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Old 02-23-2015, 09:22 AM   #1
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Need help indentifying wood species

Want to put a wood panel on my fridge to match my cabinets. 1954 or 1955 Flying Cloud. Have been told this is maple but might be birch. Any experts out there?
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:49 AM   #2
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The interior of your AS indicates a lot of TLC. Looks great!

I do a little wood working and it appears to be birch. Birch is often used for cabinet making.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:53 PM   #3
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Hey Bambitex,
I had a 1954 Empire (canned ham ) that looked the same. It was birch. It was hard to match the old birch veneer, I think they probably slice it differently these days.
Tim
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:52 AM   #4
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Well that's not very encouraging :-)
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:00 AM   #5
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BambiTex,

You may want to do an internet search for hardwood lumber dealers in your area or region. Often the big box stores only carry what they can sell by the truckload. We found a place near Toledo (about 4 hrs from us) called Homestead Hardwoods that have a pretty good selection. They sell mostly to the boating community.

Good luck,

Roy and Marie
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:51 AM   #6
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Fortunately Houston is home to two excellent sources:
Houston Hardwoods and Clarks Hardwood Lumber
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:28 AM   #7
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I have some Clark's Hardwood in my trailer. They have a nice selection, albeit expensive, of veneers. I bet you could find some flame or bird's eye Birch there - or maybe online at a better price. If it appears lighter than your original cabinetry it's nothing that years of sunlight won't fix.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:16 AM   #8
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From the photos it looks like rotary cut birch. Practice with scrap of the birch ply and amber or orange shellac to match up the color of the aged varnish. My first guess would be amber but that may not be dark enough.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:29 AM   #9
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Birch Plywood is probably one of the most common hardwood plywoods found in lumber yards and home centers, Would be worth starting there. Usually this is Yellow Birch.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:57 AM   #10
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Tks!
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:19 PM   #11
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Part of the difficulty matching old with new is the simple aging process - the deep amber that your panels are showing now would have been quite a bit lighter when the trailer was new - you can work to match it but it may take a bit of trial and error.

Might want to consider including a bit of a search for some old cabinetry that you can use.

Good luck,


Jay
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:37 PM   #12
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Jay is correct. The amber color is typical for wood like birch with a varnish finish and results from changes both in the surface of the wood and in the varnish. Before finishing your new refrigerator panel, use some pieces of the same plywood for experimentation with a light stain and the varnish you intend to use, working toward the best color match you can achieve.

Tim
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:55 PM   #13
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That was my plan. I have a couple different shades that are close. Will test them on scraps until I get a close match. Do you think it is just varnish or stain too?
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:47 PM   #14
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I think it is just varnish. Here are a couple photos showing a different piece of the same sheet of birch plywood, unfinished and finished. On the finished piece, I used Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane with no stain or color additives. The urethane has been on the plywood about three months, and has already yellowed quite a bit from when I first applied it.

If you add any stain to try and match the finish of the existing wood, be aware that some additional yellowing may occur over time based on the varnish you use and take that into account.

Also, all birch plywood is not made alike. Most of what is available at Home Depot and other places has a super thin (less than a millimeter) layer of birch veneer over another type of softwood. This would make any future refinishing almost impossible without sanding down into the softwood layer. I would shop around and see if there is some with a thicker layer of birch veneer. If you can find it, it may be more expensive, but may serve you better in the long run.
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