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By MikeG.
#1333755
Steliz wrote:Rob, I understand your reasoning for binning sapwood but it is a luxury most woodworkers don't have.......


It's not really a luxury, I'm afraid. Think of sap wood as the wrapping and the heartwood as the present. The sap is where all the bugs and beasties lurk, and it is generally much softer and more vulnerable than heartwood. Look at a 400 year old timber framed building, and the stuff that has rotted is the sapwood. The only timber where I would keep and use the sapwood is yew, but walnut is one of those marginal cases where some people do use it, and many don't. Maybe this is because all of the walnut board is comparatively soft, so the sapwood isn't such a huge physical contrast as it is in other timbers.

I've just finished processing £1100 worth of European oak. I bought waney edge boards, and in the woodyard they measure between the sap at the midpoint of the board. In other words, I didn't even pay for the sap. The first job I did was spend hours working out how to get the most out of each board, then ripping off the edges to discard the sapwood. Sometimes you are scrapping about trying to squeeze an extra 5mm out of a board but never, not once, was I tempted to leave any sapwood in anywhere.
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By woodbloke66
#1333802
Steliz wrote:Rob, I understand your reasoning for binning sapwood but it is a luxury most woodworkers don't have. I would have struggled to find enough wood to make this table in the entire log if I had stripped off all the sapwood so, what should I do? Double my material costs or carry on and hope that there are no woodworm?


Yep, if that's what it takes, that's what you do! Sorry, there are no half way measures. English Walnut is so rare and precious (it's about £100 a cu') that in my book, any piece of furniture made from it needs to be the absolute best that you can possibly make...which means stripping off the sap before you start work.

If you wanted to make it go a LOT further, the solid board(s) sans sap could be converted into thick (2 or 3mm veneers) which once laid on a proper substrate could be effectively treated as solid ie; planed and sanded. The process is complex though and requires a method of deep sawing (bandsaw) accurate thickness sanding (drum sander) and a way of laying the veneers, in my case, the use of a vacuum bag - Rob

If you scroll down the projects in my sig block below, quite a few are in English Walnut; you won't see any sap, anywhere.

What Mike said ^above^ is Gospel. - Rob
By Sgian Dubh
#1333916
MikeG. wrote:
Steliz wrote:Rob, I understand your reasoning for binning sapwood but it is a luxury most woodworkers don't have.......


It's not really a luxury, I'm afraid. Think of sap wood as the wrapping and the heartwood as the present. The sap is where all the bugs and beasties lurk, and it is generally much softer and more vulnerable than heartwood.

There's much truth in what you say, Mike, particularly with regard to timber species in which there's marked colour differentiation between sapwood and heartwood, as well as durability issues, e.g., European oak heartwood is classified as durable, and the sapwood is essentially non-durable.

American black walnut along with American black cherry come under some species specific rules in the American grading system permitting more sapwood in a board than would be allowed in other species: and, of course, pretty much 99% of both those species come from North America, and will have been graded using the American grading system prior to export elsewhere, e.g., to the UK. On top of that, almost every board of American black walnut that's been through the typical large commercial mills and processing plants in the US are steamed to disguise the sapwood, not always particularly successfully unfortunately.

Still, sapwood in boards in some species is actually considered and graded as a desirable characteristic, because it's white or very pale in colour, and frequently virtually impossible to distinguish from the heartwood through a superficial inspection, i.e., a quick look at the board prior to basic machining. Specifically, species such as hard and soft maple fall into this category, as does as ash.

I guess all of the above was just a long-winded way of getting to make the point that sapwood isn't always a 'bad guy', but in relation to the table under discussion in this thread (the principal subject), I agree that I'd prefer to see the sapwood cut off in a walnut table, leaving only the richer coloured heartwood. Slainte.
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By MikeG.
#1333919
Sgian Dubh wrote:......American black walnut along with American black cherry come under some species specific rules in the American grading system permitting more sapwood in a board than would be allowed in other species: and, of course, pretty much 99% of both those species come from North America, and will have been graded using the American grading system prior to export elsewhere, e.g., to the UK. On top of that, almost every board of American black walnut that's been through the typical large commercial mills and processing plants in the US are steamed to disguise the sapwood, not always particularly successfully unfortunately........


Whilst it's impossible to be certain from a photo, I reckon this is likely to be European walnut rather than American, don't you Richard? There is just more of the colour variation that we typically get over here but which is less pronounced in American walnut.
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By woodbloke66
#1333943
Sgian Dubh wrote:Still, sapwood in boards in some species is actually considered and graded as a desirable characteristic, because it's white or very pale in colour, and frequently virtually impossible to distinguish from the heartwood through a superficial inspection, i.e., a quick look at the board prior to basic machining. Specifically, species such as hard and soft maple fall into this category, as does as ash.

