LumberJocks

Epic Fail #2: Aww Nuts

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Mark Wilson posted 05-25-2020 07:36 AM 546 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Pergola Part 2 of Epic Fail series Part 3: I Found A Way To Mount It »

It was going to be an Objet de Fine Arte. It would be called simply, “Nuts.”

A couple weeks ago, I was in a parking lot, standing in the shade of a tree. I noticed these clusters hanging from the ends of many branches. All at once, I knew what this was.

“Oh! You’re a Walnut tree,” said I. “And, you’ve just started growing a bunch. Way more than a pair, I might add. Good for you.”

I broke off a cluster, and brought it home. Every couple days, I took a look at it to see if the nuts were shriveling. They changed not one whit over the couple weeks they sat on my workbench. I had not the foresight to shoot some photos of the cluster of nuts because, quite frankly, I knew without a doubt that I was gonna pull this off, this “Nuts.”

So, in lieu of photos of my nuts, I just now walked up the street to the only Walnut tree left in my neighborhood. (This part of the Southland was, back in the early twentieth century, one of the most productive Walnut growing regions in the world. And, it continues to produce plenty of nuts, albeit not on a commercial scale.) I clipped off a cluster of nuts from the tree up the street, so I could give you a fair idea of what I’m talking about. The nuts – these nuts, and my nuts – are nascent nuts. They’d just begun to come out.

Here’s the photo of the nuts I just clipped up the street. There. I said it. I clipped someone else’s nuts. I did it for you.

Now, just to be clear, these nuts don’t look anything like my nuts. My nuts were smaller – about half the size of these nuts. My nuts were many more nuts – maybe fifteen in the cluster. And, doggone it, they were really pretty nuts, my nuts.

So, what I did with my nuts, today, is as follows.

The idea I had for my nuts was that they would be suspended in a field of clear resin, which I would turn to a shape not so much like an egg as an elliptical kind of a shape, which I would mount on an attractive (it would have to be attractive, to measure up as company for my beautiful nuts) wooden base. I had also thought that I might obtain some LED string lighting to add to it, for the better viewing of my nuts.

How did I suspend my nuts?

I took two OIKOS yogurt cups and held them together, mouth to mouth, and held my nuts next to this assemblage, to see if the size of the container, thus hot-glued together would be sufficient to contain my nuts. It’s like they were made for each other.

I heated up my little glue gun and attached the end of the stem to the center of the bottom of one of the cups. After holding my nuts in place for several minutes, and blowing on the glue blob that held the stem of my nuts, I was pleased to see that my nuts stuck, and stayed in position, when I held the cup upside-down. I had, first, cut an opening, for a pour hole, off to the side of the center point from which my nuts would dangle.

After hot gluing the two cups, mouth to mouth, with my nuts dangling inside, I built a little silicone dam around the pour hole, to prevent any dribbling. On the score of dribbling, I had the foresight to set the assembled and filled containment vessel in a larger bowl. I’m glad I did this. (I am not glad, and am deeply regretful, that I didn’t take pictures. You’d have been impressed, I’m sure. Try to imagine: My gorgeous little nuts, dangling in an assembly of two yogurt cups filled with clear resin, going into the pressure pot. What I can show you is what this all looked like about five hours later, when I opened the pot. Are you sitting down? You really should be sitting down. It’s quite shocking.

Now, the whole amalgam was quite stuck in the bowl. Oh, how I had to beat on it with a mallet of rubber to get it out. I beat so hard that I hurt my hand. Then, I gave up on the beating, and pried and pried. With a driver of screws, I pried until it came out.

And now, for the postmortem.

I’ve watched other people doing things with resin and organic materials. It seems it’s always an iffy proposition when one tries to capture some vegetative stuff in resin. Sometimes, however, it actually works. Mostly, from what I’ve seen, the danger is that some beautifully colored subject – from zuchini to cabbage to pickles – will lose its color, will become cooked in the curing resin, or, simply won’t adhere. Oh yeah. I’ve seen people do these things. Fascinating, really.

Looking closely, you’ll notice that the resin is definitely not clear, anymore. I assure you, it was as clear as crystal, when I poured it. I added no coloring. Nonetheless, it looks quite murky, doesn’t it? I posit that my nuts simply dissolved, creating this murkiness in the resin.

