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Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

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  • Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

    Hopefully this goes through. I have trying to post this in the Carving Wood thread and haven\'t been able to. I was wondering how hard is black walnut wood to carve? My friend is giving me some pieces of green black walnut wood. The wood is covered in waxed to prevent it from drying out too much.

    My question, is it possible and enjoyable to hand carved this wood just with a Murphy bench knife ando the palm gouges I received from the Little Shavers beginner woodcarving kit?

    The pieces are 1 and a half inch squared by 12 inches. Of course, I would like to make a love spoon and other things kind of stylized because no way I\'m going to paint this beautiful wood.

    Patty

  • #2
    Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

    Paty,
    I will past along my experience with black walnut. I hope more more informed carver will come to your assistance.

    My son-in-law sent me some BW that he had gotten from his brother ranch in east Texas. It was from a old tree that had been stuck by lighting the summer before. he cut the tree down to make lubber from it and Tim gathered me up some scape..

    It was hard than the hubs of hell. I used every type of carving tools I had on the two pieces I did.. It was workable , but I work for it, basically taking what it would give me ., It seemed funny to me me while OI was carving, along with chip and got little pieces that reminded me of grape nu???.

    I have included a photo, not a very good one. But try it, it is alway good to have another experience.
    . . .JoeB
    Attached Files
    . . .JoeB

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

      I have two black walnut trees in my yard. I have tried to carve it a couple times and gave up. The wood is beautiful and I have seen lovely things made from it so, it can be done. I would say, you have the wood, give it a try. If you are sanding it or power carving it though, be sure to wear a dust mask.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

        I think it will be a useful experiment to carve right through the wax and into the fresh wood. I say this from the POV that many wood species go from cheese to bone when they dry.
        I don\'t know what bevel angle you use now for the wood(s) that you carve. Walnut, any species, will be different. Pfeil carving gouges are about 20* from the factory. Some carvers claim that 25* is better for really hard woods.
        I\'d like to ask the artisans who did the oak and walnut carvins all over the interior of Egton Bridge cathedral in NYorks, UK. Centuries(?) ago.
        Brian T

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        • #5
          Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

          Hi, Patty.
          I have carved several pieces in walnut. A friend gave me a large slab of walnut he had had in his garage for over 30 years, so it was good and dry.

          I used Flexcut palm gouges for the most part, along with a mallet, and only used knives for finer details. It carves fine, but just remember to take very thin chips off - you can\'t hog off wood like you can with basswood.

          Claude
          My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

          My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

          My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

            Patty,
            Ditto what has been said. I found out very fast that it is not basswood. lol
            I had to make shallow slicing cuts because you can\'t really push the blade into the wood.
            Carve safe!
            Bill K.
            Every day should be unwrapped like a precious gift.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

              I am currently carving another large (16 by 22 inches) wall decoration featuring 19 birds in black walnut plus 19 fish in basswood. The walnut is from a 50 year old bookshelf. All of the carving is being done with hand tools, mostly Pfeil Swiss-made, without mallet, but my go-to gouge is an antique Herring Brothers #3-7mm fishtail.
              As already said, I take small cuts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

                We have a lot of black walnut here in Whooping Hollow. My son had a tree taken down last week that had been lightening struck and was threatening his house. He asked me about carving something from it. I told him that even the standing dead would not have dried sufficiently to carve. This 30\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' tall, double trunk was all firewood now. I might have put some away for the future but I have a huge double trunk stump and at least 30\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' of trunk I put in the barn in 1990 (dried cow manure seems to help the drying process). Several years ago I carved a piece of this wood. It was dry, dark, wonderful, and very hard. I used an Automach augmented by full size tools driven by a mallet. Black walnut, for me, ranks in there with the ironwood found in the Sonoran desert as far as beauty is concerned.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by Paul_Guraedy; 04-26-2016, 01:58 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

                  I have made a few Walnut Handles for Canes and used Power Tools. For detailing I used a Reciprocating Tool and the V tool walked right thru it. I guess it\'s the same as using a Mallet but easier. Walnut is not my favorite wood to Carve, but it sure is Pretty. Merle

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                  • #10
                    Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

                    I whittled a thumb sized hound dog bottle stopper out of walnut- hand cramping hard. Had to modify the bevel angle on a blade too.
                    Buffalo Bif
                    bflobif.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

                      These are a few of my carvings in black walnut: Oops, I have a more finished photo of the middle figure.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

                        I just had to repost. I knew I had some better picture of the black walnut carving i had dione, I stumbled across thess today.

                        . . .JoeB
                        Attached Files
                        . . .JoeB

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

                          Here are several carvings I did in walnut so you can see that some detail is possible, if one is careful. The first is a relief of a old Chevy that I did for the friend who gave me the large plank of walnut. This was cut off one end of the plank. The second is an albatross in flight, about 10 inches tall. The third is about 15 inches tall.

                          Claude
                          Attached Files
                          My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                          My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                          My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

                            I think that some black walnut must be harder than other pieces, because I have carved quite a bit of it and while it is certainly harder than bass or white pine, I don\'t find it ridiculously difficult. I actually find it to be a pleasant wood to work with gouges and mallet.

                            Others, several on this thread find it fantastically hard. Maybe some of it is really hard and I just haven\'t run into that kind yet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Green and waxed black walnut and I have questions

                              The pictures on this thread have me thinking there is some black walnut in my carving future. The wood looks beautiful.

                              Comment

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