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David
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A local trophy shop asked me today to make four simple pieces in Walnut, 4" x 28" and with a Roman Ogee edge profile. I'll be doing some CNC work for them and have the Walnut ready for the upcoming jobs but they needed these four pieces right away. This is some of the Walnut I helped mill back in mid October Sawing Walnut Logs and posted here. This is some gorgeous unsteamed Walnut!

For those who don't do this I thought it would be good to just post the steps. My reasoning is that I often get asked by friends why my projects end up looking different from theirs and this is one of the reasons - properly milled stock to start a project. These boards are in the rough so that means ripping and crosscutting to size, of course, but the next steps are where the difference comes in for a better end result - YMMV.

My steps for this -
  • Crosscut to a half inch over length
  • Rip to a quarter inch over width
  • Pick a good edge and straighten on the jointer
  • Determine face to show, flatten on the jointer to remove cupping, bowing, etc.
  • Once that is flat then surface the other side in the planer (face jointed side down)
  • When that side is cleaned up surface the reference face one time in the planer
  • Sand both sides with drum sander to remove any marks (optional)
  • Rip to exact width using the jointed edge against the table saw fence
  • Crosscut to final length using a stop so all pieces are exact

Many of you know this already but I remember when this would have been news to me and helpful to learn why my projects didn't turn out like some I had seen. So feel free to chime in with your steps to prepare stock especially if they're different than mine.

Anyway, doing those steps produces pieces that are perfectly flat, square, and exactly the same and they look like this -


And I have to add that even though I might have just built an awesome CNC router machine there are still times when a good ol' router table is best, like using a Roman Ogee bearing bit. Fortunately I have a portable router table and a very small place to set it up at the end of the CNC machine and I had forgotten just how much of a mess this makes! Walnut everywhere even though my makeshift dust collection was catching about half! LOL!


But the boards are cut and waiting for lacquer tomorrow. I put a little Naphtha on one spot to see the color and it is purty!
 

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Hi David, thank you for the advice & pictures re that beautiful Walnut timber.I once made a stock for one of my rifles out of white beech (experiment) but I can see why Walnut is the preferred wood for guns.James jj777746
 

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What works for me is to cut it a little longer so in case there is snipe I can cut it off. For the edges I simply but a stack of them on their edge through the planer. I have found that doing each one on the jointer creates problems with having to do each one the same number of time and increases the risk of error.
 

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Nice looking wood and finished product.
James, walnut is great for gunstocks as it is not only attractive but strong. I have read where the old time gun makers used cherry, maple, and other woods for the muzzleloaders of the time.
 

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David
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Minor update - they called and wanted 10 more! It took several hours to prepare these for the next step, routing the Roman Ogee edge. But first I need to make a quick dust chute to catch some of the shavings so I don't have the mess I had when I did the first four.

Also, I didn't like the way the lacquer went on for the first four so I 'stripped' the lacquer off the top (ran it back through the planer for a 'quick strip' job - LOL!).

On another note, I've had a few people ask me why I used the jointer to flatten the face of one side of each board so I thought now would be a good time to throw that in. Again, old news to most of you but there was a time when I didn't do this but also didn't know how it factors into achieving a flat board.

If a board has cup/twist/bow in it the planer will definitely make one or both sides smooth but the board will cup/twist/bow right back into that shape as soon as it comes out of the planer. The planer feed rollers press down hard enough to take that out of the board right at the cutterhead but only while the board is going through the planer. When you flatten one side with a jointer you can't push down hard enough to take that cup/twist/bow out of the board (at least nobody I know can do that). Repeated passes take more and more of the cup/twist/bow out of the board until that one side is flat. Now when you run it through the planer, good side away from the cutterhead, you'll end up with not only two sides flat but also parallel and coplanar to each other.

So here's the stack ready for the router -
 

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David

I've always flattened one face on the joiner, then one edge. Then put the boards through the planer to make two faces parallel. If ripping is required, through the table saw, then that edge goes back to the joiner.

Vince
 

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David
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Just following up with all 14 finished and ready for delivery Monday. Don't you just LOVE unsteamed Walnut!! So much of the iridescence and figure seems to go away with steamed walnut. The light and dark markings you see change as you walk around the boards - beautiful!

 
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