A little Gloat? Black Walnut

Last Sunday my new neighbor brought over a 12' piece of about 4 X 12 rough sawn Black Walnut and asked me if I could make him a 6' long 3X10 fireplace mantle from it. He just wants a solid dimensioned board with nothing fancy (no carvings, etc.), and he is going to have his mason install it. He said that I can keep any of the wood that I don't use :-). All I have to do is plane it to dimension and sand it, then finish it with several coats of clear finish. After I began planning it today I found that the grain in this thing is absolutely beautiful, just a few real small tight knots, and lots of swirling rays of grain. There's less than a foot of length that will be lost due to end checking. The rest is perfect (and all mine). Life is good ! (sometimes).
Charley
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wrote:

Be extra careful with walnut dust!
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Thanks for the warning, but I'm already aware of the danger.
All significant walnut machining gets done outside so the dust stays outside the shop as much as possible. I wear a mask and eye protection anyway. If working small pieces inside the shop always I wear the same protection in addition to connecting the vacuum to the tools. I'm sensitive to red oak and do the same when working with it.
Now I'm trying to figure out what to make with my almost free walnut. I've never had a piece that thick before.
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