Musket Ball Found In Piece Of Walnut

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Forum topic by C_PLUS_Woodworker posted 08-26-2014 03:53 AM 1273 views 1 time favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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599 posts in 1950 days

08-26-2014 03:53 AM

I was planing down both sides of a beautiful piece of walnut. One end had a loose knot that I placed on the end during the glue-up. I pushed on the knot a little as it was kinda rattling around in its “hole”. The knot fell to the floor and shattered. My wife, who happened to be in the garage shop at the time saw something roll out of the shattered knot.

I knew what it was immediately. I have hunted with muzzle loaders for years, although we use sabots as opposed to round balls.

In inches, the ball measures .51 to .53 in every direction I can measure it. I never clipped the ball even once with the planer, so the ball is in perfect condition.

For a history buff like me, I would love to know where that walnut tree was harvested and how old it was.

Needless to say, a small shadowbox is in the near future for this musket ball



-- We must all walk our own green mile

24 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


4805 posts in 1193 days

#1 posted 08-26-2014 03:55 AM

Lucky you. I found out that whoever owned the Alder tree that I just milled had a kid with a BB gun. Messed up my planer knives.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


599 posts in 1950 days

#2 posted 08-26-2014 04:01 AM

OUCH !!!

-- We must all walk our own green mile

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

4514 posts in 2237 days

#3 posted 08-26-2014 04:04 AM

Wow, Bruce….how lucky can you get…? Didn’t hurt your planer, and found a great piece of history…Like you, I’m really interested in history, especially of the Civil War…...You now have a real piece of history…...It looks perfect too…...Had to be there since the 1860’s…...I was planing down a piece of walnut also about 2 years ago, and found 1/2 of a .22 bullet…I still have that small piece…....Good score on the musket ball…....

-- " I don't makes my coffee spill...."

View spclPatrolGroup's profile


232 posts in 1937 days

#4 posted 08-26-2014 04:14 AM

Interesting, I would be tempted to fill the hole with clear epoxy and embed the ball in it so it could be a cool conversation piece, depending on where it would be on the project and if anyone could see it.

-- Dave, from ND "The mind is an infinitely long workbench, and its cluttered with half-finished thoughts and ideas, sometimes we need to clear off the workbench and start again from step one."

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


599 posts in 1950 days

#5 posted 08-26-2014 04:18 AM

What a great idea to replace the ball into the knot hole and resin or epoxy it into place.

Going to give that a lot of thought.

And Rick, always nice to hear from you, Bro.

-- We must all walk our own green mile

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 592 days

#6 posted 08-26-2014 04:24 AM

That’s a real cool find. It would be very interesting to know some history of the tree, like you said. Steel and iron leave black streaks running down a tree to the stump. Lead I guess does not, obviously ?

View oldnovice's profile


4460 posts in 2411 days

#7 posted 08-26-2014 05:04 AM

That is a lot better than the bullet hole and partial bullet I found in some reclaimed indoor oak trim. If it had been outside and possible in a tree I would have thought nothing about it.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Mosquito's profile


6540 posts in 1335 days

#8 posted 08-26-2014 05:10 AM

that’s pretty cool, and especially since you didn’t have to sacrifice the planer knives either lol

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist -

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

4514 posts in 2237 days

#9 posted 08-26-2014 05:20 AM

You, too, brother…..Always enjoy reading your post…...Keep on the sunny side…....!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- " I don't makes my coffee spill...."

View Underdog's profile


694 posts in 1078 days

#10 posted 08-26-2014 12:17 PM

I never understand when folks say a lead and copper bullet messed up their planer knives… When you can dent the material with your fingernail, it shouldn’t mess up high speed steel or carbide… I’ve planed through a bazillion bullets and never had a problem.

Steel jacketed bullets, steel BBs, nails and staples are another story altogether.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View Thewoodman2000's profile


814 posts in 1013 days

#11 posted 08-26-2014 12:20 PM

I had a job just outside of high school at a stair company in a rough mill. I had seen several “new” bullets in lumber many times and several of them were after the gang saw or the planer. The worst is when it comes out of the molder.
Try calling your lumber supplier and they may be able to give you the general area of where the lumber came from in the country. Could shed a little light on the cool find!

Bruce have you gotten my emails?

-- (the only thing in there she says is....tap on head..........tap..........tap..... saw dust) - James

View b2rtch's profile


4635 posts in 2091 days

#12 posted 08-26-2014 01:03 PM

Years ago,a similar experience,on a high speed shaper, cost me two fingers.

-- Bert

View BJODay's profile


455 posts in 986 days

#13 posted 08-26-2014 01:07 PM

I’m surprised it wasn’t flattened out more.


View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1046 posts in 2850 days

#14 posted 08-26-2014 01:23 PM

What a find! Have you considered putting the ball back into the cavity ‘from which it came’ and securing it there with clear epoxy? Would make for a great conversation piece.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1246 posts in 978 days

#15 posted 08-26-2014 02:02 PM

Awesome find! Wish you knew where it came from. Oh well. I remember shooting an Osage Orange tree as a kid at one of my friend’s ranches. We pumped that thing full of lead. I wonder who is going to find that?

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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