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Carving Black Walnut

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  • #16
    Re: Carving Black Walnut

    Since walnut is rather oily, this might not work, but has anyone tried spraying the wood with water/alcohol mixture? This works well on basswood, especially the end grain and it might make the walnut a bit easier to carve.

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    • #17
      Re: Carving Black Walnut

      The Walnut arrived today. I assume the black center is the heartwood and with a 10' log there is about 3-4' of the heartwood.

      Should I just remove the sapwood (light tan color) or will the sapwood also darken with age to some extent? Is the sapwood good for carving?

      Thanks in advance for your recommendations.
      Jim

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      • #18
        Re: Carving Black Walnut

        10' walnut log - Oh, my jealous heart!!!!!!!!!

        All of it is good for carving.
        The sapwood should darken some with age. How much???
        If the log isn't very long, I'd suggest sealing the ends with wax, paint, or elmer's glue and splitting it lengthwise to help minimize cracking. Best done with a couple three wedges and a sledge hammer (wedges available at our local wal-mart for a couple bucks each. In your area can't say, hardware store probably). Reason for the wedges vice sawing is when you split with wedges the split will follow the grain instead of violating the grain as with a saw.

        Treat your gold mine kindly. It likes to be warm, dry, well ventilated and out of the weather.

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        • #19
          Re: Carving Black Walnut

          You suggest sealing the ends of the 8 foot log and then splitting it. Would I need to seal the new edges also?

          Sorry for the dumb questions but I am in a learning mode here.

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          • #20
            Re: Carving Black Walnut

            Jim,
            You are making my mouth water that sounds like a fabulous piece of wood you have Black Walnut is hard to find and if you can it is very expensive. Never heard about splitting instead of sawing but Ed it makes a lot of sense (learned something new today). No need to seal the edges as you are going to carve that anyway and the splitting will reduce the amount of cracking by half. Good luck with the carving you will find that the contrast between the dark and light makes for amazing results. I did the same with a piece of aromatic cedar (the heart wood is pink) I carved the whole log and went in to get to the heat wood and I sold the six carvings I did all at one show unfortunatly havent been able to find any since. Make sure you post a picture when you finished.
            Colin

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            • #21
              Re: Carving Black Walnut

              The sap wood (the white outer wood) carves well also. It just doesn't have the wide color variations like the heart wood. Like the Colin said just seal the ends. Of course you might want to try to carve a small peice while it is still 'green'. You might be surprised at how takes detail. just take a peice of burlap(old tee-shirt works too) and soak to wrap the carving between carving sessions. It slows down the checking. there is a compound you can buy to slow the cracking while carving green but i haven't tried it.
              Good luck macktruck
              Honey, Where are the band-aids, again?

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