walnut blanks

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Rink

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May 12, 2013
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NW Arkansas
Several walnut trees were cut down to make room for my house about five yrs ago. Couple years ago I had them sawed into roughly one inch lumber which I will use to make furniture for my home. Any reason I couldn't just cut one inch pieces from these and use them for turning pens? Anything special about wooden pen blanks that I'm missing? Please keep in mind that I have yet to turn my first pen...or anything else for that matter. Thx a lot.
 
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Katsin

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Feb 26, 2011
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Vernon, NJ
They will work just fine though they may expand and contract more than stabilized blanks. To learn about stabilizing see the IAP library. You likely have enough to keep yourself busy without venturing into stabilizing quite yet.
 

mredburn

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absolutly no reason what so ever that you cant make pens out of them. its a big help if they are dried. 5 Years would seem reasonable.
 

D.Oliver

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May 10, 2011
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Faith SD
They will work just fine. The general rule of thumb is they need to air dry 1 year for every inch of thickness. So if you have had them stored somewhere where they aren't getting rained on, they should be good and dry and ready to turn. Walnut will be a good species to learn on. It turns fairly easy.
 

lucky13

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Feb 1, 2013
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Saint Peters, MO
I just posted a pic of a pen that I just turned today out of Walnut, and I agree with D.Oliver about the drying. Also if you have access to a kiln you can also dry it that way to. If you do dry it the natural way be sure to either dip it in wax or get some sort of sealer or else during the slow drying process the wood will check and crack naturally. Also A good way is to cut the blanks a little larger then you would like and seal it and then place in a paper bag and store in your basement or attic. But that is just my opinion as there is no one wright way to do it.
 

Haynie

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May 20, 2011
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Page Arizona
Walnut is some god awful stuff. You don't want to use it for pens and definitely should not use it for furniture you plan on living with.

Being the nice guy I am I'll come there and haul it all off for you. :biggrin:
 

stonepecker

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Oct 29, 2012
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central Minnesota
Haynie, You can always drop some off here in MN as you are heading home.

Just remember, sharp tools and small cuts and you should be able to make pens easily.
 

OOPS

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Feb 6, 2010
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Spokane, WA
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that you might want to try cutting some blanks so that the grain runs straight through the pen (top to bottom) and cut other blanks so that the grain runs at a diagonal. These blanks are known as cross cut and oftentimes you can get a stunning effect from these pieces.

Be sure and show us the results when you're finished.
 

Rink

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May 12, 2013
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NW Arkansas
Yes sir it is indeed black walnut. We have a lot of it here in northwest Arkansas. We have a lot of red oak too but a lot of that was damaged over the last decade or so by the red oak borer beetle. Lots of standing dead timber when you get into the ozark mountains. I think they took down about 4 trees for my house. Local guy with portable sawmill came over and cut my 8 foot logs into lumber. Also have some cherry from a tornado at my dads place in 2006. Since I've gotten interested in pen turning...I now see all trees (both live and dead) as potential writing instruments!
 

robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Yes sir it is indeed black walnut. We have a lot of it here in northwest Arkansas. We have a lot of red oak too but a lot of that was damaged over the last decade or so by the red oak borer beetle. Lots of standing dead timber when you get into the ozark mountains. I think they took down about 4 trees for my house. Local guy with portable sawmill came over and cut my 8 foot logs into lumber. Also have some cherry from a tornado at my dads place in 2006. Since I've gotten interested in pen turning...I now see all trees (both live and dead) as potential writing instruments!

Well, join to the team mate, I stop driving and let the wife do it as I spend more time looking on the side of the road for trees and searching for something I not seen before, and while you see lots of "writing instruments" in them, I see those, bowls, plates, platters, vases, eggs, tool handles, knife handles and another dozen of things that sometimes I don't know what they are until I see it...!:confused::eek::biggrin:

Oh... and all about those twisted, curved, awkward trees, branches, limbs that nature produce for us...???? you starting looking and all of a certain you see, table legs/stands, chairs, stools, and a million other possibilities, yeah, you don't know how "bad" you can get mate but, you seem to be on the right path, already...!:wink::biggrin:

Good luck,
Cheers
George
 
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