Just a quick entry today before my wife kicks me off the computer.
The reclaimed walnut from heaven/hell, I ditched it. Not because of the figure being difficult to plane, but because when I opened up the two large slabs I saw the most GORGEOUS wavy figure. As I intended this to be used for the legs, the figure was compromising the integrity of the piece. No matter how many times I tried I could not get 4 legs with straight grain from end to end (or even close). Kept as larger pieces the walnut will be great for a trestle style base for my wife but the smaller legs were not happening. Fortunately I have a beautiful piece of beech and a piece of brown oak the likes of which you will not believe. I have laid out the cuts on these to slabs and wondering why in the heck I did not choose this wood in the first place.
Such is life. Take a look at what I mean.
-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan