Four New Projects to Start 2016 #3: Walnut of a Different Color?

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 01-15-2016 04:00 AM 841 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Finished Milling Process Part 3 of Four New Projects to Start 2016 series no next part

Yesterday I jointed and planed the new walnut board I had bought at MacBeath Hardwood,. After I squared off one end and had cut the boards to their maximum widths, I laid them on my workbench to sticker them. It was then when I laid this new board next to the older walnut I had in stock for about six months that I noticed quite a difference in color and texture or grain.

Can You See the Difference in Color In These Walnut Boards? The newest boards and darkest are the two on the outer edges. The lighter and older walnut boards are those to the inside of the two outer ones.

For the nightstand I will be making from this walnut, I figured I could not have such a stark difference in the show parts: the top, drawer front, and the two sides. It would not matter for the bottom of the nightstand, nor its back. Those parts would not be seen by an observer. I figure the aprons may not matter either, nor the legs.

It was then that I also noticed I did not have enough walnut to make all the side parts. Thus, I made a trip to my local Woodcraft store. I was in that store the morning I made the trip to MacBeath Hardwood. While I was in Woodcraft the other day I noticed they had several nice boards of 4/4 walnut in stock. The salesperson said it was selling for $11 a board foot. Since I paid over $14 for walnut I bought at MacBeath Hardwood, I figured Woodcraft would be the best store to buy more walnut for today. However, when I bought two walnut boards today, Woodcraft’s actual price was $12.98 a board foot.

After milling this walut today, I could tell Woodcraft had bought their walnut either from MacBeath Hardwood or at least the same source that the hardwood store had bought their walnut from because they were exactly the same color and texture.

In addition the Woodcraft salesman confirmed what I learn at the hardwood store the other day, the supply of walnut is down in this state and its price is up because their sources are having troubles with a fungus and a worm or beetle. The states with the walnut forests and this decease are implementing quarantines of its export.

This Photo Shows All the Lumber I have Milled For These Three Projects

-- --- Happy Howie

3 comments so far

View MadMark's profile


965 posts in 872 days

#1 posted 01-15-2016 04:10 AM

Walnut darkens with exposure to light & air.. Let it sit a month and the color should even out.

I like varigated walnut and will sometimes feature the off-color pieces instead of trying to bury them.


-- Madmark -

View HappyHowie's profile


268 posts in 1364 days

#2 posted 01-15-2016 04:56 AM

Madmark, the darkest walnut is what I milled today. I did not figure it would lighten and gray out later. Would it? It definitely was different from the stock I used three months ago when I built an end table and twelve months ago when I designed and built a walnut nightstand.

Modern Walnut Nightstand

Walnut Top End Table

I definitely did not want to make a new nightstand and not have the pieces look like it fit together.

I realize that I might be able to control the hue or color with finish and dye in the finish, but I am not experienced enough with finishes to go that route.

-- --- Happy Howie

View TheFridge's profile


5676 posts in 905 days

#3 posted 01-15-2016 05:24 AM

The purple is my favorite part.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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