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Author Topic: drying Black Walnut  (Read 563 times)

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Offline mmrz

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drying Black Walnut
« on: August 11, 2017, 11:36:16 am »
How do you air dry a Black Walnut log for use? Is it better to have it cut into lumber, then dry the lumber? Or is it better to dry the log, then have it cut? It seems from what I have been reading it's done both ways?

I want to use the wood from a back yard Black Walnut tree grown in SC. Someone told me the wood would have more humidity than those from the north. How will that affect how it is best to dry the wood?

I appreciate any help with this.

Offline Cazzhrdwd

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Re: drying Black Walnut
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 12:39:44 pm »
It will develop many stress cracks dried as a log. It will also take several years. Or many months in a kiln. The moisture from north to south will be minor if any.

If you cut it into lumber it's going to need to be planed after drying to glue it back together. Hard to tell how much planing will be needed.
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Offline WDH

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Re: drying Black Walnut
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 02:25:26 pm »
You will get much better quality lumber if you saw the log and dry the boards.  If you dry the log first, it will split and crack very badly, and the lumber quality will suffer greatly.
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: drying Black Walnut
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 03:41:55 pm »
I also strongly encourage you to saw lumber as soon as possible.  This will qlso help with insect control.

A backyard tree is likely to have tramp metal that can damage a sawblade, so might cost more.  Use a metal detector to find most iron metal.

Due to root damage in a backyard tree, it is common to find a bacterial infection that can change the wood color, will weaken the wood making cracking more likely, will increase the initial moisture in the wood, and will give the wood an unpleasant odor.  It does not affect all pieces of lumber and is often restricted to the lower end of the log closest to the ground.  Upper logs seldom have an issue.  Be alert and plan to eliminate such wood when you are sawing, if possible.
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Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: drying Black Walnut
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 05:07:13 am »
An add: Air dried black walnut is preferable to work with in lieu of kiln dried (cuts and carves much better). I have air-dried 10's of thousands of BF of it, and it's the only way I like it for woodworking. In my area, any bug issues are in the sapwood and not the heartwood.

I own my own small piece of the world on an 8 acre plot on the side of a mountain with walnut, hickory, locust and pine.
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Offline mmrz

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Re: drying Black Walnut
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2017, 09:07:58 am »
This will help a lot. Thank you.

Offline low_48

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Re: drying Black Walnut
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2017, 05:06:54 pm »
I'm curious where you read to dry the log before cutting into lumber. I've never seen that as a recommendation since any log will fill with bugs and severe checking in log form.