buying walnut slabs from a backyard sawyer - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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buying walnut slabs from a backyard sawyer

Hi, i came across an individual that has some walnut slabs for sale, all bookmatched pairs and look nice and seem dry, said they have been air dried for a couple years, me not having a moisture checker thingamagijjar i dont know if hes telling me the truth if they are dry or not. For a pair.of bookmatched slabs that are about 96"x48" x about 10/4 thick he wants $250 and are clear without any checking, does this sound like a fair deal? Before i do anything with them should i have them kilned?
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 08:05 AM
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The price real good. You would have 80 board feet in each slab. It's borderline on being dry. I probably would have wood kiln dried. I've never had any faith in air dried lumber. If you think you might want to use the wood air dried it might be worth getting a moisture content meter. They're not very expensive and available at the box stores now.

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post #3 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 08:27 AM
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Sounds about right. You can get a cheap meter at lowes it's a General. I'd take air dried lumber before kiln dried lumber any day especially if its walnut. I like the beauty of a air dried wood over kiln dried. JMO.

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post #4 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds about right. You can get a cheap meter at lowes it's a General. I'd take air dried lumber before kiln dried lumber any day especially if its walnut. I like the beauty of a air dried wood over kiln dried. JMO.
Yeah ive heard that kiln drying bleaches the color of it from the steam, some dont use steam when kiln drying walnut to try to keep it from losing color, these slabs have really good color and even have some figure in them where there was a crotch, its not quite claro walnut which id love to have but at $1000 plus shipping for a pair of bookmatched slabs that are only 5/4. So that meter is made by general? Anybody have the correct name of it so i dont go in looking for a moisture meter thigamajigger?
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 08:56 AM
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It's a General. It's like $30



buying walnut slabs from a backyard sawyer-image-2479368269.jpg

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Cool, thanks i will go.pick one up if they have one here at one of my local stores
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 09:26 AM
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I agree on the air dry- big difference in color. But I live where it is very dry. Also you will not get an accurate reading of that thick of lumber with that meter. I know because I have and like that same meter. Inside and outside moisture content can be different and that meter is pretty much measures outside content. I also agree that they probably are not there yet.
That size of wood at that price is a bargain though. You could always use Darens- dehumidifier kiln plans to dry the last little bit. It will not change the color.
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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I could cut a.couple inches of the end and measure the center of the end grain, end need cut off anyway since they are rough cut
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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The price real good. You would have 80 board feet in each slab. It's borderline on being dry. I probably would have wood kiln dried. I've never had any faith in air dried lumber. If you think you might want to use the wood air dried it might be worth getting a moisture content meter. They're not very expensive and available at the box stores now.
The slabs are only 24x96, both joined together would be 48x96, sorry i worded it wrong, so about 80brdft total
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 10:24 AM
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The slabs are only 24x96, both joined together would be 48x96, sorry i worded it wrong, so about 80brdft total
Well $3.13bf is still cheaper than most 4/4. The steaming you talked about is a seperate process not related to kiln drying. They sometimes steam walnut to bleed the purple color over to the sapwood so it doesn't have such a white streak on the edge. A dry kiln is almost equilivent to putting a board in a car on a hot summer day.
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 01:32 PM
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I could cut a.couple inches of the end and measure the center of the end grain, end need cut off anyway since they are rough cut
That is what I do. I just wanted you to be aware of it.
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post #12 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 01:45 PM
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for $250 - id buy them

build it right or not at all
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 02:38 PM
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I'd buy some too. Does he have more? Where are you?
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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I'd buy some too. Does he have more? Where are you?
When i stop there this week i will get too see the rest of his stock, i will let you know what he has, these are just rough sawn with a ripping chainsaw so the thickness varies and will need planed a couple quarters to get flat, i will post some pics on this thread when i check the rest out
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post #15 of 15 Old 12-23-2012, 06:01 PM
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Three bucks a board foot for 48" wide, 10/4 black walnut is an absolute steal. Slabs like this often times sell for 5X that amount or greater.

Even if they are green, grab them and stack / sticker them where they can dry.

Black Walnut is a very forgiving wood to air dry, and as others have stated if you do the initial drying by air you may end up with a more robust color.

From green, if exposed to reasonable air flow 10/4 BW should be down to 15% MC or thereabouts in 16 months or so (depending upon the time of year when they are milled). From there, you can finish them off in a kiln.

I would suggest that you avoid any slabs that were cut through the exact center of the log; it's better to be one or two slabs away from center from a drying perspective.

As far as determining the MC% w/o a meter, if the slabs are consistent enough in thickness you can weigh them and then calculate the volume of the slab to determine the weight per bd ft.

Green BW weighs around 5.27 lbs/bd ft, and that is based upon 85% MC. Dry it will be close to 3 lbs bd ft. A loss of 29 lbs of weight represents a 1% MC reduction.

Last edited by scsmith42; 12-23-2012 at 06:09 PM.
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