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Just finished resawing some walnut and passed the first board through the planer. When it came out the other side, I noticed it was glittering. Like, REALLY glittering. It is hard to tell in the photos, but it is a lot of sparkle, very eye catching. It is as if my craft glitter made its way out to the shop and infused tiny specks of silver glitter into the fibers of the wood.

Machine Planed Board:
Brown Wood Flooring Hardwood Wood stain


My first thought was that a blade in my planer was damaged and leaving specks of metal in the walnut, even though that theory didn't make much sense because the glitter is evenly distributed across the width of a 6" board. But, to make sure, I took a rough piece from the same board (one that had not seen any machining yet) and I ran a hand plane over it. It is still just as glittery. To see if the glitter would come loose, I ran a strong magnet over the wood - none of it stuck to the magnet.

Hand Planed Board
Table Wood Wood stain Hardwood Plank


While it isn't showing up very well in the pictures, I assure you this is very glittery wood. Can anyone take a gander as to how this came to be? I would take a wedding ring made out of this wood! As a girl, I think it is really pretty, but it sure is strange!!!
 

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The photos are too small on here to tell, darn! Full size photos show it really well, but LJ's does a good job of reducing photos (solves that mystery from another topic we have been discussing) :)

In person it is so obvious, even under poor lighting and behind safety goggles. The best one of these to tell on is the hand planed on right in the center, those little white looking specs are the glitter, but there is more of it than shows up. Wish I could share it! :)
 

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Perhaps you can snag a quick video clip and throw it up on youtube or somethin' else?
 

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I've had walnut that had the same sparkle. I asked about it and was told that it was most like tyloses (similar to what you would see in white oak). It definitely is cool to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ed, glad to know someone else has seen this! I was feeling a little crazy…it is so cool to see. Did your glitter stick around after it was finished? If so, what did you use? I just love it, almost like mica inside.

Josh, good idea! Here is the video, although the glitter is still not showing great, but there are a few places in the video where my phone picked it up for a few seconds before it lost focus and the right light again. You don't need a facebook account to see the video…this is the embed link.

 

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The glitter effect did not stick around after I finished. I think some of it actually went away before the finish during regular handling and assembly. Hard for me to recall though, that was on my gate project which was about 2 years ago.
 

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I've had "glitter" show up in a couple different woods including walnut and purpleheart. My hypothesis was that is was silica that the tree brought up while soaking up water from the ground. I know that some woods have silica content, so I have always thought that was what the glitter was. Basically just tiny pieces of sand. I may be wrong… I think mesquite does the same thing. Interested to hear what others think.
 

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I will say this - that looks really porous for walnut. I have never seen stuff that was that porous looking. Maybe it is some sort of weird variety or something. Where did you get the wood? And what did they say it was?
 

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I've had some walnut that was that porous, and some that was much tighter. Perhaps it was a different variety, or maybe it had to do with how fast the tree grew, whether that was older/newer heartwood, etc. Dunno.
 
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