I did like you 10 yr or so ago when this crap showed up in Atlanta suppliers. I asked, and asked asked and got a reply that use that stuff because it's fast growing so it's easy replenishable for lumber companies. He uses it for fence post and laughed because even for that it isn't very good, but cheap. With no solid advice except what some quoted from books, or some cute little box...........no experience building a cabinet of any dimension so? With that looked like I was gona be a guinea pig and boy was I ever.
I had to build an entertainment unite for my daughter and saw the resemblance in grain as birch sheething so what the heck, may as well take the plunge. I bought some real purdy 1 1/2 stock and 6" for face frames and and a couple raised panel doors. Had no real plan, and sorta sketched something and started dicin and slicin. One my mortise and tenons and got ready to glue when I notice one piece so badly bowed I had to toss it
Took out my moisture meter and it read 10%
No wonder it went.
Anyhow, got the face frame done with some nice figure
When I picked the finished sanded face frame up, it broke! What the hell
Never ever had this happen. All I could think of is building something for a client and have it come apart like this, but ruled it out cause the plywood carcass would reinforce the face frame so there's no need to worry, but sure shocked me
Saved the best of the figured wood for the panels and doors and started milling. Phew..........some milled like pine but some chipped, but after taking light passes it solve "most" of the issue. Now for the horror story. Staining was awful!!!!!!!!!!!! A huge blotchy mess!
I was trying to match her furniture (early American) and just turned out like crap. Hand saned most off, then fell for that old wives tale on cutting shellac 50/50 for a wash coat HA! that was a joke. It came out so light, the blotch it didn't even resemble early American at all. The wash only lightened the whole thing. Now some will say the blotch was gone, and that's bull! It's still there, only not as dark!!!!!!
Well, I decided if anything she'd prefer it darker than lighter. Bottom line is, I played with it and played with it and finally quit. It was so damned dark it didn't even resemble colonial or her furniture.
My experience was enough to tell me to stay away from this stuff for the rest of my life. If it were for a client, I would have lost my shirt, and they'd probably never accept this. As I type, my daughter ended up painting it white in the end
Whenever I type this...........the reviews start ending up being posted (just watch
) Look at the size of the project others are doing to give raving reviews, and was it a gift, or a commissioned piece. All I saw were pieces built for family members, friends, or some gift. Nothing positive for a paying customer. Now....... they may have injected all the trees with with steroids since to avoid all this mess, but I doubt it