You guys in the US are spoiled by you wood supply. I am an old
Arky-(that's Arkansaw) living in England. The wood you take for granted
is just not available over here. Good tooling means you have to take
out a new mortage. I'd have a shit fit if I afford the prices for good
Cedar-Walnut- Cherry Etc. I'd trade the wife for an 18 inch cypress
knee. Lucky devils you are.
Perhaps we can sail a wooden boat over. White Oak ok?
Same everywhere I think. It's just the size of the mortgage that is a
I just saw the wood prices for ebony etc -- $55 to $75 USD per bf.
Shudder.... Probably cheaper there...
have a look...
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Maybe they can ship or build a boat and sail it. :-))
Post picture -- will discuss if suitable. (Does she know?)
Enjoy yourself over there.
Jewel Boxes and Wood Art
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those
who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
Aww, now that's just not true... See, I have to pay $1.81 a bf for
butternut- $2.30 for hard maple, cherry is insane- $4.25 a bf! And
Black walnut, well, that's $4.75. So you see, it's nothing for you to
be jealous of- and at any rate, that wood in the UK is said to be far
more refined than our Yankee timber... :)
Joking aside, that's too bad- I can barely afford our prices; if I
were there, I'd have to give up the hobby entirely.
My local wood is about the same for cherry, maple, and walnut; but butternut
is $5 and only available one place.
Reportedly there is not much demand for it and the saw mill has to reset
their equipment because it is so much softer than the other wood; so it is
If it wasn't my favorite wood I wouldn't care. $1.81! Wow
Wow is what I said, too. Turned into my second favorite wood (after
maple) wood pretty quickly after I found that out. Almost as cheap as
pine, and looks really nice. I like the others as well, of course,
but I'm just a poor boy, and would rather work than wait!
So don't use them ! Use oak, or something else that we grow locally.
English walnut is more expensive because it's a different species and
inherently a more valuable timber. It's cheaper to buy it in the UK than
it is in the USA.
I don;t think overall pricing is that much different from the USA. It's
not the timber that costs the money, it's the retail shop. Go to a real
timberyard and the prices and quality are far better.
So why does it look so awful ? It's dull stripey stuff, with uneven
colour and negligible attractive figure.
I see this stuff in FWW or even in Krenov, and I see the timber itself
as turning blanks. I admit I don't get to see US imported walnut as
boards, because I don't buy high-end timber from the place that does
imports. The imported walnut I do see is European - French (cheap) or
South Eastern European (the really good stuff). Both of those look like
the English walnut, not the American.
AIUI, our stuff is J. regia and the US stuff in J. nigra. They don't
look the same, and no-one else claims they're the same species. Even the
guy in Oxford with the huge experimental plots of collected worldwide
walnuts is pushing J. regia as the fine cabinetry wood, rather than J.
Of course English walnut isn't "superior". It's barely adequate, because
the _really_ good stuff is the Turkish or Armenian. But it's still
better than the American black walnut.
I also know a couple of American gunsmiths who do stocking work. Both
will use US black walnut for stocking, but regard the best stuff as
being European. Now being firearms (especially shotgun) related, this is
probably tradition talking as much as anything, but clearly there's a
visible difference between the two timbers. It's obviously subjective to
claim that one is "better", but at the same time they're distinctive
enough to be told apart.
There are (at least) three grades of walnut that I can visually
distinguish. These are the American, English and Eastern European
walnuts. Now I don't know what species they are for sure, but I can pick
them out in a pile or a finished piece and they have prices to match.
Now every reference to US walnut timber that I've seen describes it as
back walnut. Maybe a grafted J. regia is grown for the nuts, but AFAIK
the timber is coming from J. nigra instead. I don't know if these are
nut trees, separate stands of trees, or where the nut wood goes to.
The Turkish walnut is also a different sub-species to the English
walnuts. Walnut has a lot of variation here between sub-species, if not
entirely distinct species. As I said, there's a large project going on
near Oxford to study this, and to select the best cultivars for UK
So what are you claiming here ? That there is no difference and I'm
hallucinating it, or that I'm mistaken over my species altogether? US
and UK walnut timber just isn't the same stuff to look at, or to pay
The 'nut wood', for the most part, is of insufficient size for woodworking
purposes. The growers aren't looking for large trunks, or great height
from their trees - just the nuts, and consistent access to the producing
All of the 'english walnut' I've seen in smallish branch wood, here in
California. My experience is not exhaustive, however. Much older orchards
may have used different methods.
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