Monday, May 20, 2013

Cherry Ply

About 4-5 years ago I found a pretty nice slab of local Italian Cherry and had the local lumberyard cut it into thinner planks.
I didn't take into consideration the width of the blade; and I was trying to economize by getting as many planks as possible from the thick board....I ended up with planks that were only about 1 cm thick. I've used them as is-- even carved on both sides--but they're prone to warping and I was hesitant to try anything larger than my yearly zodiac cards.

I found a local carpenter however who has been intrigued by my woodblocks and as he has an enormous hydraulic, hot-water press---used to laminate doors, tables, etc.-- he offered to laminate these onto some plywood. He insisted however I use marine plywood ( I told him I wanted a water-resistant glue...).

So I found a piece of local marine plywood (Okoume)--not cheap either --and he took my cherry planks and had me come by and pick them up a week later.
He trimmed them to be flat sided and I had him cut the smaller ones to 30cm length....These are the remnants--the ends that were left-- they're about 22 by 27cm by 2.4 cm thick.

Cherry/Okoume: About 2.5cm thick, the cherry alone is 1cm.                          

I don't think warping will be an issue
Cherry side

The Okoume side

Not sure if the Okoume will be useable but I'll try; it's soft, has a very pronounced grain and looks like it will want to flake off.

These will be part of the Trash bag print I'm working on.
I think I'll need a total of 6 plates....I think 3 cherry and the 3 backs will make up the others.


  1. Your spirit of adventure and exploration of materials is always fun to watch! I'm eager to see how these blocks work out.

    1. Thanks, Lisa.
      My spirit of adventure stems from being someplace where getting ready-made materials is difficult, while raw materials (pigments, glues, dyes, wood, etc.) are abundant.
      So I'm trying to make use of what is local/nearby (and therefore also cheaper);
      Shipping to Italy is very expensive and the 21% sales tax on everything adds a pretty big percentage onto materials fees.