And then suddenly, walnut!

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Blog entry by BTimmons posted 11-28-2012 12:53 AM 2023 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

What oh what am I supposed to make out of this? My dad in law was putting a ton of things in storage and doing some purging as well. He wasn’t sure what to do with this 50 year old walnut slab bench. It’s pretty basic, not made by some big name so it’s not that valuable to begin with. And the surface is all dinged up and scratched, and three of the four turned legs have come off. So it would need to be repaired and refinished if he were to sell it.

He and I were thinking all this out loud when he asked, “You could use all this walnut for something, right?” Naturally, I replied in the affirmative, using emphatic language that’s not exactly suitable for a respectable family website like this.

I’ve got a ton of ideas about what I could do with this, but I could always use more input. What would you do with all this walnut? The slab is about 60 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 3.5 inches thick.

Your suggestions? What I do will determine how I resaw and dimension the lumber.

Edit: There are a few things I’d like to work towards here. I want my next project(s) to push the limits of my skill. I also want to make things that I can make some money with. Not gonna lie, I’m poor. I just don’t want to make something generic and safe like a huge batch of cutting boards.

-- Brian Timmons -

9 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

18789 posts in 2620 days

#1 posted 11-28-2012 01:21 AM

I can’t help. A few years ago I had a few days off so I offered to help my son do some siding. (he’s a self employed carpenter). You offered to pay me but I told him to just bill his normal rate and not to worry about paying me, after all, I just wanted to spend some time with my son.

A few days later he showed up with a plank. He said the owner of the house gave it to him, and he figured I’d like it, so he gave it to me. Its a piece of walnut that was in this guys basement for over 20years. Its 10” x 3” x 10-12’.

I can’t bring myself to cut it. So many possibilities.

I’ll be interested to hear what you decide.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View getlostinwood's profile


224 posts in 2655 days

#2 posted 11-28-2012 01:59 AM

Brian, If it would help I’d be glad to throw in some some maple to help with some contrasting. I have some rough sawn out in the fire wood pile, been finding lots of curl in it lately. You have to cover the fuel down to Red Oak, TX about a 30 minute drive. PM me if I can help.
Last post I read got me feeling a Christmas-y. (Dustbunny’s Post)

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2537 days

#3 posted 11-28-2012 02:28 AM


Thanks for the offer! I may take you up on that. Probably after the holidays, as time to myself is hard to come by with a wife and a little one.

I agree, maple goes great with walnut. I have some but it’s not the nice figured stuff.

-- Brian Timmons -

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2742 days

#4 posted 11-28-2012 02:32 AM

Is this a great group or what? It appears the Christmas spirit is alive and well.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3286 days

#5 posted 11-28-2012 02:38 AM

You can resaw it and do a bookmatch table or sofa table top, keepsake boxes are nice with continuous grain all the way around, maybe add some nice maple for the tops. Just some ideas, don’t rush it, one day it will hit you and it will be the perfect piece for your project. There is no better place to get some ideas then in the projects section on this site. Good luck.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View PhiltheLuthier's profile


57 posts in 2821 days

#6 posted 11-28-2012 03:20 AM

Okay the best thing for you to do is to send it to me!! Ha, just kidding, I’m surprised no one said that yet… so here’s a few questions for you to help:

1- Do you want to sell the thing you make? yes? Then probably a nice jewelery box. no? Go to question 2.

2- Do you want to make furniture? yes? Fix it, or make a bookmatched coffee table. no? Make a box, or two.

3- Is there anything missing in your walnut life? yes? A music stand.

4- Does the little one need something? yes? A small rocking chair, or a baby gate to block the stairs.

5- There is no number five.

View PhiltheLuthier's profile


57 posts in 2821 days

#7 posted 11-28-2012 01:52 PM

Also mountain dulcimers look good in walnut.

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 2728 days

#8 posted 11-28-2012 01:55 PM

The thickness at 3 1/2” has to be considered unless you are prepared to pay a millshop to resaw it in to 3 – 7/8” planks…right? ..... just thinking out loud. Hmmm.

What needs to be that thick? Turned potato chip bowls and Christmas ornaments come to mind. Do you have a lathe? Glue two 12×12 – 3 1/2 slabs together and make a salad bowl.

Do you still have the turned walnut legs? You could make 4 plant stands with those. Although, a 3/ 12” top would be too much so you still have a chunk of walnut to figure out what to do with it.

It’s too short to be a mantle.

You could double cut it on your 10” table saw and end up with 10 or 12 1×4s, 5 ft long.
Now your options are wide open. Mirror and picture frames, a small desk or bookcase, a TV stand, jewelry or memory boxes, cribbage boards, bird houses, large spoon and salad fork, push sticks, and of course cutting boards.

or, you could store it for years and eventually, a project will come up that needs it.

Seems like Santa just gave you some materials and a list! Ha! Have fun, be safe.

Merry shop time!

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2537 days

#9 posted 11-28-2012 02:34 PM

Very good ideas here, thanks for all the suggestions. I do indeed still have the legs. I don’t have a lathe yet, but they would make fantastic blanks for turning. Hmm, maybe chess pieces.

-- Brian Timmons -

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