Musket Ball Found In Piece Of Walnut

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by C_PLUS_Woodworker posted 08-26-2014 03:53 AM 1901 views 1 time favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


601 posts in 2934 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



24 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


7956 posts in 2177 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


601 posts in 2934 days

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

OUCH !!!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3221 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…....

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View spclPatrolGroup's profile


233 posts in 2921 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.

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


601 posts in 2934 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.

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 1576 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


6901 posts in 3394 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


9355 posts in 2319 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 - -

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3221 days

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

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

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Underdog's profile


1115 posts in 2062 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.

View Thewoodman2000's profile


822 posts in 1997 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


4861 posts in 3075 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


526 posts in 1970 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

1099 posts in 3834 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


1317 posts in 1962 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

showing 1 through 15 of 24 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics