What would you pay for "green" Walnut?

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Forum topic by americanwoodworker posted 05-31-2012 01:07 AM 3026 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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05-31-2012 01:07 AM

I have a guy wanting to sell me some walnut for 2.50bdft. I have never bought from this person before and he told me it was green. I am not familiar with buying wood as I am fairly new to working wood on the next level. Mostly use dimensional wood but am moving up in the world ;)

Is this a good buy and what should I look for? I know wood changes quite a bit when it dries. I live in the U.S..

-- Your freedom to be you, includes my freedom to be free from you.

9 replies so far

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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2766 days

#1 posted 05-31-2012 01:28 AM

Green wood has to be air or kiln dried before you use it. 2.50 is a great value on walnut .. if you have the space I’d pick up some pieces and you can sticker it and leave it on your rack for a year or two. If you have a lot of space to air dry the lumber buy up a bunch.


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#2 posted 05-31-2012 01:39 AM

I only like Brown walnut LOL depending on the quality and figure I think paying about 1/3 the going rate of dry wood in your area is a good starting point.

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185 posts in 2368 days

#3 posted 05-31-2012 01:53 AM

a1jim, thats the problem. Kansas is not the best place to look for wood. If you know what I mean. Unless somehow I can use wheat stocks… Anyway, I have no real place to compare prices where I live.

-- Your freedom to be you, includes my freedom to be free from you.

View MedicKen's profile


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#4 posted 05-31-2012 09:25 PM

Just for instance walnut here in CA starts at about $8 a BF. If I could pay 2.50 for green stock and wait for it to dry I would jump on it. FYI you’re looking at about 1 yr of drying time per inch of thickness with the wood. So, 8/4 stock will take about 2 yrs to dry. Stack it well with stickers between the boards, well off the ground and protected from direct sunlight and place some weight over the stickers at the top of the stack and wait.

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#5 posted 05-31-2012 09:52 PM

Sent you a PM.

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#6 posted 05-31-2012 10:09 PM

It all depends on your region. Here in Texas, Wallnut kiln dried FAS/SEL (knot free, or at least reasonably so) goes for $4.60 bd/ft.

Kiln Dried #1 COM goes for $3.60 bd/ft (some places even lower).

You will have to either air, or kiln dry the stuff, so figure the time into the value.

I bought some air dried 4/4 #1 COM not that long ago for $2.00 bd/ft.

I am in coastal Texas.

Expect to pay more in states that are on either the east, or west coasts.

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726 posts in 2952 days

#7 posted 05-31-2012 10:10 PM

I would cut off the sap wood if you air dry it, bugs love the stuff; the heart wood will be ok. Depending on where you live, you will need to let it sit under cover but ventilated for 6 months to a couple years to dry properly. Most of the wood movement will be in the early stages of drying. $2.50 is a great price.

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792 posts in 2393 days

#8 posted 05-31-2012 11:56 PM

I get my green, fresh cut, walnut from a small one man band mill for $2.00 a board foot here in South Carolina. After stickering it takes about a year to air dry 4/4 rough cut lumber in my shop.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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1741 posts in 2470 days

#9 posted 06-01-2012 01:51 AM

I cut a lot of walnut, and $2.50 is a good price since some of the wood will be clear. Walnut is very forgiving to dry. If it is under a shelter with good air flow, it will be air dry by the end of the Fall. The 1” per year of thickness is what you always hear, but at least here in Georgia, that is not true. I have air dried over 12,000 BF of walnut, and it will dry in 4 to 6 months unless you are in the dead of winter. 8/4 lumber takes about a year here. Your climate may vary.

A moisture meter is your friend. Leaving the wood on the stickers for a lot longer time than you need to only results in more drying defects. Buying walnut retail will cost you double for what you are getting this for green. Once you sticker it and forget about it, it will be dry before you know it and you will have a great value. Plus, air drying it preserves the beautiful color that you see in the transition from the sapwood to the heartwood, something that is not found in kiln dried walnut, especially if the logs have been steamed prior to sawing, which most of them are.

Sticker it neatly, get the stack 12” off the ground, line up the stickers over base supports set on the same distance apart as the stickers. Put the best grade wood on the bottom, as the weight of the lower grade wood will help it to dry flat. If you want straight boards, you must have a level base. Here is a picture of some stacks that illustrate the process. Pine on the left and red oak on the right. Keep your stack width under 6 feet. 5 feet is good, 4 is even better as that will speed drying. Good Luck!!!

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

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