What wood?


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14 Aug 2023
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Hi all, stumbled upon the forum and it seems a wealth of knowledge! Hopefully someone can help answer this for me.

I'm building some alcove cabinets and have already built the carcasses ready for the face frames - perhaps there is otherways to do this but this is the route I've gone down.

My partner wants to match another piece of furniture we have which is finished in a walnut look laminate (large fish tank stand) however, walnut is expensive as we all know, she doesn't want veneered either so solid wood it's going to be.

What hardwood would I be able to get a suitable walnut stain on that is relatively affordable? I've been considering tulipwood/poplar Also, any supplier in or around Stoke on Trent that can be recommended? I'd rather not go the route of ordering online as I don't really need that much wood!

Thanks for reading.
tulip poplar is whitey green colour so that's not ideal tbh. few woods could be made to look like walnut in any convincing fashion. maybe sapele.
anyway heaths in leek is my goto for wood. hymor is basically useless now it's owned by Lavers.
My partner wants to match another piece of furniture we have which is finished in a walnut look laminate
Lots of differing kinds of walnut, not that I've got experience with it.
One for the folks who use the stuff, Custard's posts would be worth searching for IIRC regarding walnut.
Just mentioning should there be much variance between flatsawn vs quartersawn.

It wouldn't hurt to post a picture of the fish tank you're trying to imitate, then perhaps someone might be more likely to give some options regarding a timber which might suit.

If you find a wood yard and explain + ask nicely they may well let you have some offcuts to try stain on - then go back and buy what looks best
Ash is relatively affordable and easy to stain. It's never going to look like actual walnut, but then I'm guessing neither does your fish tank stand as you've already stated it's not real walnut.
Alternatively, you could try to convince your wife of the beauty of having more than one wood species in your house. I had the same issue with my wife wanting everything to match species wise - I managed to convince her to try a different look and she's been very happy with it ever since. Too much uniformity can be very boring.
Funnily enough I had a similar problem, a few years ago when rebuilding a Walnut armoire, The amount of Walnut needed far exceeded in cost, the value of the finished piece. So I used Cherry instead. This, when stained is a pretty convincing match.
I doubt heaths would have cherry. hymor would but buckle up for the cost and attitude. chris( or any) at heaths would help you as much as they could. any would where the background is not white would work.
It's always a mistake to try and make one wood look like another. Even if you get a good colour match the grain will not be correct. You seem to be making face frames but no doors ? The amount of wood involved will be relatively small - one plank of walnut should do it . Walnut veneered MDF is widely available and can look identical to solid wood. You may have to buy an 8 x 4 sheet unfortunately. If you plan on making doors then you are probably into sheet goods anyway.
Thanks everyone for your replies, i'll take it all into consideration - maybe a walnut veneered ply is going to be the best option here i think, now to get convincing with it !

Thanks again.

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