Elm and Walnut Slabs

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Forum topic by docspencer posted 06-11-2013 01:26 PM 1665 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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361 posts in 1971 days

06-11-2013 01:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut

Had a couple of logs from the woods – one elm and one walnut. The elm was cut this past winter. The walnut was cut at least 7 years ago and has been sitting in the woods. Cut the slabs with my chainsaw – and I found out just how hard it is to cut a straight line!

Quick question – given how old the walnut is, should I stack it for a while or can I start working with it?

9 replies so far

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2259 days

#1 posted 06-11-2013 01:36 PM

Weigh the slab and let it sit for a few weeks. Weigh it again. When the weight quits changing you can begin to work it. Or buy a moisture meter.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View Vern Little's profile

Vern Little

103 posts in 3563 days

#2 posted 06-11-2013 10:25 PM

The walnut was cut at least 7 years ago and has been sitting in the woods. You are 61. Get to working with it, or else kiln dry it. It will outlast you. Will it be a slab still, or something you made out of it.

-- Earth first, we'll drill the rest of the planets later. Vern

View docspencer's profile


361 posts in 1971 days

#3 posted 06-12-2013 12:28 AM

You do have a point. LOTS of things are going to outlive me. I’m not sure what to do with it. If I thought enough about it, I could have cut it thicker and made a short bench with a single slab. I may incorporate it into a chip and dip tray I’m planning. Sure does smell nice!

View WDHLT15's profile


1748 posts in 2502 days

#4 posted 06-12-2013 12:55 AM

The walnut needs to dry. It is not ready, even after all this time. Logs hold moisture for a very long time. A very long time.

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

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2984 days

#5 posted 06-13-2013 10:05 PM

Likely too wet to use. Even after that much time it will be too moist inside. I’d recommend letting it set for a couple of months.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View KentuckyTreeRat's profile


73 posts in 2277 days

#6 posted 06-14-2013 02:42 AM

Even if it were cut 30 yrs ago, if left in the elements you can either sticker and stack it or kiln dry it.

LOL @ Vern.

-- "My glass aint half empty, or half full....I drank it all." -Me

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3714 days

#7 posted 06-14-2013 03:46 AM

Still looks wet in the pics. Can’t tell how thick you sliced it , but the old saying is about a year per inch of thickness , depending on the drying conditions.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View rustfever's profile


752 posts in 3336 days

#8 posted 06-14-2013 08:50 AM

Logs and stumps do not dry. Only lumber.
The walnut probably has a moisture content of nearly that which it had when it was standing. If you cut it to 3” thick, it will take another 3 to 5 years to dry out to about 10% MC. if you cut to 1” thick, it will be dry next summer.
Just my experience.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View docspencer's profile


361 posts in 1971 days

#9 posted 06-14-2013 09:01 AM

I’m amazed logs hold moisture that long. Thanks for all the feedback guys!

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