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ENGLISH WALNUT EYE CANDY

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Mr.M, Feb 21, 2010.

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  1. Mr.M

    Mr.M Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Again not selling anything, just responding to the many questions about how the milling of the English Walnut is progressing. The answer is slow, but the results are heartening. I started with 50 tons of high-graded Franquette English Walnut stumps and major limbs and will complete the layouts on the last of them next week. For those among you contemplating the joy of harvesting a commercial orchard and cranking out a couple million stock blanks worth 2 grand apiece, please drop me a line and I'll help develop the reality of the situation for you.

    Not complaining, as the only way to tell if something is fun is to do it. Two examples of what makes the work a pure joy are shown below. The first is a traditional English blank with perfect layout, incredible fine mold line flow and a fantastic feather. Symmetry side to side is about as good as has ever been seen and the base colors are very rich. All the motion is in the meat of the blank with the inlet area grain running straight and true.


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    The second was cut at the request of a high-end custom stockmaker with a client looking for a non-traditional blank but still with the working characteristics of English Walnut. The contrast between the white wood and the fantastic marbling in the remainder of this blank will be a head-turner. The full coverage of the feather figure and the duplication side-to-side make this a truly unique, and admittedly non-traditional blank that will really stand out.


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    Top view. The white will wrap around the end of the completed stock like a napkin around an In-N-Out Burger making it look truly delicious.

    Thanks for looking. Shoot well. Mike Mann
     
  2. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Geez. Nature always gets the beauty award
     
  3. BILL GRILL

    BILL GRILL Well-Known Member

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    Jeez, You two are up early. Nice stuff Mr.Mike
     
  4. dewman

    dewman Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    Location:
    ft worth tx
    hi mike --if your client does not take the non-traditional blank --please give me a call --i am interested --don weeks ---817-247-5555 --thanks
     
  5. Dennis DeVault

    Dennis DeVault Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mike,

    Great looking wood and tell Don he can't have that wood. Just kidding I will see you next month.

    Dennis DeVault
     
  6. Go Fish

    Go Fish Member

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    Would sure like to see the finished products using these blanks. Any chance of this?
     
  7. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    Fine wood is one of nature's most exquisite displays of beauty. Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. amboy49

    amboy49 Well-Known Member

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    out in left field
    If I may ask, what is the moisture per centage for these blanks ? How long, either naturally or by drying, does it take to get a blank down to acceptable moisture level to work into a gun stock ?
     
  9. Mr.M

    Mr.M Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Go Fish - I ask everybody who buys wood from me to send me pics of the finished product. With the exception of Dennis DeVault, I've not received many responses. I keep pics of every blank I place and look forward someday to beginning to match them up with finished product photos. Yes, there is a definite chance, assuming we're not too old to see by then.

    Amboy - The moisture percentage by weight on fresh cut English Walnut is about sixty percent. Factors such as when during the year the trees were cut will make a little difference but not much. Depending on where the wet blank lives its life, the drying time will vary. Where there is low humidity (Las Vegas, California Central Valley, etc) the drying time will be considerably shorter than Houston, Texas, New Orleans or even Philadelphia. How the blank is stored during the drying process is also a major factor. Sealing the ends immediately upon making the final cuts is of paramount importance. Twelve percent moisture in the blank is sorta the industry standard above which wood is still considered wet and potentially unstable. There are some custom makers who will go to work when the wood is at twelve percent moisture and achieve excellent results. Some members of the Custom Gunmakers Guild won't even buy wood 'till its under twelve percent, then won't take the first cut before the blank has "acclimated" to their location ten years later. Some folks throw the blanks or slabs into a kiln to hasten the process. Some makers won't touch wood that has been dried any way other than by "air drying" meaning it's never been in a kiln. Some makers seem not to give a hoot whether wood was kilned or not as long as it's twelve percent or less.

    Too much data. Everything I cut goes up in the air-drying racks immediately and doesn't come down until I measure with an actual meter twelve percent or less. The exception is those blanks that knowledgeable individuals want to buy wet to make sure that they 1. have possession, and 2. control the drying process themselves. Wet blanks typically sell for a little less than dry, but the buyer, of course, takes full responsibility immediately upon receipt of the blank. I'll stop the tutorial now. Hope I've answered the question.

    Mike Mann
     
  10. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Specatacular blank, Mike!....unusual to see sides matched that perfectly and then with some crotch feather to boot....might I ask what kind of $$'s you ask for wood in this rarified class?

    Ron Burr
     
  11. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    Yeah ditto, I know you said these were not for sale, but how much would the top blank run. PM me if you don't want to post the price. Thanks
     
  12. 1939 gunner

    1939 gunner Member

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    mike,very, very nice wood.if you have some more that nice i have a gun i would like to dress up,give me a e-mail. thank wade
     
  13. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    3 things:

    -They are beautiful! I bet the finished stocks will be amazing.

    -Fifty tons of wood. That made my jaw drop, that's a lot of wood!

    -Did you have to mention In-n-Out Burger? I'm an hour and a half away from lunch and starving. That made it even worse! One of my favorites.
     
  14. Mr.M

    Mr.M Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Ljutic and vpr - see your private messages.

    Jim - you're welcome. Hope the pieces keep you busy until the snow melts.

    Handle - Sorry about the In-N-Out reference. I'm gonna be in L. A. twice in the next several weeks and have to train the old Mercedes to NOT automatically turn in to every In-N-Out it passes. The fifty tons is just the English. I'll send a picture of the 100 tons of Black that's right behind the English.

    Wade - I definitely have more. I'll wind up with about 750 to 900 Franquette blanks with a good portion of them being high grade stuff. As soon as the layout and milling is done, I'll start the next step of finish planing and photographing them for posting on the website in process. Unfortunately, all are dead wet today and will take several seasons before they're dry.

    If anyone has a special need (graft cuts, full feathers, etc.) let me know and I'll look for that possibility while I'm doing the layouts. Let me know at the email above.

    Regards to all, Mike Mann
     
  15. Mr.M

    Mr.M Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Taking pictures of two more non-traditional Franquette English blanks later today. I'll be interested in your feedback.

    Mike Mann
     
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