Advice on milling walnut.

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Forum topic by BroDave posted 01-22-2008 10:46 PM 3695 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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107 posts in 3839 days

01-22-2008 10:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Not sure if this is the best forum for this but..

I have a walnut tree that has been given to me and I need to know the best way to mill it.
It is probably 16-18” through the middle and I have to cut it down myself.

Specifically, would it be better to have it quarter sawn?
Does quarter sawing walnut produce better grain patterns as does maple?
Would I be better off just having it ripped to get the most useful wood?


-- .

7 replies so far

View JJackson's profile


104 posts in 4107 days

#1 posted 01-22-2008 10:56 PM


IMHO, I would just have the walnut plain sawn. Quarter sawing walnut does not really yield better looking wood. More stable, yes, but no better looking. Plain sawn walnut with the large cathedral marks are really pretty. Just my 2 cents.

-- Jeff, Indiana

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3840 days

#2 posted 01-23-2008 01:11 AM

We’ve been doin’ alot of walnut lately and nobody quarter saws it. Get your best yield. As I posted on some other thread cutting diameter is down to 12” (meaning lumber co.s will now take walnuts as small as 12” becuase they’ve cut down all the large ones.) That being said, any walnut you get over 12” is now considered premium wood. If you get some savor it.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View BroDave's profile


107 posts in 3839 days

#3 posted 01-23-2008 02:10 PM

Good enough for me, thanks guys.
We’ll haul the tree to one of the peckerwood sawmills around here and have it done.

I know the limb wood is too unstable but brother and I can use it for some small stuff, ornamental doohickies and whatnots.

-- .

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3899 days

#4 posted 01-23-2008 03:15 PM

Use the limbs for turning, if you have a lathe.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3918 days

#5 posted 01-23-2008 03:23 PM

The limbs where they are connected to the tree produce “Crotch Cut”.........and its beautiful, gun stocks, turnings, figured veneer.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3930 days

#6 posted 01-23-2008 06:34 PM

I have nothing to add, just to second the advice you have already been given. Flat sawn for grade.

View Operaman's profile


153 posts in 3871 days

#7 posted 01-23-2008 08:48 PM

My .02 = quarter sawing lumber ALWAYS yields more stable lumber…at least in my book I will take stability and predictability over looks any day. If you are in an area without much swing in temp and humidity then flat sawing may be ok, but I always mill my lumber into quarter sawn planks. The main reason I have found that most people don’t quarter saw is that is is more difficult to do and they are unwilling to spend the time to learn. My friend Garrett Hack, who has maybe 20,000 bdft of lumber in his shop and barn, has probably 90% of it is quartersawn, regardless of species. Why? Stability (and somtimes looks, but looks is a secondary consideration).

-- Cheers!

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