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Thread: Stability of Black Walnut

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Trinity County - 160 miles north of San Francisco. Redwood forest.
    Posts
    159

    Stability of Black Walnut

    How stable a wood is Black Walnut? And how good is for machining?

    I want to mill some little sticks of walnut to metric dimensions. I need them as step blocks to set the digital scales on my router table. The table is actually a machine called a WoodRat. And because some of my router bits are metric, I need metric step blocks on a flip stop to set the center of a cut.

    I can't find metrics anywhere, although on eBay I could pay about $160 for a set of steel step blocks. Also called stop gages. My walnut stock is probably at least 5 years old. Can't tell if it is plain sawn or quarter sawn. The 4" blank I have was cut to make a rifle stock.

    The little 3" sticks in 3,4,5,6,10mm must hold their dimensions throughout the year.

    Gary Curtis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,992
    gary, walnut machines well and if fairly stable.........BUT it`s wood!......go buy some aluminum and mill your setup blocks from it or use plastic. neither of those will move with humidity swings like any wood will.....
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    535
    Gary, if you need just the one dimension to stay constant, then orient the end grain that way and you'll probably be ok, it doesn't move as much as the other two directions. If that's not accurate enough, try using UHMW plastic or something similar.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    Wat Tod said. Wood is wood and is cranky with a mind of it's own. That's why we love it. For machine work, go plastic or metal.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
    Gary.....check with a local metals supplier for brass and mill it to spec. Brass could very well be machined to your spec and would remain stable if you are only wanting it for setup. You could have to have a local machine shop mill it for you to your spec.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Brentwood, TN
    Posts
    294
    Find a cabinet shop that has some solid surface counter top scraps. Make your gages from them using normal woodworking techniques... Your costs, 0

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
    Posts
    1,941
    Corain will be easy to work and free. Just ask the counter shop for a few scraps.

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