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black walnut help

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Francis Marion, Nov 26, 2011.

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  1. Francis Marion

    Francis Marion Well-Known Member

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    I have a nice piece of black walnut.Approx 30" dia by 18' long.Very straight, no branches or knots. I already do tree work and sell firewood, why not gunstocks also.Any info on how to correctly proceed with this piece of wood would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. kstwind

    kstwind TS Member

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    Without limbs, the grain will be straight and plain. The highly figured gunstocks come from the areas like crotches, or stumps. Straight grain is more stable though and can still look good. First it will need to be quarter sawn, not flat sawn, into planks of appropriate size. The end grain will need to be sealed and then it will have to be kiln or air dried. You wont get as much usuable wood by quarter sawn but gunstocks and musical instrument wood should be quarter sawn.
     
  3. Libra1310

    Libra1310 TS Member

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    I was actually going to ask this same question. What do you mean by quarter Shawn? I have access to as much lumber as I can have and would love to do just that, make blanks. What is used to seal the ends?

    Chris M
     
  4. jim brown

    jim brown Well-Known Member

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    I have logged some walnut in my time. I don't agree with the quarter saw statement. The good gunstocks come from the crotch area of the tree and I don't know of any way to quarter saw that part of the log. Air dried wood is definitely more showy than kiln dried but with gunstocks size pieces it takes a long time. Be sure to seal the end grain or it will split during drying. Wax is the best sealer but a heavy coat of paint usually works. Some good sawmill operators have a gift of seeing how to saw a log to get the pretty grain. Comes with experience I think but not to me.

    jim brown
     
  5. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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  6. jim brown

    jim brown Well-Known Member

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    GW22, how does that drawing work when you are sawing the crotch area of a tree?

    jim brown
     
  7. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Jim:

    You're correct, it doesn't really. I just posted the diagram so everyone could see what the term means in general. Gunstocks made from highly figured wood are cut in any number of ways.

    -Gary
     
  8. bart.stein4@gmail.com

    bart.stein4@gmail.com TS Member

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    I've been a woodworker for years. All woods will shrink (move) in different ways as they give off and take on moisture. For gun stocks, you need VERY stable wood...walnut, when properly dried works well. the blanks should be appx. 7"x3"x36" when fresh cut for one piece rifle stocks, smaller for shotgun stocks or two piece rifle stocks. This should allow for wood shrinkage and movement during drying. the ends and about 6-8" of the sides should be coated with paraffin or a commercial product like "Woodsealer", available at www.woodturnerscatalog.com for about $16.00/gallon. Air drying will take 3-5 years depending on the humidity and temperature in your area. An alternative is kiln drying. Kiln drying shortens the drying time to months instead of years. Also be aware that if you kiln dry wood it will be dryer than the ambient humidity and the wood will move slightly as it takes on moisture from the air. I usually like to let the wood acclimate for a week or so before working with it. A good finish will seal the finished stock well, but there will always be movement as humidity changes. That's one of the reasons for composite stocks or laminated stocks. Personally I love a solid wood stock and am willing to put up with the slight movement in exchange for the beauty. Good luck & ENJOY!

    Bart
     
  9. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Bart:

    Kiln drying takes "months" (plural)?

    Come on, Brother - are you blowing sawdust up this ol' woodworker's chip chute?

    -Gary
     
  10. oldgahchamp

    oldgahchamp Active Member

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    Steve, If I had a walnut log that measured 30" x 18' I would contact 2 or more log buyers. You could get quite bit of money for that log if it should scale to Veneer quality. Walnut prices are dropping, so hurry! Larry Evans
     
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