As to the appearance that one of the yogurt cups seems to have melted, I can’t explain that. Why only one? Besides which, my very first shot at making a resin piece was done using the very same OIKOS yogurt cup. (Not the very same as this one, you understand. It was another OIKOS yogurt cup. But, an OIKOS yogurt cup, nonetheless. You may review that here. Go ahead. I can wait….)

Where the resin blew out of the pour hole, the resin is quite clear. This is explained by the fact that my nuts, which, evidently dissolved, were dangling below the point at which the goo burst forth.

Now, why, do you suppose, the goo burst forth?

It’s simple, my Beloved Buddies. There was moisture in my nuts, and, plenty of it. Anyone can see, intuitively, that, where moisture and curing resin meet, there’s bound to be a reaction. The curing action in resin generates a lot of heat. Why, I laid my hand on the side of the pressure pot at one point, a couple hours in, and, I could feel the heat of the interaction. Apply that kind of heat to moisture, and, something’s gotta give. BOOM! Just like when you drip a drop of water into a piping hot skillet and and the dripped drop is all but instantly vaporized.

Vapor explains the presence of air bubbles in the bottom and the large void, seen in the penultimate photo. As to the fact that the vapor went to the bottom, instead of rising to the top, that will, I’m sorry to say, forever remain a mystery. In my humble effort, here, I seem to have conquered the laws of physics, without knowing how, or, why. Or, even much caring how, or why.

All this is not to say that I’m done with this project, to be sure. Oh yeah. I’m not done with my nuts, yet. I’ll figure some way to mount this on the lathe, and do some turning, if only to find out if my nuts truly did, completely, dissolve. Another, closer look at that penultimate photo reveals some undulation in the blue bottom of the lower yogurt cup. There may well still be some semblance of my gorgeous little nuts, in there. We’ll find out, should I find a way to mount it.

Thank you. And, I apologize, for this extraordinary waste of your valuable time.

Be well. And, be wise. I will not say “Be safe.” If “safety” we were about, as a species, and as Americans, picture this: A guy stands before a group of some one-hundred-twenty people, and absurdly says to them, “Let us get on this little boat and see what’s across the ocean.” And, the assembled group says, in chorus, “No. That wouldn’t be safe. Someone could get hurt.” Now, doesn’t that sound ridiculous?

- Ships are safe in harbor. But, that’s not what ships are for. -

Headset up, for an absurdly incongruous send-off. Fitting, nonetheless, inasmuch as it’s Memorial Day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KCiMdR1ox0&t=211s

-- Mark



15 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24800 posts in 3881 days


#1 posted 05-25-2020 12:11 PM

Mark, those look just like the Chinaberry nuts i got from Tubac, Az, only the ones I got were brown and dry, they fell off the branches. I had not yet dreamed up what I would do with them but I’m pretty sure it would be with resin!!

Happy Memorial Day, Buddy….......................cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View lew's profile

lew

13123 posts in 4531 days


#2 posted 05-25-2020 03:41 PM

Are You Nuts!!! Hahahahaha

I’ve use modeling clay to form dams and sealing. Also, to remove stuff from plastic bowls, try drilling a tiny hole in the bottom and the squirt air into the hole. Usually the hardened resin will pop right out.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1189 posts in 503 days


#3 posted 05-25-2020 03:48 PM

I’ve never read so much about another mans nuts before.

-- I only know what I know, nothing less, nothing more -- That doesn't count what I used to know..

View leafherder's profile

leafherder

1958 posts in 2728 days


#4 posted 05-25-2020 04:40 PM

I’m delighted that the “Epic Fail” referred to the project and not your sense of humor. That was the funniest post I’ve read from anyone in a long time.

While I am sorry that your project did not achieve the desired result I’m still chuckling over the detailed saga of your nuts.

Having some experience with nuts of the wal variety, let me see if I can give you some helpful advice.

1. First of all are you positive those are walnuts? They look different than the walnuts I’m familiar with – which is the American Black Walnut. Not the best for walnut for eating but the wood is exceptional. The most Black Walnuts I have ever seen in one cluster is 3. Yours could be a different variety. What is it they say about southern California? The state is tilted so all the strange nuts roll down there?

2. Walnuts have a thick husk around the actual nut that rarely dries the way you desired it to. Usually it rots off the nut – turning into a slimy oily pungent goo (an excellent source for dyes and stains) – that is why your resin turned murky, possibly triggering an additional chemical reaction which caused the Oikos cup to melt – your nuts were too juicy and potent.

