David, I milled this lumber myself. One of my dad's brother's has a bandsaw mill that is very close to my home. The wood came from an old growth cherry tree in the historic North Shore area of Chattanooga, TN in a yard owned by a friend. They were making way for other things and asked if I wanted the wood. Of course I really had to think about it…lol
Scott your work is awesome. I don't know if I like the wood or the design better - both really demand attention. I'm with Todd though, more pictures and details (such as finish used, etc.) Digital film is really cheap )
ok ok, mike and cajunpen…you have made your point and I will start including more photos and descriptions (lol). The finish on this piece, as it is terribly utiliterian, is a build-up of coats of semi-gloss precat lacquer (ML Campbell) thinned 4 parts to 1 part thinner sprayed from an HVLP conversion gun over a fully cured rub down of 100% tung oil.
The design is directly taken from a Stickley piece that came through my uncle's auction house several years ago. I was really taken with it, not only for its usefulness, but in that it presents some interesting build challenges (the way the panels are both mitered and splined into the legs for example). This can't be called a reproduction really as the dimensions, wood, and techniques used are somewhat different: the original was done in qs white oak, fumed, and a bit smaller than this one. I think the figured cherry works very well, even on such an austere piece. I will try to get a picture of the top surface, which really looks 3 dimensional, like looking through crystal clear water.
The tung oil would explain how you achieved such a rich color on a newer piece of cherry. Don't discount the pre-cat lacquers. All my work is finished with Sherwin's pre-cat and ML Campbells has a nice product too. It is nicely durable and very repairable if you do not use furniture polish on it and contaminate the surface. The only care it needs is a wipe down with a damp rag.
Pre-cat lacquers have their limits though. They are not good for something like a dining table or kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The finish will not hold up well in these locations and you need to go to a catalyzed varnish which wears like iron.
The pre-cat lacquers produce a gorgeous finish very quickly and that is why I use them. They do not produce the "plastic" look unless you put them on too thick. I also like the way each coat burns into the previous one which eliminates a lot of sanding.