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Rough Cut Walnut

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Forum topic by hansman1982 posted 150 days ago 904 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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hansman1982

23 posts in 427 days


150 days ago

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

3025 posts in 1313 days


#1 posted 150 days ago

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 427 days


#2 posted 150 days ago

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

3243 posts in 1471 days


#3 posted 150 days ago

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 :-{| Diapers and politicians both need to be changed often; and for the same reason.

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firefighterontheside

1493 posts in 356 days


#4 posted 150 days ago

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.

View hansman1982's profile

hansman1982

23 posts in 427 days


#5 posted 150 days ago

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

3025 posts in 1313 days


#6 posted 150 days ago

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

981 posts in 976 days


#7 posted 150 days ago

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

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hansman1982

23 posts in 427 days


#8 posted 150 days ago

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

14399 posts in 2176 days


#9 posted 150 days ago

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

518 posts in 424 days


#10 posted 150 days ago

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

667 posts in 1458 days


#11 posted 148 days ago

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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