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View Full Version : Black Walnut, for a handle....



Zwiefel
04-21-2013, 10:11 PM
I have access to a live 50-80y.o. Black Walnut tree, and could cut a branch off to make a handle. Which leads to a number of questions:

1) What would I need to do before sending off to be stabilized?
2) how should I select a branch? Does it matter?
3) would this be a material others here would be interested in? (limited quantity for sure)
4) any special instructions for drying/stabilizing to make the most of the wood?

TIA!
Z

Miles
04-21-2013, 10:19 PM
I might be interested in a couple pieces if you have extra. I'd expect that you'd want to rough saw it and then sticker it, stacking it up with little sticks in between layers to allow even air flow. Then let it dry naturally. That's what's done with wood for furniture making. I can't imagine the process would be any different. Once it's dried, you should be good to go.

zitangy
04-22-2013, 04:58 AM
I might be interested in a couple pieces if you have extra. I'd expect that you'd want to rough saw it and then sticker it, stacking it up with little sticks in between layers to allow even air flow. Then let it dry naturally. That's what's done with wood for furniture making. I can't imagine the process would be any different. Once it's dried, you should be good to go.

I have been reading in general about wood. Green wood ( just cut) will dry adn warp. The least tortional movt will be the area right in teh center.It has to eb suitable dried adn teh traditional way is to air dry it in a cool pace which takes abt 1 year for every inch. A quiker way is to get it kiln dried. There are companies doing this.

Since you have teh whole tree you can select certain part where there are unusual growth patterns, crotch areas leading to burls. Times have indeed changed. Long time ago, teh in thing was a very uniform ring pattern till George Nakishima started making furniture with these unwanted beautiful wood.

I wld suggest that you download e-books from a torrent site adn do a search on wood or furniture. IF you pm me your email address, i shld be able to find some materials adn email it to you fi teh files are not too big.

THis opens another new dimension.. so much to know about wood if you are really into it.

By teh way.. walnut slabs for tables, benches or console tables are in demand. I read somewhere that walnut trees are stolen in USA due to the high price. YOu may have stumbled on a goldmine which can feed on your knife addiction! so check it out! Check out www.etsy.com and do a search on walnut slabs. that can be an eye opener for you. A good slab adn suitably dried can pay for a Devin, Burke, Rader and a Catcheside.. may be 3 out of the 4

THis I know as I am still in the hunt for a solid walnut slab.

a) one possibility is to team up with an artisan that mills his own wood. If you are not interested at the very least you can ask for teh best pieces adn still feed your addition ; if not have a walnut slab for a table or a console table.

b) if teh monetary compensation is too much for your compensation, I will gladly adn shamelessly accept one of your fine knives to feed my addiction.

have fun

rgds
d

pkjames
04-22-2013, 07:38 AM
you can get greenwood stabilizer and see if it works.
http://www.amazon.com/Rockler-Polyethylene-Glycol-Green-Stabilizer/dp/B001DSZZ30

Zwiefel
04-22-2013, 11:38 AM
thanks guys!

Dream Burls
04-22-2013, 04:39 PM
I'd be curious to know if you got any further with this project. You need a limb that's at least 2 inch "caliper". Then your cuts will determine the direction and aesthetics of the figure. Good luck.

Mrmnms
04-22-2013, 05:06 PM
14742 Walnut has great potential. Subtle. I'm liking mine. If your cut some, I'd be interested if it works out. Any tired looking branches?

Marko Tsourkan
04-22-2013, 05:18 PM
Don't. Not worth the effort, plus there is ton of kiln-dried, highly-figured walnut available.

Wood has to have under 10% moisture content to take stabilizing well. Typically, a year or two (or three in some species) of air drying brings the moisture content down to 20-30% in a fallen tree. Then you proceed with a kiln-drying for several months to bring MC further down to 7-8%. You get my point.

Best (highly figured) pieces come from certain parts of a tree (crotch, burl caps, etc). Cutting off a brunch will yield probably a mediocre piece. Besides, how are you going to re-saw it? Unless you are good with an axe, you get an awkward piece to deal with.

At a local lumber yard you can find highly figured walnut for $12/BF (Board Foot) and really nice handles blanks go for up to $20 on the net.
M

Zwiefel
04-22-2013, 05:35 PM
Thanks Marko...between this thread, some googling, and a conversation with a friend, I had arrived at exactly your point.

My only reason for it is that this tree is from the yard of the house my wife grew up in, so it would be a nice, sentimental handle. I think maybe I'll cut the branch, peel the bark, and toss it in the garage for a few years. Come back to this much later on.

Dream Burls
04-22-2013, 06:09 PM
My only reason for it is that this tree is from the yard of the house my wife grew up in, so it would be a nice, sentimental handle. I think maybe I'll cut the branch, peel the bark, and toss it in the garage for a few years. Come back to this much later on.

Now that's what a call a plan.