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Author Topic: milling walnut for Stright grain  (Read 605 times)

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Offline sawwood

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milling walnut for Stright grain
« on: January 19, 2023, 07:50:51 PM »
I have been looking for the post I read about how to cut walnut for Stright grain.  I have a customer wanting Stright grain walnut. I looked but didn't fine it.  I have a couple of walnut logs in the 18" size to try it. Any help would be appreciated.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: milling walnut for Stright grain
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2023, 08:11:03 PM »
     Are you thinking of quartersawn and calling it straight grain? If so look up Quartersawn and you should find tons of results. Good luck.

    Most people don't quartersaw walnut because it does not show figure up as well as some other woods like oak and sycamore and such but sometimes people still want it for musical instruments or such.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: milling walnut for Stright grain
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2023, 08:23:58 PM »
Or are they talking about Taper sawing?  That's where you cut boards parallel to the bark, not the pith. End result is the boards have little "cathedral grain" showing on  the face, and the grain on the edges pretty much runs the length of the board. You end up with your waste wood as a wedge shaped piece around the pith, and some of your boards will taper in width. But it's a valid sawing technique, especially if the customer is willing to pay a bit extra for the results. 

But double check with the customer exactly what they mean. A picture of what they are trying to achieve will tell a lot. 
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Offline sawwood

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Re: milling walnut for Stright grain
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2023, 12:37:13 PM »
I should have said rift sawing walnut. I think i read some where on here how to mill a walnut log for that type of sawing. Yes the customer is talking about it as he didn't want flat saw lumber.
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Offline Larry

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Re: milling walnut for Stright grain
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2023, 12:50:30 PM »
Its called "ribbon stripe" walnut.  A trend that has had a following for a few years.  Saw the log just like quarter sawing but you don't need to worry much about fleck since it doesn't have any.

I have some air drying now, but it will probably go to guys steam bending as it doesn't blow out like flat sawn.

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Offline scsmith42

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Re: milling walnut for Stright grain
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2023, 01:05:53 PM »
Fastest method to produce a combination of quarter and rift would be what I call the "woodmizer method".  

Start out by removing the sapwood from the outside of the log.  Instead of doing 4 sides, turn it into an "octagon".

Center the pith above the sawmill bed on your opening cuts so that it is dead center of your cant on each end.  Try to get it within 1/4" of being the same from end to end.

Next, for an 18" log if you're milling one (if 8/4) or two (if 4/4 or 5/4) boards right out of the center of the log, capturing the pith in it.  Remove that board(s), and take the remaining log halves and stand them up face to face.  Clamp them together and start milling down from the top.  When you get around half way down you'll have to turn them over to complete.

See sketch below.



 



FF Member Yellowhammer's "reverse roll quartersawing" method will produce more pure quartersawn boards (and it's our technique of choice for oak and sycamore), but the Woodmizer method is faster and well suited for species that don't have medullary ray fleck.

I keep a 1" ratchet strap near the mill to place around the log halves / thirds to keep them together for turning.  Fast and easy.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: milling walnut for Stright grain
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2023, 01:55:09 PM »
I saw to produce vertical grain or straight grain boards fairly routinely, but I do it a little different. I also generally have a pile of logs and will mix up flat sawn and vertical grain depending on how the pith is located, preferring very off center logs for this technique.  So I can pick my logs and don't have to yield 100% vertical or straight grain from every log.  The most difficult thing about vertical or straight grain is getting wide boards because since it requires sawing a half log or half cant the boards will be narrow, which isn't optimum.

So the goal is to make them as wide as possible.  Not only does it provide vertical grain, it allows for flatter drying wood from species that don't like to dry flat.

I don't octagon like for normal quartersawing, instead, I will form the cant quickly as normal, but will do my best to keep the cant as off center as possible, with the pith toward one side, using the toe boards, rolling, etc.

Then I will flatsaw off the thin side, and either stop short of the pith to form the half cant or will keep going right through taking the center boards like in Scott's drawing.  So maybe three or four flatsawn, then get into the pith for vertical or straight grain, or stop short and cheat a little.

At that point, I will rotate the half cant up 90 and start sawing down to the midline, where there is generally a pith crack or defect.  I will not inspect every board, or even stop, because at that point I'm committed.  So I will use the dragback and pull back the sawn stack at once.  At that point, I will flip the top side 180 to the bed, because that is the worst board and sawing like this can sometimes cause stress and cause the dog board to jack up off the bed, but since it is the pith board, I don't really care that much.  So I will then saw that all the way down and pull that pack back at once.  So generally, using the technique I will yield three stacks of boards, and I really never had to stop during the whole process, and with the dragback mods on my mill, I can pull all three packs back at once and stage for stacking.  

So the yield a a few flatsawn boards, but with the majority as vertical or "straight" grain sawn.

I use this technique routinely for highly stress woods, such as walnut, hickory, pecan, elm, mineralized poplar and cherry, or any other log that needs it.  The cool thing is that I can not make the final decision to vertical grain saw until I actually get into the log, and since I'm not targeting fleck, I don't need to octagon or even level the pith.  So its a very fast technique, arguably faster than conventional grade sawing and much faster than any quartering or rift sawing technique I've used.

Yes, it does "violate" severely conventional rules of sawing but it produces excellent vertical or straight grain boards as wide as the log will allow.

By coincidence, I will be releasing a new video shortly that I use to demonstrate the effectiveness of my no touch dragback modification, and use this sawing technique to slice up a big pecan with significant heart defects, which is also a good use for it.  I didn't discuss the sawing technique much in the video, but you'll notice the characteristic 3 stacks of boards this technique produces.  
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: milling walnut for Stright grain
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2023, 10:07:06 AM »
I did the modified method of quarter sawing that is on woodmizer site.  Basically same as some of these other methods.  Doesn't produce as much true quarter sawn boards as traditional quarter sawing, but you get a bunch and also a bunch will be rift sawn.  I did this with walnut and loved the results.  I kept the sapwood in it and got a lot of boards that were half heart and half sap.  I used them as the border in the hardwood floor i did in my bedroom.  
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