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Thread: Opportunity to buy 30 board ft of air dried Walnut. Should I do it?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    55

    Opportunity to buy 30 board ft of air dried Walnut. Should I do it?

    I have the opportunity to purchase around 30 board ft of Walnut that has been sitting in a dry garage, stickered, for about 35 years. The boards range from 1" thick to 1.5" thick. I live in relatively humid Nebraska. Is it possible the wood is too dry? Is it useable for wood boxes and book shelves? If I buy it, what is the chance it will be unusable? The grain looks nice, and the sap wood is minimal, so it looks like nice wood from that standpoint. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    1,854
    Make absolutely sure there are no powder post beetles in the sapwood. Any hardwood stored for 35 years has a great chance of having some. No such thing as too dry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    144
    Unless it's some crazy cost - it would be a no brainer for me. I really like walnut! I just purchased over $400 of figured walnut ranging from 4" thick to 1" thick to redo my stair posts and and hand rails. I can't wait to turn it and finish the grain!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
    Posts
    12,852
    As noted above, if the cost is right and it is bug free, it should be good lumber. I would advise getting a moisture meter and checking it before making any projects from it.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Western Nebraska
    Posts
    3,826
    Look out for poor milling or warping before you buy. One time I bought a stack I could only see the ends of, turned out that whoever was running the backyard sawmill, didn't know what they were doing and the periodic thickness changes rendered a huge part of it to planer chips. It also had some pretty serious twists, so it was useful for shorter stuff only. It was beautiful and I made a dresser for my daughter, but probably 1/2 of that wood was not useable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    55
    Thanks for all the tips. I think I will go back and inspect it for powder post beetles, check the boards for warp and poor thickness consistency, and make an offer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,358
    I would not go above half of retail.

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