Walnut Tree for Bench Seats

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Forum topic by Domer posted 01-25-2012 01:05 AM 1404 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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252 posts in 3335 days

01-25-2012 01:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: rustic furniture walnut logs

I have access to several walnut logs that are 8’ + in length and around 10” in diameter. They were cut down about a year ago. They have been stored not resting on the ground but on logs on each end.

We are having them milled to 2 1/2 in slabs.

I want to use them for seats on rustic benches. The seat on the bench will be 12” wide so I will have to edge join at least two slabs to get to the width I want.

In addition I want to build a second bench using the same wood and make the seat 20” wide. So I definitively will want to edge join at least 3 pieces.

Can I use them now or do I have to let them dry more?

My thought is that if I use them now and use the Lee Valley tenon cutters to attach the legs to the walnut slabs bench tops, if there is too much moisture, the walnut longs will clamp down on the log legs and make them really strong joints.

Any thoughts out there.


2 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4907 posts in 3929 days

#1 posted 01-25-2012 01:48 AM

Get moisture meter. 1 Year for 2 1/2” stuff is not enough. Ya gotta live/die by ambient humidity. Inside or outside application? After ya get to abot 7/10% moisture, place the wood in the shop for about a week to acclimate. Then ya can go to work. Anything more than that will give ya probs.


View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2927 days

#2 posted 01-26-2012 12:48 AM

As you are having them sliced they will still be soaking wet. If you cut them into 2 1/2” slabs they will take at least a year sitting inside your home to dry well enough to use; if you store them outside, then it will take longer, maybe 2 years. Walnut is pretty dense, it takes a while to leach out the moisture. A kiln job would be nice, that would cut the dry time down to a month or so. Any attempt at getting strong joints by assuming the wood will move the way you want it to will only end up in dissappointment; the wood will move in more ways that one, likely splitting your seats. I would recommend against trying that.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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