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Sawing and Drying Forum

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Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs

Richard Lear  Member


Thanks to the help of a few of you on here I got the Black Walnut taken down and it was just milled. It is breathtaking. My old computer crashed and I do not have the names of who helped me. sorry about that.

So, I have some questions. I know how to dry it. It is all stickered in my basement and I am making a solution to paint on the ends this weekend.

My question is what can I sell it for? I'm really looking to recoup the expenses I am out taking it down. However, I know this would cost a fortune to buy from a retailer.

Most of it is 2" x 24" x 9'-11' and about 10 in 1" thicknesses, same width and length. Then there are the ones like the pictures I am posting, which I am sure will end up being someone's $3,000 coffee table.

Can someone give me a little guidance?

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8/16/14       #4: Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs ...
rich c.

You've got it in the basement already? Watch for mold! With no air movement, it's very likely it will get covered with mold in a couple of days.

8/16/14       #5: Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs ...
Tennessee Tim

Website: http://www.tsmfarms.com

BEAUTIFUL slabs...BUT I agree with Rich Basements and drying aren't the best compatables BUT can be done IF properly executed.......LOTS of air movement and a GOOD DH!!! IF your basement wasn't already being DH'd prior to storage than it'll take a while to get everything stabilized to begin the drying....I don't know your basements moisture history.

8/16/14       #7: Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs ...
Richard Lear  Member

Ah, no my basement is completely air conditioned. The wood might as well be sitting on my living room floor. There will be no mold in there. The mill guy took a look at where I am storing it and said it couldn't be in a better place.

8/17/14       #8: Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs ...
Tennessee Tim

Website: http://www.tsmfarms.com

I didn't realize you have a DH in your AC....some do and some don't. Lack of mold doesn't mean moisture is not there....just not enough to grow mold or air circulation is good enough to prevent growth. I have a basement and NO AC but all the cool air settles there (nature) with no mold BUT it WOULDN'T handle a stack of green lumber...MC isn't correct.

It'll be interesting, I wish you the best and keep us posted how it's going.

8/17/14       #9: Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs ...
Mark B Member

Any air conditioner is simply a large dehumidifier hence the need for condensate drains or for window units the need to slope them out for them to drain.

You may be confusing the issue that some hvac systems incorporate humidifiers for dry times.

8/17/14       #10: Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs ...
Texas Timbers  Member

Website: http://www.woodbarter.com

Richard you have a working understanding of what an air conditioning system is - It's a fancy DH unit with a few more parts and components. Most people don't understand that an AC is a DH even though they know that their AC removes water because after all it has a drain. This makes them ignorant. Ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of we all have it in various aspects of our lives to varying degrees. I have a lot of it.

So you will not be offended when I say that few walnut flitches like you are showing end up to be "someone's $3000 coffee table". It takes a lot of effort at every level to make this happen. If I were you I wouldn't worry so much about trying to find a price for these few slabs as much as I would be trying to find an outlet for them locally or semi-locally (within driving range to deliver or pickup) and go from there.

It's not hard to find walnut like you are showing, and the best way to profit from it is to find a craftsman with an established clientele and become a reliable supplier for him. You can also increase your profits with as many value-added steps as you can. Drying them is the first step. This will open up your market a great deal because most craftsmen want dry wood and most who are looking for custom walnut slabs want AD not KD.

If you want to add the *most* value and chase that big profit figure, make them into coffee tables yourself. If you have the time, making rustic tables is easy, and if you put the flitches on a refined frame as a rustic/modern mix - that seems to be selling better these days. At least here in my backyard.

8/19/14       #11: Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs ...
rich c.

So you are convinced that the air conditioner in your house will dry the slabs. How are you going to get the wood about 130 degrees to kill any bugs or larvae in the bark? Does your furnace get that warm in the winter?

8/19/14       #12: Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs ...
Dave Boyt  Member

Website: http://www.norwoodsawmills.com

A couple of comments... First, go ahead and invest in a moisture meter. They are not all that expensive, and give you a good idea of how your wood is doing. While you're at it, put a hygrometer in your basement, Depending on your location, air drying will take a couple of years and, as noted, won't kill the bugs, and won't get the wood down to kiln dry level. I'd suggest finding a kiln custom kiln drying service or building a solar kiln. Local wood outlets that sell to woodworkers would be a good bet. You could also do a web search for custom furniture makers and contact some them. You have some very nice slabs, The ones with two streaks of flame pattern are spectacular. Good luck with them

8/21/14       #13: Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs ...
Tennessee Tim

Website: http://www.tsmfarms.com

Yes AC units are a "form" of DH BUT IF not set-up or programmed for DH controlling they DO NOT perform in that mode. ...also a AC unit is not designed to draw down the humidity as low as a standard DH needed for wood drying...also a true DH unit puts out some heat not cold...why do you ask....to dry the air MORE effeciently... my ignorance I guess???

Richard , you have some beautiful slabs and Tex T gave you some good advice on working at getting the max for your effort at which level you chose to work it.

9/2/14       #14: Thick, Large Black Walnut Slabs ...
Richard Lear  Member

It is amazing what research does.

I want to thank all of you for your concern over my air conditioner, but I think I have it covered. I didn't spend over $7,000 to bring down a tree to lose it all to improper storage.

In reaching out to a lot of people I learned that a plank like the 2 dozen I have, 2" x 24" x 11' with a live edge, not counting the 9' ones or the special crotch ones, sells for around $33 BF...air dried. I learned how to make a special kiln in my basement, BUT kiln drying diminishes the color of the wood. (of course there is an argument over this belief)

I have also learned that when reaching out and asking for advice about the price to sell this wood, there is always someone who will try to take advantage of you.

I really appreciate the input. It inspired me to really do the homework on the value of what I now possess.

I think I am good from here.

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