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Drying Walnut (Read 774 times)
 
James Dennis
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Lansing, Michigan, USA
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Drying Walnut
Jan 26th, 2016 at 4:44pm
 
I recently got a piece of walnut about 9 inches in diameter and 2 ft long, also looks like it has a small burl on it. How should i cut and dry it? I plan on using it for bowls and pens.
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Glenn Roberts
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Walworth, NY, New York, USA
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Re: Drying Walnut
Reply #1 - Jan 26th, 2016 at 7:22pm
 
Good question. There is a walnut log coming my way that is 2' diameter at the base, 30' long, straight as an arrow. I would also like to know what to do with it. Might depend on what it will be used for. Another good question.
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Steve nix
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Re: Drying Walnut
Reply #2 - Jan 26th, 2016 at 8:16pm
 
I'd like to know also. I'm gong to Arkansas in a couple of days to pick up a BW tree. 24" at base and about 30' in length. Plus several 8" plus limbs. I've got a neighbor with a woodmizer sawmill, rather than cutting half log blanks with my chain saw, he's gong to cut the pith out then I'll cut to length and anchor seal the ends. Anyone have a better ideal I'm open for suggestion.
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Anthony Gomez
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Re: Drying Walnut
Reply #3 - Jan 26th, 2016 at 11:17pm
 
I am a relatively new woodturner but I have been collecting logs from an ice storm back and processing the logs I want to  turn later into blanks - the first parameter I use is how big a of a blank can I turn - for me it is 12 inches diameter - my tools of choice are an electric chain saw, steel wedges, and a 10 lb sledge hammer , and a small axe ( boy scout size), and of course a sealer of choice, I also have a 14 inch band saw to trim blanks - with that in mind if I am processing logs that are smaller than  12 inches  in diameter or so I  use the chainsaw to cut them around 12 inches in length - the capacity of my lathe , I then use the chainsaw - to cut  the log into half - I coat the endgrain - I sometime opt to cut a notch lengthwise with the chainsaw and use the wedges and sledgehammer to split it half - it is all dependent on how primitive your skills and tools are - and how comfortable you are to using them - I use the boy scout axe or hatchet to make the blanks even from uneven splitting with a chopping motion at a rather sharp angle  , and eliminate pith at the same time  , I then coat the endgrain on both top and bottom and set it aside - I wait for a few weeks before I do some more trimming . My first book on woodturning pointed out that using a chainsaw  to cut  a blank from the top which makes a lot of sawdust  when cutting into "endgrain",  than cutting the blank in half and making these long strings and how much easier it is to cut when the chainsaw lengthwise to make your cut or cuts (cutting from the top down makes sawdust , cutting lengthwise makes these long strings and is much easier)
   Larger logs can be processed pretty much the same way , it is in a word a lot of work but it is worth the effort consider I paid a 10 dollar bill for a osage orange turning blank that was 1 inch X 4 X4 square - wear your safety gear and goggles - I just finished processing 2 large diameter osage orange/bois d'arc trunks that were 20 inch plus in diameter 2 ft tall  - and working on  2 more just like it - I could just use the chainsaw only  to cut my blanks but it would take a long long  time - note I advocate splitting - not from the top but from the side after using a chainsaw to pre cut a notch that you want to the log to  split - I lay the log on its side and cut my notch the length wise and then use the wedges - not from the top but orientated lengthwise like the pre notch - It may not be the right way but It is the tools I have to work with 
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Don Stephan
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Re: Drying Walnut
Reply #4 - Jan 29th, 2016 at 8:48pm
 
Growth rings seldom form perfect circles all the way around the pith.  I like the growth ring pattern in the bottom of the bowl to be symmetric with the rim, and thus try to cut my blanks where the growth rings are true arcs of circles.  My experience is this requires carefully cutting the blanks out with a chain saw.
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robo_hippy
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Eugene, OR, USA
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Re: Drying Walnut
Reply #5 - Jan 31st, 2016 at 1:11pm
 
I don't really like the slabs that come off the bandsaw mills. This is mostly because they slice the log into slabs. For me, to get the best use, I will cut the rounds off according to the tree, which means I might but where some branches come off and get a short section for bowls and plates, then the next piece is longer for family sized bowls. One piece will have the cut down the pith at 30, 60, or 90 degrees of rotation to the next piece. When you just cut into full lengths, you get all sorts of pieces that to me are unusable to me. I don't want any knots or holes in my pieces. Also, on just about every tree I have cut, there is already a crack coming off the pith. Most of the time I will line up my center cut off that crack, and hopefully it lines up with the crack on the other end of the log section. Yes, the bandsaw mill can save time, but it wastes more wood unless you are cutting lumber. For pen blanks, I would just cut into 3/4 or 1 inch square lengths, and stack on a shelf. Walnut is fairly easy to dry with little movement and cracking. I don't turn it any more, it makes me sneezy and itchy.

robo hippy
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Steve nix
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Iota, Louisiana, USA
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Re: Drying Walnut
Reply #6 - Jan 31st, 2016 at 10:21pm
 
Due to the side of the main trunk,24-26" my chain saw just want cut it. We cut the trunk into three section trying to keep each section the same diameter. I've cut blanks out today with my chain saw on the 12-16 in sections. Tomorrow we'll cut the larger blanks and crotchs on the woodmizer.  Thumbs Up
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