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  • walnut carving

    I have not carved in some time and want to start a project as a duck in walnut. The plan is to power carve and burn in the fine details. Is the some where along that project has a sealer applied before the final finish?
    Thanks Jim,

  • #2
    Re: walnut carving

    I would recommend you use a good dust mask I can't even stay in a large room at out turning club if the demonstrator is working with walnut. I still work with it at some sometimes but I use good dust protection.

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    • #3
      Re: walnut carving

      I would say that sealers are normally applied before the duck is painted - primarily to make sure the paint won't soak quickly into the end grain and look darker than it does on the side grain. But...if you're carving from walnut, I'm guessing you aren't going to paint the duck, but will keep it natural, so the sealing is optional (I'd still do it...) I have some walnut carvings in my gallery, but all are natural colors, finished with varnish (no stain) (Gorilla, albatross, owl, dolphin, woman)

      Claude
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      • #4
        Re: walnut carving

        Sounds like a good project. I look forward to seeing the pictures.

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        • #5
          Re: walnut carving

          +1 on the above. If I was power-carving walnut, I’d do it outdoors, with the work on a table about 3’ downstream from one of those square box fans (pointing 90 degrees away from the direction I was facing) set on high and I’d probably wear a dust mask and glasses as well. I believe Wayne L is totally right about the dust.

          That being said, I’d also like to see the pix when you’re done. Not many woods have the aesthetic appearance of carved walnut.

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          • #6
            Re: walnut carving

            I carve black walnut fairly often and have only a few recommendations.

            The first is to use a dust mask when power carving. Not because it is black walnut but because the fine dust of any wood is not recommended as an inhalant.

            The second is to do some burning on a trial piece of black walnut. Like all woods there is variation in the color of the wood. I save mine from my firewood pile and therefore use only the darker walnut. I tried burning in some detail and was not happy with the result.

            All of my black walnut pieces have been finished with tung oil after all of the carving has been finished. Before using the tung oil I sand to at least 400 grit.

            I prefer the high gloss tung for black walnut as it brings out the color and the grain better. Generally, I apply about 6 or 7 coats, allowing each to dry before applying the next. I also go over the carving with 0000 steel wool and a tack cloth between coats.

            Tung will finish to a level that even drink glasses left overnight on a tung finished table will not leave "ring" marks. Minor scratches can also be buffed out without going over the whole carving. The next coats of tung will blend the area causing it to disappear.

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