Walnut Workability?

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I am planning on purchasing some walnut this weekend to start work on my Stickley-rip off bed (I know Stickley is usually cherry or QSWO, but SWBO wants walnut.)
I have not made an entire project from walnut before. How easily does this stuff work? Chip-out prone?
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Stoutman
www.garagewoodworks.com
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I do not have any problem working with solid walnut wood
I always use premium quality carbide blades (Freud) and keep them well sharpened.
I make sure that I use the right blade for ripping and cross cutting.
My first furniture was made using 8” wide X3/4” thick solid board. After all these years, I have never had any splits or checks, twisting or cupping.
Today, because of availability and the machineries I have I use narrower boards for cabinet making with dowels or biscuits.
At first, I use oil stain on walnut. Then over the years, I have removed the stain and refinished the existing furniture with Danish oil. Since then when I work with walnut or other hardwood, I prefer Tung oil or Danish oil for finish.

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Walnut works very nicely and is relatively soft, about 26% softer than White Oak. Easy on the hands. It is a pleasure to work with. IMHO the only draw back is seeing pencil marks when you use them.
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"Stoutman" wrote::
> I am planning on purchasing some walnut this weekend to start work on my > Stickley-rip off bed (I know Stickley is usually cherry or QSWO, but SWBO > wants walnut.) > > I have not made an entire project from walnut before. How easily does > this stuff work? Chip-out prone?
There is a reason it is a favorite for gun stocks.
Boards will be smaller than other species, but should be NBD.
Have fun.
Lew
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wrote:

... and it smells great when you work it.
Good stuff Maynard.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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Commercial wood is not as pretty as homemade, but there probably isn't much you can do about that.
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Love the stuff. Don't hide it's beauty under a stain....just plain tung oil or Danish at most. I use a white paint tip pen to rough mark and a white pencil for finishing lines.

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Good workability. Walnut dust is bad so wear a tight-fitting mask and use your DC.
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Maybe someone can validate that statement furthermore or dismiss it. Or it could be just an old tale. I never use walnut wood chips or saw dust for mulching to be used around ornamental trees. The situation is when you do surface planing or wood turning you accumulate lots of wood chips and it has to be disposed. I always end up burning it in the stove.
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Will make horses founder, but it's a great weed killer. Trees that tolerate acid soil shouldn't care much, though higher acidity does leach the soil faster. Cherry and oak are a couple other good weed controllers. Mix with high-ammonia stuff for composting or it lasts forever.
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On Mon, 15 Jan 2007 12:34:35 +0000, marierdj wrote:

I think he's talking about OSHA's position that walnut is a suspected carcinogen.
<http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/woodworking/health_wooddust.html
I note that several of the more popular cabinet woods are listed, although maple isn't. I do find myself wondering whether this is due to degree of exposure rather than any unique characteristic of the wood.

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--John
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J. Clarke wrote:

Most cancers start out as epitheliomas (epithelia = skin or organ linings). Any irritant is a potential carcinogen, asbestos being an excellent example. Wear a mask if you're worried. Most other carcinogens should be this easy to control.
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It is really not a good idea to use any saw dust as mulch in the yard until it has started to decompose. IIRC it robs the soil until it begins to break down.
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and bags of walnut shavings, so I researched that thoroughly. It is "thought" that some plants "might" be hurt by walnut mulch; but there is no definitive word on the subject. But all agree that it is harmless after composting.
So I laid mine down in a parking area where I want to discourage weeds. Maybe it will help; who knows.
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I've been privileged to have, and use, quite a bit of it. Very easy to work, and not usually chip/tear out prone when routing or sawing, and pretty hard to screw up a finish if you go easy.
Air dried if you can find it. The kiln dried, still beautiful, can be a bit dulled by the process. (contrary to conventional wisdom, a very light colored stain like ZAR's Provincial 114 will help somewhat if that becomes a problem).
As far as finishing goes, normally no stain. An amber shellac brings out the color nicely, and a "Sam Maloof" type oil/poly oil/wax finish, is my favorite walnut finish ... particularly if you run through the grits to 320.
When you start working with walnut, do keep an eye on yourself for any allergic reactions. It can do some strange things to some folks, including me ... the sawdust from cutting doesn't bother me, but, if I get too big a whiff of it, the smoke, like what happens when from routing mortises, makes both my feet itch at the same time in the same spots ... go figure. Since allergic reactions can suddenly intensify, I routinely wear a mask when routing walnut.
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That's why I always use my hands. Toes do not grip tools well and it's a bit awkward. :))
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My first experience with walnut was with a headboard and dresser. Nice stuff to work with. I didn't find chip-out to be a problem but then I use sharp tooling, blades cutters, etc. Danish oil finish recommended. Be sure to use a mask.
Max
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Stoutman wrote:

walnut machines great...
As other people said, the dust is rough, don't finish with a dark stain (i've used light oak stain, and it looks nice!) One more thing... drill pilot hols for screws.
shelly
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Stoutman wrote:

Works like clear pine. A dream. Won't chip if you use a zero clearance plate. Finish with orange shellac and wax, French polish if you're up to the challenge.
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Naw, it's terrible stuff- once you get it, send it me and I'll get rid of it for you.
In all seriousness, it's a wonderful wood. Machines well, and sands to a great finish.
Two things to watch, though- the dust is hazardous, so wear a decent tight-fitting mask. And do not use the shavings or sawdust as mulch- black walnut will kill many plants. If you normally use your shavings for mulching, make sure you keep walnut separate.
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