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A dark dilemma.

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  • A dark dilemma.

    I'm over my head here, not sure what to do. I need some ideas.
    I have hit the black walnut mother lode. I am cutting down healthy 25 year old trees in a windrow that needs to come down. Maybe 10 or more 30" dia or larger at the bottom and smaller stuff 14" or less. One huge one about 5' dia (aprox guess) with lots of large branches above12'. (Don't know how I'm gonna get it down?)
    This stuff is great, ...2-5" of white sapwood some with blue and green color and really dark rich brown. I have to drop it from the ground so a lot breaks on contact with the ground.

    (There are some cherry in another location. There are some huge cottonwood trees but I don't think that cottonwood is good for carving?)

    I am trying to think how I can use all the smaller dia stuff. I hate to leave it for firewood.
    I think I will have some made into canoe paddle stock. That would be 14" min and straight for 6'.
    I guess that some could be used for canes? I usually only use the big stuff. I wonder if I could sell some to carvers who do small stuff?
    I need more ideas and to know how to keep this stuff from turning to splinters.

  • #2
    Re: A dark dilemma.

    I do small stuff and would be interested in the wood. Maybe a couple of "book boxes" filled with pieces 4 inches square by 12 inches long. I could use these. I'd prefer the dark wood. Figure a price and let us know.



    • #3
      Re: A dark dilemma.

      Hi Bob, it sounds like you did find the mother-load!
      Don't be too quick to discount the cottonwood. It is great to carve!
      Good luck with it.


      • #4
        Re: A dark dilemma.

        Bob, once you have your stock of carving wood selected, you might be able to find someone local who has a portable saw mill to cut it into lumber. You might have some valuable timber there.


        • #5
          Re: A dark dilemma.

          Where are you located Bob?
          All of the wood you've listed is excellent Black Walnut not only great for all types of carving, is very valuable you could probably find a small private sawmill to buy the logs or mill them into lumber for you.
          Cherry is excellent for wood turning and carving spoons from, I know some people use cherry chips to smoke meat and fish.
          Does the cottonwood have thick bark on it?
          It's bark is great for carving, if the trees are already dead you can just pick up the bark and start carving but if your cutting down these trees and they are still alive you would want to let the bark air dry a couple years before you tried carving it.


          • #6
            Re: A dark dilemma.

            Thank you all, I have a guy who will mill for me and I am planning on doin a little winter work in the shop to size some down. There seems to be lots of cottonwood around here. And rumors of basswood too...way back in the swamp.

            I hope to make a little money to buy more toys!


            • #7
              Re: A dark dilemma.

              The lumber haulers around this area (S.W. Missouri) will buy complete logs and send them off for lumber. They make their living hauling this stuff.


              • #8
                Re: A dark dilemma.

                hey bob if the cottonwood has nice thick bark for carving i would love some! i will pay you and shipping if its nice stuff send me some pics on facebook. i would love the wood also but your way to far away from me
                thanks jeff


                • #9
                  Re: A dark dilemma.

                  For walnut I would mill it as it is valuable. Of course, having a sawmill makes that an easy decision...


                  • #10
                    Cottonwood bark

                    Jeff, on the chainsawsculptors forum, Mike Bihlmaier(sp?) has quite a lot of cottonwood bark for sale. It was a by-product of a couple of really beautiful chainsaw carvings he had done recently for a library in Illinois. Mike is from Marengo, Illinois, and I believe his website is He is an excellent chainsaw carver, a member of the Echo Carving Team, and a really good person. I'm quite sure that if he still has any of the bark left he would sell and ship it for a reasonable cost.-ken