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Carving Black Walnut

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  • macktruck
    replied
    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

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  • colin_partridge
    Guest replied
    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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  • jim_pope
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • plain_ol_ed
    Guest replied
    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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  • jim_pope
    replied
    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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  • Captain_Bandaid
    replied
    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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  • woodenleg
    replied
    Re: Carving Black Walnut

    I have always heard that one should use a larger angle for harder woods and Walnut would be one. If you leave the 15 degrees angle, you will be much more likely to break that tip off and still end up spending time resharpening. I would suggest that you try one of the gouges you plan to use the most and see what difference it makes.

    Walnut is a beautiful wood. Good luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • kettlekarver
    Guest replied
    Re: Carving Black Walnut

    [quote author=jim_pope link=board=GeneralC;num=1075000449;start=0#2 date=01/24/04 at 21:25:41]Colin,

    I think this is considered a hard wood, correct?

    I have mostly worked with bass wood, pine and poplar. Currently I have my tools sharpened to about a 15* angle, would I need to rework some bevels to more like 25*?

    God bless you in a speedy recovery.

    Thanks,[/quote]

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  • dart
    replied
    Re: Carving Black Walnut

    I have not carved any Black Walnut. My friend has and really likes it. Yes, it is rough on the cutting edges but worth it as it is beautiful. I have sharpened knives and all kinds of tools for years and I still don't consider myself an expert sharpener. I use razor hones and strops and jeweler's rouge. I like the semi-hollow ground knife blades. I learn the hard way not to sharpen a knife until I needed to use it tho. My friend air dries the wood he uses. It doesn't get as hard that way like kiln drying does.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kenny_S
    replied
    Re: Carving Black Walnut

    As yopu can tell, Many like the black walnut and I agree to the hardness and beautiful when finish. Keep them tools sharp.
    I have a Broughan (sp) boot and a decoy mad out of a couple of pieces given to me. Love the finished product.

    Leave a comment:


  • ah_chip
    Guest replied
    Re: Carving Black Walnut

    Jim
    Take the neighbors offer. I had turned a football and then carved the laces in for a cane topper last year. It was awefull hard but no surprises and looked realy great when done. I recently bought a lathe (always had to go to Dad's before) and walnut is great turning material.
    Ah Chip

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  • owlhause
    replied
    Re: Carving Black Walnut

    I like looking in antique stores for old mismatched walnut table legs....the wood is usualy 75+yrs old and carves beautifully. If it has a nice turned top to it you can flip it over and have a great looking 'built in' base for the carving.

    Greg M.

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  • big_wayne_p
    Guest replied
    Re: Carving Black Walnut

    Jim
    If you care to sell a couple of pieces of that Black Walnut , let me know. Might be interested in buying a couple of pieces if the price is not too much to make a couple of hking sticks.

    Leave a comment:


  • whittlebit
    replied
    Re: Carving Black Walnut

    Black walnut is a wonderful wood to work with. Carvings such as black bears are great when finished with tung-oil . I have a large scrap pile of dried Black Walnut that I search through alot and there is allways a cane handle or a little black bear in there somewhere. And as everyone is saying, 'Keep your tools very sharp'. It would be a good idea to avoid any knotholes as well. After you carve and sand your wood, I have found that if I wipe the wood with a damp cloth it will raise the grain and with a final sanding it is ready for an oil finish.
    Take your gold-mine and enjoy your carving.
    Whittlebit.

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  • colin_partridge
    Guest replied
    Re: Carving Black Walnut

    No Jim dont change the angle of the chisel for me that is a no no if you change it to 25 then I personally think that it would dig in too much. You may not be able to take as bigger cut as you do with bass wood but changing the angle of the chisel is not a good idea in my opinion. If you change the angle then you would have to change it back and that means removing steel you would end up with stubby chisels in no time. I have never changed the angle on any of my chisels but then I am not an expert on tools what do you guys think It is a question that I have never heard but would be interested in finding out the opinion of the carvers here that are expert sharpeners.
    Colin

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