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Rough Cut Walnut

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Forum topic by hansman1982 posted 11-18-2013 08:52 PM 1025 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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hansman1982

23 posts in 578 days


11-18-2013 08:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut rough cut

This weekend my Dad informed me that 25-30 years ago he sawed down and had milled a hickory (correction, walnut) tree with the lumber sitting in the barn since then. WIth this revelation I now have a dillema, what in the hell to do with the material.

There is about 25-30 linear feet of 1x and 2x (25-30 together, not 50-60 altogether) along with another 25-30 linear feet of “live” (bark removed though) edge lumber that varies greatly in thickness and width (one piece would be a good coffee table top and another would make a good wall decoration). Out of one of the live edge pieces I could probably get a 4” cube for turning.

I didn’t notice any significant warping, cuping, twisting or splits (one of the nice 2×10 (a short 10” (I didn’t have a tape measure with me) had a split that didn’t go all the way through for about 6-7”).

I have never worked with walnut before and I had never even priced it but after looking around it seems that it might just make sense to buy a 12” planer and explore the possibility of milling the wood to get s4s and either selling the wood or making something out of it.

What I don’t want to have happen is take the wood out of the barn and have it split all over, warp, twist, woodmageddon and ruin I don’t even know how many dollars worth of wood. I am fairly new to woodworking and this wood has sentimental value so I sure as hell don’t want to ruin it after it has survived the last 30 years plus the who knows how long of growing on my family farm.

-- I'm New! I'm New! I Don't Know What To Do!


11 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3356 posts in 1464 days


#1 posted 11-18-2013 09:32 PM

Typically hardwood lumber that has air dried for years will have acclimated with the barn environment. In my area that is about 14-15% m.c.
I bring it in the shop, and set up a dehumidification kiln. They can be fancy, but mine is nothing more than a pvc pipe frame covered with tarps and drop cloths. I use a household dehumidifier, box fans, and a small electric heater. In 2 weeks I can get the lumber down to 6-8% m.c.

A 12” jointer would be nice, but the 8” models are more widely available. I bought an 8” Delta DJ-20 (very similar to the Grizzly 490) and it meets my needs well. Most lumber I see is 8” or narrower, and the wide boards usually aren’t the best quality so I don’t mind sizing them down.

Good luck with the walnut.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View hansman1982's profile

hansman1982

23 posts in 578 days


#2 posted 11-18-2013 09:48 PM

Ya, maybe I was a bit overboard on the 12”.

When drying wood, does speed of drying not matter? I had assumed that if you dried the wood quickly it would be more likely to split. As such, my initial thought was to move the wood in January when it should be the dryest. Also, once wood is dried that low, is it slow to regain the moisture?

-- I'm New! I'm New! I Don't Know What To Do!

View crank49's profile

crank49

3421 posts in 1622 days


#3 posted 11-18-2013 09:53 PM

Am I missing something here?
How did you get from your Dad cutting down and milling a Hickory tree to having a bunch of Walnut lumber??

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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firefighterontheside

4251 posts in 508 days


#4 posted 11-18-2013 10:13 PM

I was wondering the same. I just cut some walnut logs and am going to have it sawn and then have to dry it. I too have never really worked with walnut. I’ve been an oak and birch guy. Looking forward to doing some walnut projects in about a year.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

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hansman1982

23 posts in 578 days


#5 posted 11-18-2013 10:18 PM

Ha, I was busy looking for hickory cabinet doors when I decided to type this. Its all walnut wood

-- I'm New! I'm New! I Don't Know What To Do!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3356 posts in 1464 days


#6 posted 11-18-2013 10:31 PM

For some hardwoods, the initial drying phase from green to 20% m.c. is critical. If you kiln dry it in a commercial kiln (high temperature) too soon, you risk warping boards. Steam kilning walnut can lighten its color.

Since your lumber is well seasoned and air dried, you won’t have any problem.
You can kiln dry it yourself, or just bring it into a heated space for a few months and it will dry just fine.

Nice score!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1126 posts in 1127 days


#7 posted 11-19-2013 02:30 AM

Walnut is among the easiest woods to dry. Since it is already air dry, you cannot mess it up. You can dry on down to 8% without any concerns. Have at it!

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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hansman1982

23 posts in 578 days


#8 posted 11-19-2013 02:33 AM

Ok so now to get it dry and figure out what in the hell I want to make with it.

-- I'm New! I'm New! I Don't Know What To Do!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2327 days


#9 posted 11-19-2013 05:50 AM

How about jewelry boxes? You’ll be busy for a while ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View darthford's profile

darthford

532 posts in 575 days


#10 posted 11-19-2013 07:39 AM

If you don’t want to buy a planer maybe a local hardwood supplier will run them through their planer for you for a millwork fee. I guess I’d rather have it done with a big heavy planer vs a small home shop planer.

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

709 posts in 1609 days


#11 posted 11-20-2013 04:33 PM

If it’s been setting for that long, it’s dry. The only need for a kiln would be to get any bugs to die, and bugs don’t really like the heart wood of walnut as much as other woods. If there are no powdering piles or other evidence of pests I’d deem it just fine. Still best to let it acclimate to the house before you make something with it. As far as a planer size, most people want a bigger one when they buy a smaller one.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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