black walnut

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Forum topic by sweets posted 01-27-2010 12:46 AM 1300 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 3325 days

01-27-2010 12:46 AM

I’m just getting into woodworking and need some more advice. I found a local ad for black walnut for $4/bf. The ad says it is straightedged, assuming he means jointed, and some of it is planed. Is this a good price and is this a good choice for furniture? (I’m hoping to make my sons bunk beds in a few years.) It looks like it finishes nice and dark; is this correct? I see that it is a little softer than oak, which is the only hardwood I’ve used thus far, but the oak table and chairs set so far has taken the abuse of my kids.

I haven’t got around to posting pics of the table, my first peice of furniture, but many thanks to all of you who gave me advice.

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

7 replies so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3723 days

#1 posted 01-27-2010 01:19 AM

walnut is great for furniture, but I don’t think it would hold up to a serious bashing by kids. At least not nearly as well as walnut. I guess it depends on how rough your kids are. the price is pretty good. it probably has one straight side, but the description doesn’t say anything about the faces. unless you have a jointer and planer, you will probably wants it to be at least S2S (surfaced two sides). edge jointing can be done with a circular saw or table saw if you build a simple inexpensive jig. i hope this helps.

View SNSpencer's profile


133 posts in 3108 days

#2 posted 01-27-2010 01:25 AM

Black Walnut is my favorite wood to work with. Great color, takes many types of finishes and machines well. One thing though, keep the sawdust under control. Meaning, if you work in your driveway, keep the dust off the lawn. Black Walnut is toxic to the soil. But can be usefull if you DO want vegitation control.

-- Jef Spencer - Refined Pallet -

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#3 posted 01-27-2010 02:54 AM

Walnut is a wonderful wood. When buying wood you want to know how dry it is . If its to wet it my bend and twist or cup after you make your bed the ideal moisture content is from 8-10%. Straight edging is exactly that they saw the wood on one edge straight so you can cut it to size with a table saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View AWood's profile


51 posts in 3741 days

#4 posted 01-27-2010 05:12 AM

When you work with it be sure to wear a mask ( a low cost one a paramedic wears) Any fine dust is not good for you but the wood particles of black walnut are a little more toxic.
Case in point; I harvested some walnut a few years ago. A friend of mine owns a retail lumber operation; I went to him to run it through his thickness planer;”Come back next week ,that s when I process the black walnut”.......? The situation was that all of his sawdust is used by a local horse rancher; the first batch he had picked up to use in the stalls had a mix of oak, pine, spruce, walnut, etc. The next day after spreading the material in the barn the rancher went out to the barn and found two of his horses dead. The veterinarian claims the horse urine mixed with the black walnut dust and created a”toxic witches brew” and was absorbed through the hooves of the horse.

-- AllWood

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 3766 days

#5 posted 01-27-2010 03:54 PM

Sweets, I’ll try and answer your question about the price of the walnut. It depends on where you are buying the walnut. If it is from a retail store, then $4 a BF is a reasonable price. I try and buy wood Kiln dried wood directly from the mill. I normally pay approximately $2 a BF depending on the grade of the wood. However, if you don’t have a planer or jointer and the wood has been planed the $4 is a good price. Hope this helps. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3457 days

#6 posted 01-27-2010 04:32 PM

I wish I got get walnut for $4bf. I am lucky if I can find it here for less than $8. There is only 1 place within 2 hrs drive that carries walnut and its not cheap. They do have some nice boards but you pay for it. It seems funny that CA black walnut is cheaper on the right coast and it doesnt even grow there. If you can get walnut for $4bf go for it. If you dont want it send it to me

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View sweets's profile


42 posts in 3325 days

#7 posted 01-27-2010 07:26 PM

Thanks for the replies. I’ll go take a look at it.

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

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