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Thread: knots in Black Walnut

  1. #1
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    Default knots in Black Walnut

    I am starting a book shelf project with some Black Walnut. I have piece that I want to use for a shelf that includes a large knot. The surrounding area has nice grain that I want to feature. I usually finish my home built furniture with wood oil and coats of varnish.

    In the past I have filled these with clear epoxy, and I am not sure I want to do that again. I was thinking of applying several coats of varnish, not trying to fill the knot completely.

    Some pics of the wood. I plan to use the quarter sawn pieces for the top.

    Would appreciate any ideas or experiences.

    IMG_3634.jpg

    IMG_3636.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: knots in Black Walnut

    I'd want to stabilize it first. It wants to be an eye, if you slice it in two you could book match them for a face and a pair of eyes.

  3. #3
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    Walnut Creek,ca,usa
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    Default Re: knots in Black Walnut

    In our cabinet shop we most often use 5 minute epoxy mixed with a dark pigment, burnt umber or lamp black. Ends up looking black with most finishes we’ve used. Not much luck with trying to match wood color using sanding dust as the epoxy “colors” the sawdust differently than the final finish. Experiment. John, coincidentally, in Walnut Creek

  4. #4
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    Default Re: knots in Black Walnut

    Before retirement I made very expensive custom furniture for a living. I would never have filled a knot like that unless it was on a work type surface... table, desk, etc. If there are any loose bits down inside, you might want to stabilize them by applying some CA (super) glue, then finish with your varnish, oil, whatever.

    Jeff

  5. #5
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    Default Re: knots in Black Walnut

    I'm with the "feature it" school as well. Unless the opening is in a location that will reduce the functionality, leave it as an expression of the nature of the wood.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: knots in Black Walnut

    If you want to feature the knot use it for one of the sides of the bookshelf. Not cover it with books

  7. #7
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    Default Re: knots in Black Walnut

    Or maybe rather than fill with dust and stain, cut some scrap of the appropriate color, from the walnut stock, and 'inlay' it in the knot. As opposed to cutting out the knot and graving in a not-knot piece. It'll work like the rest of the walnut, and be easier to scrape or plane than the knot itself, while filling the void solidly will keep the brittle knot material from breaking off more. It will take the applied finish the same as the rest of the piece. It's quicker and easier than dicking with goop.

    Coincidentally, I'm not in Walnut Creek, but I do have a black walnut furniture project, with some yewage knots, on the workbench at the moment. There happen to be a handful of various voids, live edge, insect bores, in the wood I have to work with. I intend to leave most of them alone and natural.
    Speak softly and carry a mouthful of marbles.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: knots in Black Walnut

    Thanks for the input and ideas. I think I might try to fit it into a side piece of the furniture to make it more visible.

    Jim do you have any pictures of your black walnut project? I am not sure I know what a yewage knot is.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: knots in Black Walnut

    I keep them, but tuck them away so that they're not the first thing one sees. The idea is not so much to hide the knots as to reward exploration. Not a fan of filling them in unless you need the flat surface for functional reasons.

    James

  10. #10
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    Default Re: knots in Black Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by timber_cruiser View Post
    Thanks for the input and ideas. I think I might try to fit it into a side piece of the furniture to make it more visible.

    Jim do you have any pictures of your black walnut project? I am not sure I know what a yewage knot is.
    Funny you should ask, he said. Yewage is a Bilge-neologism, ala Trump, for huge.

    Which makes me ask, should a photo essay about doing this on my walnut chair go better down the Bilge? Seems like it to me. Here's a teaser I'll post down there, too.

    Further disclaimer to not hijack a thread, this knot repair I did in the time since my first post about it above. It is a current project. It might not be what you're after. This is me sharing not teaching. Anyway, this project is my 'art' furniture guitar chair. I anticipate a thread about that some day when it's done. The actual repair of the knot is on the bottom side of the chair seat and not actually structural, nor even visible under normal usage, but I was just working on it, carving the bottom of the seat to relieve a mass of wood, and this knot bothered me. The end of the photo essay I'm about to post, will be when I carve the inset chunk to be flush with the bottom shape being sculpted. The chair seat started out as nearly three inches thick. The relieved seat will be more like one inch eventually. This is in the middle of the process I'm nearly done with.

    Speak softly and carry a mouthful of marbles.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: knots in Black Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mahan View Post
    Funny you should ask, he said. Yewage is a Bilge-neologism, ala Trump, for huge.
    Ha! Love it, look forward to seeing your post on the completed project.

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