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Forum topic by newwoodbutcher posted 11-11-2010 10:17 PM 1041 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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733 posts in 2816 days

11-11-2010 10:17 PM

I’m planning to build a “family Heirloom” Craftsman style library with two tall freestanding shelving units and two matching slant top desks. A lot of the shelving units will be hardwood plywood with face frames but both desks will be solid wood, hand crafted. I’ve been trying to buy a 100 bf or so of first rate, un-steamed eastern black walnut for several months. Thought I had it done a few times but??

During an in-laws visit to Eastern Iowa in August (The Walnut Capitol of the universe, I’m told) from southern California, I even went to a few local sawyers. Nice people but no follow up even after repeated calls. It’s like they don’t really want to sell it or it’s too much trouble to ship. I saw lots of Walnut during my trip, they are selling a bunch of it to China. They steam a lot of it, but there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of raw material.. Seemed like business was booming so well, they just didn’t have the bandwidth to deal with small orders.

I can find a variety of Walnut back here in San Diego even eastern Black Walnut but not un-steamed. I like the local Claro Walnut a lot, but it’s too busy for this project and I keep hearing that eastern Black Walnut that is air dried and un-steamed is a rapidly disappearing thing of beauty, Some say they think I can skip the air dried aspect (Your thoughts?). I’m beginning to feel that the universe is telling me to go with mahogany, but I have a vision in Black Walnut.

I’m not willing to mortgage my house to get this wood though. What I was seeing in Iowa, is that I could get 200 bf shipped to Southern California for between $550-$650 a bf after you add in the shipping cost.

So, do any of you have a recommended reliable source that can ship cross country?

Iwould really appreciate your help

-- Ken

3 replies so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3703 days

#1 posted 11-11-2010 10:54 PM

I have a source here n Sacramento that has thousands of BF of air dried walnut. There is a big difference between air dried and kiln dried walnut. Also, I would not recommend buying walnut without hand selecting. It has to much grain and color difference from board to board. There are also a lot of knots to deal with.
I think you can get your wood here for about $3 per BF

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3269 days

#2 posted 11-11-2010 11:32 PM

if i were you i would listen to he knows his wood and knows what he’s doing…see if you can work with him in finding your source there in California…and save on the shipping…i would also for sure go with walnut…not mahogany…..walnut is more rich and elegant i think…just my 2 cents…have fun with your project…sounds like it will be a project to be proud of…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View newwoodbutcher's profile


733 posts in 2816 days

#3 posted 11-12-2010 02:17 AM

Whoa! That’s terrific. I’ll send you a direct message for the contact information. Thank you!

-- Ken

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