Cutting Black Walnut logs into boards at home.

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Forum topic by Emma Walker posted 08-17-2012 05:39 AM 9998 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Emma Walker

560 posts in 2109 days

08-17-2012 05:39 AM

Last fall my dad sold 20 of our Black Walnut trees. The people that cut the trees down peaved me off because they dozered paths from one tree to another in my beautiful forest. They left behind branches as big around as a small car tire and any part of the trunk top that wasn’t 8 feet long. I asked my dad to cut them into boards on the table saw and he said “you can’t do that because a 10 inch blade will only cut 5 inches” I think he just want to spend the time to cut logs into boards so he’s giving me the brush off.

How can I keep this Black Walnut from going to waste. I have a band saw but it only goes up to 5 inches.

-- I'm a twisted 2x4 in a pile of straight lumber.

12 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3461 days

#1 posted 08-17-2012 07:05 AM

You didnt say what the diameter of the wood is. If they are large enough look at the Wood-mizer website, they sell saw mills, there is a directory there that lists some owners who are willing to come and mill the logs. It will cost some, not sure how much. Another option is the Alaskan saw mill, which can be a do it yourself proposition with a large chainsaw.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View WDHLT15's profile


1743 posts in 2475 days

#2 posted 08-17-2012 11:27 AM

If there is enough wood, you can have a sawyer come with a portable sawmill. It will cost you $.30 to $.50 per BF depending on where you are located. Craigslist is a great place to find a Sawyer.

Wood that you described is not suited for sawing with normal shop equipment.

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

View Sylvain's profile


706 posts in 2498 days

#3 posted 08-17-2012 12:42 PM

View HerbC's profile


1756 posts in 2858 days

#4 posted 08-17-2012 11:52 PM


If you have enough of the trunk logs it might be worth getting them milled by a sawmill like Danny (WDHLT15) suggested.

The limbs are probably not good to turn into lumber because typically they have a lot of stress in the wood and will warp and otherwise misbehave.

“Crotch” pieces (where the trunk branches into two limbs) can make some beautiful slabs if they are large enough to mill.

Large limbs can be cut into chunks that can be used in turning on a lathe if you have access to a lathe.

Don’t give up.

BTW, a ten inch table saw can typically cut between 2 1/2” and 3” thick. If you’ve managed to get the stock down to about 6” thick or less you can resaw it by sawing from first one side and then the other. But long pieces of large lumber can be quite heavy and somewhat dangerous to handle.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Emma Walker's profile

Emma Walker

560 posts in 2109 days

#5 posted 08-18-2012 12:40 AM

None of the trunk pieces are big enough to hire someone but there are some good size branches. We have a wood lathe that was mounted to a wall in the garage but it would vibrate the stuff off of the walls when running so my dad made a stand for it out of square metal pipes but he didn’t make the base very wide and it will tip over if you lean into it. We can’t bolt it to the floor because the floor is heated from water pipes that are in the floor. I could make a wooden platform to bolt it to and then stand on the platform.

I have a wooden backscratcher shaped like a hand that I would like to copy in black walnut. I’m assuming that walnut is very hard and not easy to carve but I have a very good dremel set with the long hand held flexable piece so that you don’t have to hold on to the fat dremel tool.

-- I'm a twisted 2x4 in a pile of straight lumber.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10394 posts in 3646 days

#6 posted 08-18-2012 01:31 AM

Walnut is not hard to carve but it can be splintery
when carving with hand tools.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2337 days

#7 posted 08-18-2012 09:54 AM

If I was closer to you I would come cut them up myself. Too many think only big pieces are useful. 80% is useful. I hate waste. Hope you get it figured out.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Sylvain's profile


706 posts in 2498 days

#8 posted 08-18-2012 01:32 PM

+1 with HerbC
The parts that were not taken are probably twisted and could not be sell in a lumberyard.
twisted wood = kickback hazard.

But you could probably use them for projects like small boxes wher the twisting along the lenght is not significant.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View DocSavage45's profile


8556 posts in 2841 days

#9 posted 08-18-2012 07:18 PM

My two cents with inflation? Diameter matters If you are physically fit and have some patience you can use a debarking tool and a chainsaw. the torsion in a growning limb will come out as the pieces dry. had a two by four stud I left in my woodpile. Looked like a longbow.LOL! The outside lighter areas in the trunks is the growth area og the tree. Young trees have lots of white in outer end. If you leave the wood and want to use it later? Paint the ends of the cuts with cheap latex paint. This prevents splitting.

If you are strong enough you can manage a chainsaw lumber mill. But Saftey first!!!!!!! Patience and respect for the tools second? Third is do it while the wood is green and store it away from sun and bugs to dry slowly. Air dried wood is best after a year. Patience? LOL!

Another method for the strong and healthy is splitting the logs with a maul and wedges. old style.

Good luck

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View oleCB's profile


77 posts in 2680 days

#10 posted 08-18-2012 07:25 PM

I had some of the same issues with the logger that cut my timber down. We were lucky tho as we got enough extra from the cutting to buy a small porable saw mill (LumberSmith) and are cutting our own when we can. Even if you get this wood cut, you will need to dry it.

-- There was only one perfect carpenter... It wasn't me!

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2981 days

#11 posted 08-21-2012 05:24 AM

how about a chain saw? get it down to a manageable size.
i also like your Rush quote. dito’s

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2476 days

#12 posted 08-21-2012 07:01 AM

emma where are you at what state I would bet there is someone close that can help you it your close to dan he has a mill.

-- Please check out my new stores and

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