3. Drying walnuts in the husk takes months, not weeks – they turn brown and shrivel up and often the husk starts to flake off. You did well by cutting nascent nuts, as they are more likely to dry properly than fully formed nuts. I have seen many nascent nuts which dried on the branch after the branch was broken by a spring storm and stuck hanging in the tree until an autumn storm brought it down. Next time (and I’m sure there will be a next time) hang your nuts out to dry in a sunny location instead of hiding your nuts in your dungeon.

May your Memorial Day be memorable in a good way!

-- Leafherder

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2762 posts in 1379 days


#5 posted 05-25-2020 07:14 PM

You need to make sure you thoroughly dry your nuts.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4720 posts in 1597 days


#6 posted 05-26-2020 04:47 AM

After reading this (and damn I hate reading… more pictures) I had to check my computer screen to confirm I was looking a Lumber jocks and not mine.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

7199 posts in 2980 days


#7 posted 05-26-2020 10:06 PM

Looks like it would make you cross your legs and bend your knees for sure!

WTH?

Please keep out of the dunny with your rifle! tee hee

-- Regards Rob

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2833 posts in 1839 days


#8 posted 05-27-2020 09:10 AM



Are You Nuts!!! Hahahahaha

I ve use modeling clay to form dams and sealing. Also, to remove stuff from plastic bowls, try drilling a tiny hole in the bottom and the squirt air into the hole. Usually the hardened resin will pop right out.

- lew

I tried the “air hose – pop out” method. It didn’t work. Besides which, Drilling a hole in the bottom of such a bowl rrrrrrrrruins it for future use.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2833 posts in 1839 days


#9 posted 05-27-2020 09:14 AM



I ve never read so much about another mans nuts before.

- LeeRoyMan

I know sooooooooo much less than I knew when I was eighteen. I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about everything there is. But, I do know a little bit about a lot of things. I just don’t know enough about you. Or me. I’ve stepped out, in search of “myself.” If you should see me before I get back, ask me to wait.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2833 posts in 1839 days


#10 posted 05-27-2020 09:18 AM

John. My Beloved Buddy: I know. Me, too. I proofread this thing, several times, and, couldn’t NOT laugh. I claim no credit. It just came out. God delivered it. I signed for it. There it is. ”...nuts of the wal variety.” That’s the kind of turn of phrase that pleases me. Samultimeously, you’ve made me think, and laugh. It’s all, in the end, yourelephant.

The rest of your erudition concerning the science of the nuts of wal made no sense to me. Roy used to gather those walnuts from up the street, and pass them about the ‘hood. No “drying.” No “years of waiting.” Just “walnuts straight from the tree.” I never ate them. I don’t care for walnuts. They make my throat itch.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2833 posts in 1839 days


#11 posted 05-27-2020 09:25 AM



After reading this (and damn I hate reading… more pictures) I had to check my computer screen to confirm I was looking a Lumber jocks and not mine.

- LittleBlackDuck

That’s why I stopped making boxes, LBD. It seems that, try as I may, no matter how many times I cut it, it was still too short, one end.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2833 posts in 1839 days


#12 posted 05-27-2020 09:26 AM



Looks like it would make you cross your legs and bend your knees for sure!

WTH?

Please keep out of the dunny with your rifle! tee hee

- robscastle

Rob: I can’t, to save my life, remember where I put the key to my rifle case. Maybe, it’s where I left my burnishing wires.


-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2833 posts in 1839 days


#13 posted 05-27-2020 09:31 AM

Please, disregard all the foregoing. I’m just looking for attention.

Here’s a thought: Do you thing that, maybe, I could get something that looks like human affection, if I walked around wearing a suit that’s made of wash cloths and towels?

-- Mark

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4720 posts in 1597 days


#14 posted 05-27-2020 01:08 PM



.... no matter how many times I cut it, it was still too short, one end.
- Mark Wilson

That’s why I remind everyone to make the second cut from the longer end… and you’ll never be too short… just keep swapping to the longer end with each mistake… do this many times and you’ll have your own timber yard!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View mafe's profile

mafe

12592 posts in 3865 days


#15 posted 06-01-2020 08:35 PM

Big warm nuts laugh here.
Best thoughts buddy,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com