LumberJocks

drying black walnut

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by mjheck posted 01-06-2018 05:12 PM 799 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mjheck's profile

mjheck

19 posts in 1268 days


01-06-2018 05:12 PM

I recently was given 2 nice chunks of black walnut, 14” diameter x 30” length. They are branches from a recently cut down tree from an old homestead(a local company bought the 2 trees for $6000 each – wow!). I’m debating how to proceed with these pieces. One option would be to seal the ends and put under cover to dry for a year or so. Other option is to strip the bark and run them through my bandsaw now and stick and dry the pieces. I’m leaning toward the later plan. Any thoughts?


13 replies so far

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

273 posts in 804 days


#1 posted 01-06-2018 05:22 PM

Are you looking to cut boards or turning blanks?

One thing to be aware of is typically branch wood has a lot of stress in it (which is almost certainly why the company buying the trees left the branches)

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1661 posts in 1917 days


#2 posted 01-06-2018 06:41 PM

Branch wood I would cut for bowl blanks. High chance of warpage like Avs says. And it’s just Walnut no such thing as black walnut.

-- Aj

View LesB's profile

LesB

1801 posts in 3562 days


#3 posted 01-06-2018 07:10 PM

It is always a gamble when “home” drying wood. I would seal the end grain store in a cool dry place for a couple of years and hope for the best.

Aj2….there are several types of walnuts. The main two are English walnut type grown primarily for nut meat and often grafted to a Black walnut root stock which is hardier (draught and disease resistant). The shells are soft and easier to crack with large meat sections. English walnut wood is not as desirable at Black walnut but is used in furniture making. Black walnut produces a very hard shelled nut that is next to impossible to get the small meat out of but the wood is usually darker and very desirable for wood working.

-- Les B, Oregon

View msinc's profile

msinc

497 posts in 622 days


#4 posted 01-06-2018 07:45 PM

“no such thing as black walnut”.......

What??? Black walnut is the walnut that is native to North America. Depending on the use, English walnut can be worth way more than black, gun stock blanks for example. I have dried and used quite a bit of it. Are you using it for boards like one inch thick lumber, or turning blanks? I always take mine to the mill as soon as I get it. It doesn’t dry much as a “bark on” log. Why waste the year of drying {very little drying} as a log??? If boards I would get it cut and stacked so it can start to really dry. I haven’t had much trouble with walnut warping if milled right away and properly stacked unless it is some strange highly figure boards that are intended for one inch {thin} lumber. Then I believe, based on my experience, that just about any wood might try to warp if it is figured and thin.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1661 posts in 1917 days


#5 posted 01-06-2018 09:13 PM

Come on guys really it’s just Walnut. I think someone started calling it black walnut to make the wood sound more dramatic. Sorta like Black Cherry. Maybe we should call maple White maple, or How about brown Alder?
Now Red oak deserves its name for obvious reasons.

-- Aj

View Tony_S's profile (online now)

Tony_S

908 posts in 3202 days


#6 posted 01-06-2018 09:33 PM

Black Walnut is very much the proper common name.

Scientific name: Juglans Nigra
Juglans is Latin for Walnut.
Nigra is Latin for…Black.

Black Walnut.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View LesB's profile

LesB

1801 posts in 3562 days


#7 posted 01-06-2018 10:34 PM



Come on guys really it s just Walnut. I think someone started calling it black walnut to make the wood sound more dramatic. Sorta like Black Cherry. Maybe we should call maple White maple, or How about brown Alder?
Now Red oak deserves its name for obvious reasons.

- Aj2

From Wikipedia

The two most common major species of walnuts are grown for their seeds – the Persian or English walnut and the black walnut. The English walnut (J. regia) originated in Persia, and the black walnut (J. nigra) is native to eastern North America. The black walnut is of high flavor, but due to its hard shell and poor hulling characteristics it is not grown commercially for nut production. Numerous walnut cultivars have been developed commercially, which are nearly all hybrids of the English walnut.[2]

Other species include J. californica, the California black walnut (often used as a root stock for commercial breeding of J. regia), J. cinerea (butternuts), and J. major, the Arizona walnut. Other sources list J. californica californica as native to southern California, and Juglans californica hindsii, or just J. hindsii, as native to northern California; in at least one case these are given as “geographic variants” instead of subspecies (Botanica).

-- Les B, Oregon

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

450 posts in 321 days


#8 posted 01-06-2018 11:48 PM

sounds like some walnut to me, lol, who cares what its called as long as it makes dust and is fine looking
congrats on the chunks of paradise.
hope to see a finished product as time allows.
Rj in az

View mjheck's profile

mjheck

19 posts in 1268 days


#9 posted 01-07-2018 12:40 AM

Jeez, I didn’t mean to start a “walnut war” but….aj2 it is black walnut. I’ve worked with different walnuts over the years and there are some distinct differences. One that hasn’t been mentioned is Claro walnut, which is a grafted walnut grown mainly down in central California. I have gotten some beautiful figured slabs of this. The distinguishing part of the black walnut for me is the creamy colored sapwood vs. the dark heartwood.
Anyway guys, thanks for the response. I think LJ is the best forum with the smartest people.
I will probably cut most of the wood into 2” boards and use the walnut along with cherry and maple for the 3D and zigzag end grain cutting boards I make. Great combination of colors. Also will probably turn some.
For now I’ve sealed the ends and put it under cover for a while but like you say, msinc, who wants to wait a year. Since patience is not one of my virtues, I will probably take one of the pieces in the near future and try out my new carbide band saw blade.
Thanks to all of you for your input. I will post some pictures after it is cut.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1661 posts in 1917 days


#10 posted 01-07-2018 01:28 AM

I know what Claro Walnut is.
This old guy that I used to live down the street from said it was his favorite wood to make rocking chairs. He had a very impressive walnut collection the very best slabs for tables and his chairs.
My friend that lives in Oregon sent me some walnut he airdried. It very purple and red with a tiny black streaks.
So why do we call it black? The trees are not black?

-- Aj

View msinc's profile

msinc

497 posts in 622 days


#11 posted 01-07-2018 03:37 AM


I know what Claro Walnut is.
This old guy that I used to live down the street from said it was his favorite wood to make rocking chairs. He had a very impressive walnut collection the very best slabs for tables and his chairs.
My friend that lives in Oregon sent me some walnut he airdried. It very purple and red with a tiny black streaks.
So why do we call it black? The trees are not black?

- Aj2

Yes sir, Bastogne is another one grown in Ca. In it’s simplest form, I agree…for basic woodworking/furniture making walnut is walnut. When you get into specifics, like gun stocks where various walnuts have their place and walnut is “King” they all have differences and are priced accordingly. Juglans Regia {Latin: royal walnut/English} is the king of kings. A 3” thick by 18” long “blank” of figured exhibition grade will easily bring $1500-$2500 for use on a “best” quality double barrel shotgun. American made guns eat up more fine figured black walnut that anything and specifically the Winchester Model 12 shotgun has probably had more feather crotch black walnut used for stocks than any other gun. Bastogne and Claro do have beautiful grain, but they don’t checker as well as English, in fact black walnut while way harder than the others checkers better. Claro and Bastogne tend to “fuzz up” when cut for checkering.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2392 posts in 1506 days


#12 posted 01-07-2018 05:57 AM

Unless you are going for turning blanks, I’d saw and sticker it. If you wait a year to saw it, you’ll have to wait more time once you finally saw it. Once sawn, add some extra weight on top of the stack to help reduce the warpage.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

808 posts in 1338 days


#13 posted 01-07-2018 11:05 PM

what about bacon walnut?

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com