This week in urban logging #15: Weird twin walnut milling (picture heavy)

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Blog entry by Daren Nelson posted 05-31-2010 11:47 PM 6696 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Plenty of urban logging, just not much blogging Part 15 of This week in urban logging series Part 16: Walnut milling (ugly old log) »

I had a couple decent walnut logs dropped off a few months ago in a mixed load. They were butt logs that had grown together at the very base. The guy was smart enough to bring the base too.

I have looked at this chunk of wood off and on, knowing I wanted to cut table top slabs from it. I could have done that with a big chainsaw, but that really sucks. I wanted to stand it on the mill and slice cookies…but it was just too big for that diameter wise. Over 3’ x 4’ mill will only let me cut 27” wide.

Then I got to thinking, hey this should split pretty easy. So I stripped off the bark, grabbed a couple wedges and she popped right in 1/2.

It didn’t even damage the wood to be split, they were not joined very tight at all inside. I will/the buyer will be able to join the slices back together (I would do it Nakashima style).

On the mill, sitting on a couple honeylocust boards to span my deck.

Yep I am going to clear and be able to cut it now.

I am pretty sure it is back on the same plane as it was standing whole. I will make some shallow test cuts and try to fit the pieces back together to make sure. I have to get down past where the tree guy made a couple messy cuts with his chainsaw anyway so it will not waste much getting perfectly lined back up. I should be able to slab this all the way down, it looks to clear my guide roller (took the adjustable one off for max cut width) even at the butt swell.

Started milling

Another similar set, the first couple are ~25” x 42”

Then they start getting bigger…these are ~36’’ x 48’‘

They were a mill full though, full 27” cut. The guide roller on one side was rubbing and the bandwheel on the other side was too.

Close ups. Very colorful grain, even rough sawn…

I am going to sticker them tomorrow. I just stacked them back in reverse order for now. 8 sets.

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4091 days

#1 posted 05-31-2010 11:50 PM

Some pretty cool walnut

View Hacksaw007's profile


619 posts in 3703 days

#2 posted 06-01-2010 12:33 AM

Amasing! How is the drying of this thin cuts? Prone to cracking or will sealer do the trick…..

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3500 days

#3 posted 06-01-2010 02:11 AM

wow! Those are absolutely gorgeous.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4162 days

#4 posted 06-01-2010 03:47 AM

oh, the places they’ll go…

nice work, and nice slabs.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View alaskan79's profile


74 posts in 3867 days

#5 posted 06-01-2010 05:35 AM

Nice I will have to file this in my brain as to how you did that. So I can try it with my mill some day.


-- alaskan79, Michigan

View FordMike's profile


155 posts in 3984 days

#6 posted 06-01-2010 05:38 AM

OK , do you always slice walnut stumps crossgrain? If you have a market for endgrain slabs awesome! I never been able to sell endgrain slabs even when the wood dries without checking to 20 pieces. I would love to see some finished furniture from this type of material. Please don’t misconstrue my comments, if you have a market, great I would love some tips, or ideas. I been cutting Walnut and especially Black Walnut stumps for 25 years in various capacities, but always with the grain even on short stumps just for the market and the ability to dry with little degredation.

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3487 days

#7 posted 06-01-2010 06:16 AM

I really like the raw lumber posts.
Just something cool about taking a chunk of tree and making it into lumber or in this case gorgeous cookies. Those are 8 gorgeous matching pieces!
Thanks for sharing :)

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4419 days

#8 posted 06-01-2010 02:22 PM

FordMike, I rarely slice crossgrain…that is why I took the time to blog it. Sure there is a market for endgrain slabs/cookies, not as big a market as for flat sawn lumber obviously. I sold these for $75 each, for example. While not a fortune, much more than I would have gotten for a little pile of short cedar boards. And in this case I didn’t need a pile of short walnut boards. I just try to make the most of what I have to work with.

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4236 days

#9 posted 06-01-2010 04:50 PM

WOW! Beautiful grain and colors! Now, a very smart and talented furniture maker could make duo end tables out of these and sell them to high end furniture stores. A design that keeps the two pieces able to join or match as one table or use as two smaller ones would be so beautiful and unique.

BTW: I use short boards of highly figured woods for my cane handles.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4419 days

#10 posted 06-01-2010 05:38 PM

That is my plan for one set mmh, as I stated on another forum yesterday when asked what I was going to do with the wood. Make end tables that can be pushed together to make a coffee table.
At least one set I am going to join Nakashima style with butterflies and make a solid table, something I do often.

View Chardt's profile


169 posts in 4115 days

#11 posted 06-01-2010 07:13 PM

Very nice Daren. That walnut is sweet!

Bookmatched Veneers for a guitar top would look amazing.

-- When my wife ask's what I have to show for my wood working hobby, I just show her the splinters.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3704 days

#12 posted 06-05-2010 06:49 AM

Give to the needy and walnut deprived…..

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3751 days

#13 posted 06-07-2010 01:26 PM


Your walnut sure would have made some beautiful shotgun stocks!

-- Hal, Tennessee

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