too " wired" , and too prone to always see stock wood. I do drink a pot of coffee a day.................oldwood
 

excess650

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Didn't mean to offend you're sensibilities on the coffee table wood. After 140+ scratch builds , my brain has become possibly too " wired" , and too prone to always see stock wood. I do drink a pot of coffee a day.................oldwood
None taken. I started milling after seeing too many "gunstocks" cut into firewood. Too, you never know what you're gonna find when you cut a log whether it be straight, figured, or metal.
 

ShawneeB

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FWIW the Dixie Tennessee Mountain Rifles, Turner Kirkland's representation of the Southern "Po-Boy" rifles, were stocked with Cherry.
Here's one of those Dixies (on top some black walnuts drying) I have been enjoying 30 years +. It's a .50, I have both locks (rock and cap) but haven't put the
flint lock on yet. Like to get another barrel in 32, 36, or 40 and use it flint dedicated. The cherry is pretty, and hard but no where as pretty as OP's.
 

SOLANCO

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I've asked this several times in different threads: Typically, are stock blanks flat sawn? Or quarter sawn?
Have not seen an answer yet.
 

Zonie

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I've asked this several times in different threads: Typically, are stock blanks flat sawn? Or quarter sawn?
Have not seen an answer yet.
They can be either.
The quarter sawed blanks usually have a nicer grain pattern.
 
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