I am getting some wood from a friends black walnut tree on Monday. (the
tree man is not only charging $1,200, but taking most of the wood with him;
but he is kind enough to leave me some...)
I really ought to get riser blocks for my bandsaw before I tackle it. So,
is there any urgency to getting it cut up, or can the raw wood sit around
for a few weeks. Should I paint the ends or something? Keep it dry, or
leave it exposed?
On a related subject, Grizzly riser blocks are half the price of Delta. Can
I use Grizzly on my Delta, or is that being wastefully cheap?
every wood is different, and i haven't worked with walnut green,
but....several weeks is certainly safe. the log will start to check on
the ends, but these checks will not extend more than an inch or so into
the log. wouldn't hurt it to coat the ends, though, since this is
probably a good idea during the drying process. keeping it from drying
until you can saw it is probably the way to go. if you let it dry too
much you will build up tension in the wood from differential shrinkage.
I spent a vacation day yesterday resawing some walnut that was felled
about three weeks ago. The logs, no more than 17" long, were stacked
and when the weather started turning warmer, checks began to form. I've
moved the wood out of the sun so it does not warm up too much, I'll be
painting the ends with latex paint in the next couple of days.
Also, I noticed some mold starting to form on the piece that as at the
bottom touching the ground, so consider what the base of the wood is
touching when stacked.
If you do not have an Alaskan Mill (chainsaw attachment to make boards,
and buying through Bailey's of California may be cheaper) are are solely
relying on a band-saw, then I suggest you consider quartering the wood.
I recommend you borrow through Interlibrary loan Will Malloff's
Chainsaw Lumbermaking. While it is more directed to a larger operation,
there are some principles (splitting a log into quarters using wedges)
that may readily apply; the book also has some nice diagrams on the
order and direction of cuts for quarter-sawing the quarters.
Lastly, you'll need a special rip blade for your band-saw, they can be
had from Suffolk Machinery, makers of the Timberwolf blades. My
Powermatic (with riser) 14" has: 1203AS 105" 1/2" X 3ASA .032 ($19.96
each) which was recommended after I called Suffolk and told them I
wanted to rip saw green walnut. Also, make sure your are running your
vacuum dust collector on the band-saw. If you have roller guides, you
may get build up from compressed sawdust -- it's like paper; if you do,
you can run a scraper against the side of the blade as you HAND TURN the
Use the end scraps and/or branches to cut stickers for your stack,
you'll find people mention you'll have to sticker the wood, and when you
finally are at the point of doing so, you'll realize you need to have a
good number of stickers to accomplish the task.
Some 20 yrs ago lightning struck our black walnut. We set some of the larger
branches we had to cut out into a shed. Last year I milled some of it up.
While is dulled the chainsaw and table saw blade fairly fast, it worked. A few
weeks won't make the milling impossible. The ends were left bare and the checks
didn't extend beyond about 1.5".
There is a good chance that he left the less-desirable pieces like
limbs. The wood may be prone to warpage, but OK for turnings
or smaller items.
Sealing he end grain will reduce checking. The best materials for
this are melted wax (paraffin sold for canning or beeswax toilet seals,
the latter may be cheaper), a think layer of carpenter's glue,
or shellac. The worse material to use is latex paint,
Defianatly keep it out of the elements. Back walnut has fairly
good rot-resistance so there is no need to rapidly dry it but
it needs to be kept out of the rain or very humid conditions
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