Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Big Sap


Hi Folks
Well, with the workshop looking so inviting I couldn't help myself. Yes, I've started work on my new table design. Dug out all the 2 inch black walnut I had and got planing and thicknessing. And my, what did I find?
Sapwood. LOTS of sap.....
Now is this right?? When you lot by walnut do you expect it to be two thirds sapwood? I appreciate the walnut tree isn't grown for timber and that it doesn't grow to be a huge, straight tree. But come on, this is expensive timber. And I don't want to be "incorporating sapwood in an original manner" in this piece. Grrrr......
So out of 24 components, 6 of which could be mainly sapwood, I got nine. That is high wastage in anyones book!!!! After pacing the workshop and swearing mildly I tried swearing a stronger. It still didn't help though. Luckily my brain later kicked in and I realised I could glue a veneer of clear walnut onto the sappy backs of most of the components. Going to be close, though, and I may have to laminate up some one inch stock to get sap free components.
None of which has put me off. I am buzzing with excitement over this project. It has been a while since I've been real excited about making something. Sometimes you just need to "inspired"!
Cheers
Philly

9 comments:

rookster said...

Hey Phil,

Curiousity question: is walnut sapwood hard to spot in the rough? I'm thinking that's why you could be surprised by so much of it?

Cheers!

Mike said...

Hey Phil,

Wanna be depressed? The web address is where I buy my Walnut. Not too far from me...

http://www.gobywalnut.com/

If I could have included a smile face I would have.

Take care, Mike

Philly said...

Rob
I buy my timber rough sawn and the walnut is steamed before it is kiln dried. This makes some of the pigment of the heartwood go into the sapwood giving a more "even" colour (well, so the theory goes!!) The boards look an even chocolate colour and the sap is very difficult to tell. Until it comes out of the planer, that is!!! I also bought this timber "mail order" so was unable to go through the boards and pick out the "good stuff".
Mike
I don't know what to say. If you weren't such a decent guy I might start to hate you ;) That looks like some PRIME Walnut!! Wow!
And they are fairly close to you, location wise?
I definitely was born in the wrong country ;)
Best regards
Phil

Mike said...

Yep, about a 45 minute drive on the country roads. Gilmer is also about the same drive time.

There are also about 25 mills with two hours drive where the pickings are good as far as Walnut, White Oak and enough Maple to gag on. Oregon really does have some nice timber.

But hey, the jokes on me. This wood comes from Europe...
http://www.wenzloffandsons.com/saws/tbt/partial_0001a.jpg

Your Walnut will come out fine. A bit of toner on the sap would even it out. And I think over time, a natural mix of Walnut heart and sap ages nicely.

Take care, Mike

Nick W said...

Mike,

Not Fair!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Phil,

Van Dyke crystals can be used to stain sapwood to a nice brown for matching heartwood.

Chris

Philly said...

Thanks Chris. I've been doing some experimentation with Van Dyke crystals, although I'm not totally happy yet.
I think I'm going to be gluing on a capping of clear walnut......
Cheers
Phil

Anonymous said...

Phil, how much weight have you added to that door? Can the motor still cope with opening it?

Andy

Philly said...

Andy
The door is now officially "closed"! I can open it only if I take down the cladding, probably an hours work. I really would rather not, though ;)
It is nice and cosy in there now, I'm real pleased!
Cheers
Phil