I guess all of the above was just a long-winded way of getting to make the point that sapwood isn't always a 'bad guy', but in relation to the table under discussion in this thread (the principal subject), I agree that I'd prefer to see the sapwood cut off in a walnut table, leaving only the richer coloured heartwood. Slainte.

I'd agree also with Richard's comments about ash and maple varieties where it's virtually impossible to see the difference between the sap and heart woods. I've been using quite a lot of what I assume is kilned American Ash where it's all but impossible to differentiate 'twixt the sap and heart - Rob
By Sgian Dubh
#1333962
MikeG. wrote: Whilst it's impossible to be certain from a photo, I reckon this is likely to be European walnut rather than American, don't you Richard? There is just more of the colour variation that we typically get over here but which is less pronounced in American walnut.

I suspect it's likely the walnut that's the specific material under discussion in this thread is Juglans regia, it is possible it's Juglans nigra, or one of the other walnut species native to North America because those species have been introduced into Europe. However, the wood's source is local I believe, so more likely to be native.

As to colour combinations, there are usually subtle clues to differentiate between unsteamed European walnut and similarly unsteamed American black walnut. Of all the American walnut I've worked over the last few decades, both here and in the USA when I lived there, I've never worked any that wasn't steamed, and probably only once (I think) seen an example of the unsteamed stuff.
I think European walnut generally has a honey colour as the background, whereas American walnut tends to be closer to a background chocolate colour, with pinks, purples, blues and even a suggestion of green getting into the act in both species all depending a number of environmental and climate factors during the life of the tree. From the photographs I've seen of the table top here, and the wood's source, I strongly suspect, like you, that the material is Juglans regia ... but I could be wrong, ha, ha. Slainte.
By Steliz
#1334906
I was going to use some of the Walnut offcuts to make the drawer boxes but I decided to keep them for myself. I had a piece of Beech that a kind person gave me recently that just happened to be slightly bigger than what I needed.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-oOSokge4VfFAp.jpg

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I set up a guide to router out the groove for the base

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-Dc39wOvMzQRAH.jpg


I decided to add a chamfer on the drawer fronts, gave them a coat of finish and attached the handles.

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Drawer boxes complete with 4mm ply for the base. I have avoided showing any close ups of my dovetails as they weren't as good as I was hoping.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-G8F4sFF1EO.jpg


I gave the internals a coat of finish and attached the drawer fronts. I also got the buttons done.

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By Steliz
#1334916
And here is the finished table.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-pSM7RqYijgFh5Wh.jpg

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-CBFr9GpKqbCXcz3.jpg

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imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-cxTV2lW0ZljgOsR8.jpg


This was a great learning experience and, apart from a couple of things that I would do differently if I started again, I am very pleased with the result.
My wife says I should take it up professionally, I'm still laughing at that!

Comments welcome.
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By bp122
#1334928
Steliz wrote:And here is the finished table.

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-pSM7RqYijgFh5Wh.jpg

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-CBFr9GpKqbCXcz3.jpg

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-5amw6W8QpfUDFNh.jpg

imgonline-com-ua-CompressToSize-cxTV2lW0ZljgOsR8.jpg


This was a great learning experience and, apart from a couple of things that I would do differently if I started again, I am very pleased with the result.
My wife says I should take it up professionally, I'm still laughing at that!

Comments welcome.


You have done that walnut tree proud!
And in the process, inspired me to aim for a better attitude towards projects.

Well done.
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By Steve Maskery
#1334962
Yes, you have gone too far, too close to the top of the legs. Lesson learned for next time, eh?
If I were in such a predicament, I think I would put some wood back into the mortice. A nice snug piece, with the grain in line. Properly done, it will make the leg as strong as it would have been if you had cut it like that in the first place.
Haunches are a good idea for that sort of thing, too, but a bit more difficult to do retrospectively. You would have to rout a short slot in the ends of the rail, insert a long-grain piece and take it from there.
You have made mistakes, but they are very remediable, and if this is your first attempt you deserve a pat on the back.
By Steliz
#1334980
Thanks for the positive comments guys.

Steve Maskery wrote:If I were in such a predicament, I think I would put some wood back into the mortice.


Steve, after the error was pointed out to me I did actually cut some new legs to final dimension but I decided to stick with the original legs (and hope nobody noticed!). I need a lot more joinery practice to produce cleaner more accurate M&Ts and the first attempt was just about OK so, I had a look at it and decided to glue in a block of wood in each which, apparently wasn't such a bad idea, thanks.