Walnut milling question

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Forum topic by DHaden posted 04-29-2011 08:47 PM 1261 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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77 posts in 2624 days

04-29-2011 08:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut kiln drying

I have someone that will be clearing some trees on their property and they also have their own sawmill. When they found out I am a woodworker they offered to cut some walnut for me. When asked what dimensions (1×4, 2×4…) I said 2x as wide as I can get. They reminded me that it would be rough cut and not finish cut, I let them know this would be fine. My question is what do I need to do to prep the wood, from harvest to drying? I have been on the internet looking for a local kiln to dry the wood with out any luck other than large industrial outfits. If anyone on here has any suggestions for a local kiln for a small amount of wood I would be more than happy to trade some WV Black Walnut for kiln space. I have also been reading up on air drying. Any suggestions, hints, etc. will be most appreciated.

-- Measure once, cut twice.

4 replies so far

View David's profile


198 posts in 2628 days

#1 posted 04-29-2011 10:13 PM

Seal the ends. I have some walnut off craigslist that the guy who sold it didn’t seal the ends, and it’s split about 12” from each end. Fortunately it’s 12’ long, so not a big deal.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey

View Bertha's profile


13521 posts in 2658 days

#2 posted 04-29-2011 10:21 PM

I’ve seen some homebrewed kilns before. Someone not too long ago posted one that a college put together. Walnut’s so valuable that it might be worth investing in your own small drying kiln. Of course, if you can find a kiln that’ll do it for you, that’s even better. Definitely seal the ends if the wet woods going to be lying around for any period of time. I know the guys here like Anchorseal.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3870 days

#3 posted 04-30-2011 07:17 PM

If you are in no big hurry, air dried walnut is just fine. Milled right now 2X stock should be ~12% before next winter in your neck of the woods (don’t anyone come in with ’’1 year per inch’’... that is false). Then it can be brought into a conditioned space (heated shop ?) and acclimated and used without ever kiln drying. I keep a list of links on my website for sawmills nationwide, some would be smaller operations like mine who may do custom drying if you want to go there and poke around. (I found a few on a quick search, but not as many as I figured I would)
Some air drying links if you want to do more reading on the subject:

If you don’t want to wait/want to kiln dry a dehumidification kiln can be built and ran pretty cheap/easy.

View DHaden's profile


77 posts in 2624 days

#4 posted 05-01-2011 04:11 AM

Thanks for the advice. I will take a look at those sites.

-- Measure once, cut twice.

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