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Info On Walnut Needed!


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Great choice.

It machines really nicely.

I've worked with it for over fourty years and I've found a huge variation in weight density and appearance board to board.

Its weight isn't usually much different than mahogany.

It isn't nearly as hard as most maple, but it's lots harder than poplar.

Watch the sawdust. a lot of people react to it. Itchy swollen red eyes. Nasal passage irritation. wear a dust mask and goggles for the dusty parts or the process.

I built a single cutaway earlier this year. Finished the back and sides with high gloss lacquer and oil finished the face. Looks great both ways. You will need to stain it to get to that nice reddish brown color. When it's first milled it's usually a brown with grey tones to it.

Mills will steam it to make the heart color bleed into the sap wood. This degrades to color and workability a lot so be careful and pick your board.

I bought an 8 foot long 13" wide piece of 8/4 raw for about 4.80 a bft. Compared to everything else at the yard, including maple, this was a steal.

I used Behlen solar lux stain, American walnut with a little hickory and light red mahogany thrown in.

The grain is at least as open as most mahogany so you probably will have to use a filler if you want that dipped in glass look. Use one that's tinted to a bit darker than your final color.

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You will need to stain it to get to that nice reddish brown color.

The walnut I used on my bass was absolutely beautiful.

Finished with Tru-Oil: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/ins...ished/bass9.jpg

I absolutely love the grain and coloration on the upper body section in this picture. If I had had another piece like that, it would have likely been the front: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/ins...shed/bass10.jpg

My walnut might be better since it never went to a mill per se. It was taken to be rough sawn and thats it.

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Tone, I can't comment directly, although I've seen fairly positive reviews. People tend to place it in the 'mahogany' tonal family, ish, which is about where it's at in terms of weight. Works well, no probs, although some people are allergic to the dust (but then again, you should be careful about all dust, particularly when it comes to your lungs).

However, it needs grainfilly. Density has exactly nothing at all to do with whether or not it needs filling. Rosewood's got pretty big pores, and it's a lot denser. Wenge's plenty dense, and has just about the biggest pores of any wood I've ever seen.

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  • 9 months later...

I've worked with American Walnut that was light in color and weight, and I've worked with some that was harder and heavier... and then there was the English Walnut, and some Bastone Walnut (which means "bastard" because it's a hybrid), and... I think you get the point.

Check out the various species: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walnut

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