The Story of My Walnut

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Blog entry by mkrok posted 03-08-2010 07:51 AM 951 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lets get something straignt right now. I have been carrying this stuff around with me for over 15 years. Probobly close to 20. This story starts out in northern New Jersey about 15 + years ago.

During one of my “UP” periods with woodworking, I was looking through one of my local newspaper classifieds. This was back in the day before craigs list for all you younger jocks out there. Came across a small addvertisement ”Walnut boards for sale” The ad had the name of the town, phone number and a guys name. I can’t remember it so we will call him “George”. It was a saturday morning, I had no family of my own 15 + years ago, so basicly nothing to do; I called George.

A very “experianced” man answeres the phone – ”Yellow” said the voice. Right away I knew it had to be George. “How are you today sir ? I see you have some walnut boards for sale, still got them ?”, I asked. “Yup”, said George, “Got lots of em’” So George gives me his address. I put Bubba, my basset hound, in the truck to go and take a look. Stopped for cofee and was at Georges house in about 20 minutes. I know walnut is expensive so I though why not, lets see what he has.

George takes me to his garage and shows me about a dozen 4/4 boards all about 6 – 8 inches in width and 6 ’ in length. All rough sawn so I had no idea what the grain looks like. Scratched some off with a hand plane and revealed som of the most beautiful figure I had ever seen. George says, “You can take these if you want, how much do you need ?” he asked. How much ? I thought, “How much you got ? ”, I asked. “Let me show you”, he answered.

The man starts to pull boards out of his garage, basement and barn. About 40 boards all rough and same dimensions. He said “Just want to get rid of these” He had some of them sitting between sawhorses used as a shelf. Takes me to the basement where he pulls out 4 pieces of 16 / 4 square posts about 5 feet long. LAst, he said, ” I got some in the attic but I can’t lift them; If you go up ther eand get them I’ll give them to you for free.” So I go up in the attic and find 4 slabs or 8/4, 12 – 16 inches wide and about 5 – 6 feet long.

Got it all out of his house and loaded:
40 – 4/4×6 x 60
5 – 16/4×4 x 48
6 – 8/4×14 x 60

All black Walnut, some of the 4/4 boards have beautiful spalting on them. These boards have been moved 3 times in NJ and made the trip to Florida. Then I moved them from my garage to my shop about 4 years ago where they are today. Since I never owned a jointer I was always afraid to cut it. Up until 2 weeks ago this wood was still uncut until I started to make some usable boards out of it. I started milling some of it up since I now have a jointer (got that off craigs list for 100 bucks) and using it sparingly on all my projects moving forward. Just about everyting will have a piece of my walnut in it for something.

So that is the story of my lifetime supply of walnut. Anybody know how many board feet that is? I guess I can calculate it my self.

The price for all of this – 50 bucks

-- Michael, South Florida,

6 comments so far

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 03-08-2010 08:07 AM

Great story. You got a steal. Looking forward to all your projects.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 3958 days

#2 posted 03-08-2010 09:18 AM

That’s about 200 BdFt of walnut at about $.25 per BdFt at let’s say 1990’s dollars converted to today’s dollars would be about let’s say $1.00/BdFt. Yup, that’s a steal. Unless you fail to use it all before you get too old. Then you’ll be selling it at $1/BdFt to get it out of your house and losing money. So, I’ll take some off your hands at $2/BdFt so you can make a decent profit. lol

-- Jim

View ackychris's profile


103 posts in 2980 days

#3 posted 03-08-2010 09:32 AM

I’ll take some for $3/bd ft—especially if you throw in free shipping. :)

-- I hate finishing. I never manage to quit while I'm ahead. --Chris

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3158 days

#4 posted 03-08-2010 04:19 PM

Well That’s nice to have, walnut here goes for 5 bucks a board foot.
I know one guy here that sells it for 2 bucks a board foot common stock.
I like walnut a lot, people seem to blend it a lot with maple. I’ve only
made one walnut step stool. I have maybe 10 bF in the basement,
don’t know what to build with it yet. I could never hold on to that
much walnut for 15 yr, you are a patient man!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1892 posts in 3639 days

#5 posted 03-09-2010 04:04 AM

Sounds like a “wood gloat” to me!!!!! Nice score!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View mkrok's profile


94 posts in 2988 days

#6 posted 03-10-2010 03:07 AM

Thanks for the nice comments; I’m glad everyone liked the story. BTW Bob; patience has nothing to do wiith it; I was scared out of my mind to cut it fearing I would ruin a perfect board. So I just stated at it for 15 years. Now, I have started adding it to my projects.

I think I really do have a lifetime supply. Maybe I should call my lawyer and add it to my willl.

-- Michael, South Florida,

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