The (Un)Usual Suspects: Really Unusual Walnut Slabs

Unusual Walnut Slabs

I am always on the hunt to buy wide hardwood slabs from our network of small sawmills, but it gets harder and harder to find them, as demand is high. Walnut is always scarce, because there just aren’t that many Walnut trees here in New England. Tree companies come across them occasionally when a homeowner calls and wants a damaged one removed, but it’s usually just one tree, unlike other hardwood species. The owner of one sawmill called me the other day and told me he had just taken a pile of live edge Walnut slabs out of the kiln, and was giving me first crack at them. I said I would come down the next day, and he said I would not be disappointed!

So we drove there yesterday, and he had 8/4 x 15″ and 18″ wide Walnut slabs, which were really nice, with good grain and few knots or checking. Not that unusual, you may rightly say; however, these pieces are from 17 to 21 feet long! In all my years in the lumber business, I never had the opportunity to purchase Walnut that long!

Imagine what a unique conference table or bar top that we (or you) could produce, using these beauties!

We also picked up many shorter pieces of Walnut, Oak, Maple and some outstanding Cherry. He custom milled some 4″ x 6″ Walnut in 4′ and 8′ lengths, for use as fireplace mantels, etc. This pieces are “green,” since it is very hard to kiln dry wood that is so thick, as it tends to check badly. It takes about one year per inch of thickness (from each side) to air dry hardwoods, so at 4″ thick, we sticker (spacers) it for two years before selling it. Or, you can buy it right now, and save $2 per board foot in its green state.

With this purchase, we are reasonably well stocked with thick, wide, and long hardwoods. C’mon over to beautiful downtown Avon and take a look!