over dry butternut

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Forum topic by hornhunter posted 04-05-2010 08:35 PM 1987 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 3256 days

04-05-2010 08:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: butternut question

My father had some butternut boards in his garage attic for 30 tears or so. I got one down a few weeks ago and planed it and had some bad tear out. The wood is too dry. Is there a remedy for this other than lots of sanding?

-- Dean, Kinderhook, New York

8 replies so far

View barlow's profile


129 posts in 3943 days

#1 posted 04-07-2010 04:44 AM

Butternut usually tears when the knives are dull, and/or if the stock isn’t dry kilned. As you know butternut is a very soft wood which is not prone to brittleness at lower moisture contents as with your dense hardwoods such as ash, hickory, maples or oaks. And sometimes no matter what you do it may raise the grain just because.

-- barlow

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21 posts in 3256 days

#2 posted 04-07-2010 02:33 PM

thanks for the info. I have not worked with it before. I was expecting it to be similar to walnut.

-- Dean, Kinderhook, New York

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3277 days

#3 posted 04-07-2010 05:18 PM

Butternut has been referred to by some as “white walnut”. In actual fact, it is not related to walnut at all and is quite different (much lighter).

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3988 days

#4 posted 04-08-2010 03:43 PM

I do know butternut makes for some very good carving wood.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3506 days

#5 posted 05-20-2010 07:23 PM

Butternut, Juglans cinerea, is in the walnut family (Juglans sp). It is the most beautiful dark, heavily grained wood, soft, superburb for carving. Defects include insect damage, branches and reaction wood and loss of sap wood on the dead portions of the tree.

I suggest: Start with a tuned plane—any gross amateur can plane full lenth, full width tight curls. Make them thinner and thinner. Whittle a small ball in cage—-2×2x4. Carve only with the grain. Use an alcohol spray to soften up the hard parts (evaporates w/o raising the grain). Use slicing strokes. If you break off a piece glue it back on with superglue.

Look at the work of Norsk Woodworks (Phillip Odden and Else Bigton), Fred Cogelow, Roger Strautman (LJ)—- all expert, all good teachers with an impressive body of work in butternut. Butternut is not long for this world…it is susceptable to canker. Little to none of the current production comes from live, non-infected trees. Trying to keep as many alive as long as we can. Folks on the Walnut Council and at the Forest Products Lab in Madison, Wisconsin are good resources for more information on butternut. In Wisconsin we still have some butternut on the hoof. I’ll be processing some ratty logs soon. PM me if you have a special piece in mind. Go Badgers. Visit ‘sconie, good butternut, good beer, good babes!

What have you done with the subject of this post? spj

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View a1Jim's profile


117337 posts in 3780 days

#6 posted 05-27-2010 06:19 AM

Now I know more about butternut thanks guys

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21740 posts in 3308 days

#7 posted 05-27-2010 06:38 AM

Okay, this may be a dumb questions but if a walnut tree actually has walnuts on it, does a butternut tree actually have butternuts on it??

I have never had any to work with.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3506 days

#8 posted 05-27-2010 03:41 PM

Only the boy trees. (not true) Look here:

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

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