Mill it or burn it?

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Forum topic by bigblockyeti posted 04-20-2018 01:19 PM 1454 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5170 posts in 1801 days

04-20-2018 01:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I harvested this walnut in March 2017 and it’s been air drying, mostly under tarp since. I’m moving soon and debating to mill it or burn it? I’ve had good luck with air drying walnut logs this long before milling previously so knowing I’ll lose ~ 4” from each end is tolerable given they’re 72” right now. My two concerns are spending ~$75 to mill them without having a project in mind and the relatively small amount of heart wood. Opinions and suggestions are welcome.

22 replies so far

View smitdog's profile


384 posts in 2186 days

#1 posted 04-20-2018 01:36 PM

I hate to say it but I’m not sure I’d go through the trouble of milling that little bit of heart wood. I’d be more inclined to chop it into smaller chunks for turning. I like the contrast between heart and sap more on small bowls and things like this –

But I would never fault anyone for trying to eke out as much walnut lumber as possible!

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

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5170 posts in 1801 days

#2 posted 04-20-2018 01:40 PM

If you want them, you can have them, I don’t turn much.

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2022 posts in 1703 days

#3 posted 04-20-2018 02:52 PM

Yeah, it’s shame to burn walnut just because it’s one of the slowest growing trees we have. Walnut has for quite a while been deemed precious and if I had a means to mill them I’d be up there today and pick ‘em up.

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

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270 posts in 2710 days

#4 posted 04-20-2018 09:00 PM

If you have a band saw then this might be a good excuse to build a jig and try milling them yourself. If you don’t have a band saw, then even better, you have an excuse to buy a new tool!!!!

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

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179 posts in 507 days

#5 posted 04-20-2018 09:21 PM

I’d mill it for sure!

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478 posts in 584 days

#6 posted 04-21-2018 12:45 AM

I d mill it for sure!

- jamsomito

Yep, and I have seen/made some really awesome projects with boards that have some of the sap wood on them. The contrast is just another interesting and unique thing about black walnut. Some areas of the country it is not too terribly rare, but in others it is a real gem and can be tough to find and expensive when you do.
If you absolutely don’t want to mess with or pay for milling it maybe go to a saw mill and see if they will swap you a few rough cut boards for it. Anything is better than striking a match to walnut. Even if they just give you a few oak or hickory boards if you can one day use them and they don’t cost nothing…you still made out.
Wish you were closer…I have a sawmill.

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17556 posts in 3087 days

#7 posted 04-21-2018 12:52 AM

This guy ^. Yup.

Wood gods yeti. You burn it and your next glue up splits. Guarantee it. Hell, you might orange peel a finish too. Burning walnut = 7 years of bad luck is what i heard.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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5170 posts in 1801 days

#8 posted 04-21-2018 11:40 AM

I do have a decent sized bandsaw and that’s how I’ve milled most of the rough wood I’ve got. I may just wait till we’re under contract then worry about milling it myself as we pack up. Full disclosure, I really don’t want to burn walnut, when I had to take down three trees for my parents it was tough just burning some of the smaller branches.

View Rollie's profile


14 posts in 842 days

#9 posted 04-21-2018 11:57 AM

Go ahead and mill it now. Because:

1. It will be much easier to handle lumber than logs.

2. When you get moved you will be too busy with honey dos and setting up a new shop.

3. While you are performing all the other tasks the lumber will be drying.

Just a thought,


View Kelly's profile


2050 posts in 3025 days

#10 posted 04-22-2018 04:05 AM

It’s kind of sad how much we take some things for granted. For me it’s fruitwood.

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5170 posts in 1801 days

#11 posted 07-08-2018 01:44 AM

Ok it’s crunch time packing for my move so I started milling them and I’m glad I did.

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143 posts in 201 days

#12 posted 07-08-2018 02:45 AM

That’s some beautiful wood!

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

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204 posts in 214 days

#13 posted 07-08-2018 02:57 AM

Good choice!

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17556 posts in 3087 days

#14 posted 07-08-2018 12:41 PM

Oh boy. Thats some serious vertical grain. Clear as it gets!

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5170 posts in 1801 days

#15 posted 07-09-2018 12:54 PM

The heartwood visible at the ends was thankfully quite deceptive, it’s looking far better now that I’ve got a few of them cracked open.

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