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Walnut Slab

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Jun 02, 2013, 09:53 AM
kschol
Walnut Slab
We had a walnut tree cut in to slabs and we are wanting to finish it to use as a bar top. Not sure how to prep it and what to use on it! Do we need to treat it and with what? An suggestions would be helpful.
Jun 03, 2013, 12:13 PM
nona
depending on the thickness and the moisture content it's going to need to be dried to a moisture content of that of another piece of wood (not particle board ) in your house. This is going to take some time, or you can bring it someplace where they kiln dry wood. You should paint the end grain with a latex paint so that the wood dries evenly Another alternative is to put the prepared wood in your attic where temperatures approach that of a kiln You will also need a moisture meter that will tell you when you've reached the desired reading. ( I believe from 6% to 12% )
Actually , it's best to season the wood in your home, perhaps under a bed, until the moisture level in the wood equals the other wood in the house
Google " wood moisture " or something like that for more info

This message has been edited. Last edited by: nona,
Jun 05, 2013, 07:21 AM
joecercone
Once the wood has dried, there is a lot of work to be done to transform it into something like a bar top. Sawing, planing, sanding, jointing all require some woodworking skill and the proper tools. The fact that you are asking about treating it indicates that you probably don't have a lot of woodworking experience. If that's the case, you should take your boards to a cabinetmaker or millworks where they can make the bar top for you. Otherwise, you would most likely be wasting some valuable lumber.
Jun 05, 2013, 04:42 PM
swschrad
old farmers air-dry their quarter-sawn lumber placing it flat in an old building, raised off each other and the floor by slats (lathing works). I think father-in-law kept his ash drying for 3 years in an old chicken coop, and when he needed more space, he set some of the planks upright against the sides, again, lath separated.

I have a couple slabs that will get worked up into tables this summer/fall for the rebuilt basement. they are being stored nearly vertical in the garage.

that walnut could be really, really pretty. if you can't get it kilned, air dry at least two years. up in the rafters would be good if there is absolutely no history of water blowing in through vents or the like. you don't want to stain that pretty lumber.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Jun 06, 2013, 09:18 AM
GardenSprite
[QUOTE]Originally posted by swschrad:

I think father-in-law kept his ash drying for 3 years in an old chicken coop, and when he needed more space, he set some of the planks upright against the sides, again, lath separated.

I have a couple slabs that will get worked up into tables this summer/fall for the rebuilt basement. they are being stored nearly vertical in the garage.


QUOTE]

I had read somewhere, years ago, that wood should be stored flat as it's drying out. Is it optional, or was your FIL's and your wood stored vertically for space?
Jun 06, 2013, 10:36 AM
nona
storing the wood flat is the proper way to dry the wood. you should separate each layer with pieces of wood the same thickness equally spaced all the way across the boards ( this is called "stickering " ), each succeeding layer should have the "stickers " in the same place as the preceding sticker below it. I use dowels for stickers so there is minimum contact with the boards and still allows air to circulate.
If kscol is only drying one board in the attic, he should lay it flat across the rafters but elevate it with a small p0iece of dowel. A better choice would be a new product called painters pyramids that H. Depot sells in their paint dept., but anything will work so long as it's the same size
Jun 06, 2013, 03:54 PM
swschrad
GardenSprite: the wood was dried flat, and when another tree demanded it be cut down and was field-sawn, the dry ones were set vertical and the green wood set flat. I remember spacers every foot or so to insure the wood didn't go wavy. if the planks are over a foot wide, as this was, you can't dress that out well, even with an open-arm planer.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Jun 07, 2013, 10:12 AM
GardenSprite
Swschrad, thanks for the explanation. This makes sense to store them vertically after they've dried horizontally.