Cherry wood for a stock…good or bad

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You will love it!
I dye the wood to get the deep reddish-brown color (or any other color) . Then apply several sessions of a wiping varnish and sometimes I use a paste wax to finish it off. Here is a Kibler SMR that I did in Cherry.
One thing about Cherry, however, is that it can look 'blotchy" due to the grain and wood density. I think Maple takes the stain more evenly.
I've been reading about staining cherry using potassium hydroxide (lye) which seems to give a good deep brown/reddish color after it is heated a bit. Did you use a leather dye on yours? Thanks
 
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I've been reading about staining cherry using potassium hydroxide (lye) which seems to give a good deep brown/reddish color after it is heated a bit. Did you use a leather dye on yours? Thanks
I've seen some amazing examples of lye-treated Cherry. (There are some in this forum I think)
I use Kato Dye, which is a powder and you can get in various colors. I mix with water for large applications to avoid any witness marks that may develop using fast-drying alcohol.
 
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I've seen some amazing examples of lye-treated Cherry. (There are some in this forum I think)
I use Kato Dye, which is a powder and you can get in various colors. I mix with water for large applications to avoid any witness marks.
I'll look into the Kato dye and like yourself, I have seen some nice stocks where the finisher used Lye. I wonder how it would turn out by using Lye and then sealing with Tru-oil?
 
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There's no need to stain cherry. It is photosensitive and darkens when exposed to light. Staining and dying only imitate the natural process. To hurry the process put the unfinished stock out in the sun for a while -- the longer the darker. Nature's hues are authentic. Totally HC/PC.
 
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There's no need to stain cherry. It is photosensitive and darkens when exposed to light. Staining and dying only imitate the natural process. To hurry the process put the unfinished stock out in the sun for a while -- the longer the darker. Nature's hues are authentic. Totally HC/PC.
So then when it reaches the level of darkness your wanting, then seal it?
 
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That's the idea, although sealing won't stop the color change. The stock probably won't be out in bright light enough to significantly darken further after the finish is applied. The change would be very gradual. Any color change probably could be stopped using a UV blocking finish. Of course some cherry is darker than others to start with. I have a mauser stock that is naturally dark and unfinished looks a lot like some of the stained pieces depicted above. I have a cherry stocked Woodsrunner on order from Kibler. I plan to suntan it.
 
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That's the idea, although sealing won't stop the color change. The stock probably won't be out in bright light enough to significantly darken further after the finish is applied. The change would be very gradual. Any color change probably could be stopped using a UV blocking finish. Of course some cherry is darker than others to start with. I have a mauser stock that is naturally dark and unfinished looks a lot like some of the stained pieces depicted above. I have a cherry stocked Woodsrunner on order from Kibler. I plan to suntan it.
This is the one I ordered today and it almost looks like it has some type of finish on it, although I'm sure it doesn't. I like the darker colored cherry, but not too dark.
 

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And another one.
That's pretty interesting and I had no idea that cherry would darken like that when exposed to sunlight. Thanks for the information.
 
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I have a good offer on a cherry wood stocked Kibler kit. Advice?
Take a good look at the stock and make sure you like it before buying. Cherry can be a great wood for stocks and like all wood it can vary quite a bit in figure. Cherry can have beautiful figure but not as much as sugar maple overall. I have two muzzleloaders with cherry stocks, one of which I bought in the white and finished myself. I prefer to bring out the red color of the wood and don't like the brown tones that can come out. You can bring out the red in cherry buy using a stain like I did or use a solution of sodium hydroxide or lye to bring out the natural color or simply let sunlight do it for you. There is one on Kibler' s website that is in the white
that has some bark inclusion that's been stabilized but shows some really pretty figure in it. I'd buy it in a heartbeat if it was left-handed and had a 14 3/4-15 inch length of pul!. I'll try to post a pic or two of mine so you can see the wide variation that cherry can have.
 
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Hi,
I am going to offer a contrary point of view. Cherry is a fine wood and will make a good stock. I use it when the historical context of the gun I am making demands it. For example, I usually will make a New England fowler from cherry because many were originally stocked with it. However, given a choice, I would choose figured maple or figured walnut over cherry every time. Generally, cherry has fine grain but it is very uninteresting to me and monochromatic, meaning even if it has some figure or flame, the colors are just different shades of the same reddish-brown. Chatoyance, the deep 3D glow of wood like curly maple, is minimal in cherry, although you can simulate it with some creative staining. In sunlight, curly maple lights up like fire, cherry not so much. A plain gun made from cherry is exceedingly plain. You can carve it to add interest but it won't hold details as well as hard maple so you need to design your carving accordingly. However, if you go with cherry, your stock will be enhanced greatly if you at least cut in some border lines and lock panel moldings. You can create the illusion of chatoyance by first coloring the stock with a dilute stain of black aniline dye. Sand or scrape off the black and then stain with whatever you choose. The black will remain embedded in the fine grain of the wood and act like a drop shadow color you might use to create a 3D looking graphic or lettering. It will add a mellow glow. See below.
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dave
 
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