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Forum topic by Jim Savage posted 01-02-2010 11:54 PM 1221 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Savage

26 posts in 3221 days

01-02-2010 11:54 PM

I’ve searched the forums, but didn’t see anything on this.

I was recently given a nice walnut log. I want to resaw it into lumber.

Right now the log is just sitting outside. How long can I leave it there?

Will it be an issue if I wait until the spring to resaw it? (I don’t have a bandsaw, so I’ll have to make arrangements to borrow one.)

The log is about 3 feet long. Should I try to resaw it at that length, or should I cut it into 2 or 3 lengths before I resaw it?

If I eventually want to cut it into 1/2” and 1/4” widths, should I cut it into those sizes first, or cut it into bigger sizes and let the wood dry, then cut it down to the smaller sizes? (I know to cut it a little big and then plane it down to final dimensions, but I’m wondering about the initial resaw cuts.)

Thanks, LJ’s.

6 replies so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3140 days

#1 posted 01-03-2010 12:11 AM

Jim you have to be sure that the end´s of the log is covered with some wax or paint so you avoid spliting the log and scrape the bark of the side´s so the bug´s have harder time before they come in your wood
the wax is also to protect the log from drying too fast witch will split it
if you do so it can stay aut for a long time and dry slowly and after you have cut it, it is good to let it air dry
a year to one and half year for every inch thickness you have made them this will help to stabilies the wood
and yes you can resaw in full length and please do cut them in full wide you won`t regret
(sorry for my spelling )

good luck with it I will look forward to see the project from it

Dennis from Denmark

View Rev. Jim Paulson's profile

Rev. Jim Paulson

120 posts in 3301 days

#2 posted 01-03-2010 01:48 AM

Hi Jim,

I’d seal the log as Dennis suggested, but the important question is what you might like to make with the walnut. You have some options on what you use to seal the log too. Paraffin or wood stabilizer are possible choices.

One benefit of waiting to dimension the stock after it is dry is that you’ll be able to compensate for wood movement, shrinkage, warping due to drying. That is more of an issue if you ultimately need thinner stock.

If you are a turner you can rough turn spindles before they are dry and then set them aside to dry for final turning. I do this with birch, cherry and maple blanks when I turn Windsor chair legs.

Best wishes,


View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3489 days

#3 posted 01-03-2010 02:58 AM

All the advice above is good advice. If you go ahead and do the rough cuts now the wood will dry evenly but much faster than in the log. Once its cut it will need to be stickered so it will dry on both sides without molding in between. Use dry stickers, wet ones of another species can cause staining. This is usually a problem with lighter colored woods, not so much on walnut. Definitely go oversize and thickness, like Jim said, you can compensate for warping later with planing and sanding.
Lots of good sites on drying wood, some are extension services from universities and gov sites.
Hope this helps. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View bandman's profile


79 posts in 3415 days

#4 posted 01-03-2010 04:12 AM

Sealing the ends with a good oil based paint is a good idea as well as storing out of direct sunlight.
When dealing with large quantities of logs, I use anchorseal, a wax based end treatment for logs.
Spring and warmer weather can come quickly at times with direct sunlight and higher than expected
temperatures. For rough bandsawing, I’d recommend you go 1/4 (or slightly more) above your finish project dimension. This will leave room for any sawing discrepencies, and shrinkage or movement of the lumber during drying. Black walnut is fairly stable as it dries, sticker the material evenly and provide some weight
on the top of the stack applied evenly, ie sandbags, bags of salt, etc.

-- Phil

View wchips's profile


314 posts in 3113 days

#5 posted 01-03-2010 05:35 AM

As for re sawing, I would try and find someone in you area who has a band mill. L,like Wood Mizer. cannot speak for all ,you there is one in my area that is set up to take very short logs . they do a very good job if they have them set up right , Lots safer than trying to manhandle a log like that on your band saw

they do a very good job

-- wchips

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18288 posts in 3701 days

#6 posted 01-03-2010 08:12 AM

Expect it to split along the pith; ie, center of the log where the young tree started.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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