On this show I cover why is Walnut so thirsty? Sticker Stain? Air dried vs Kiln dried for violin bow making. I cover the featured species: American Black Walnut, my favorite species to work. Finally I spend some time talking about a few stories concerning gene editing.
Tree Gene Editing?
I have a few news stories sent my way this time and I wanted to broach the subject of gene editing in the case of the American Chestnut as well as making specific use wood species for things like pulp. I'm so far from a geneticist nor do I play one on TV. But I am fascinated by the work being done in these fields and the woodworker in my who has built pieces with Chestnut would love to see some of the gene work allow the Chestnut to make a comeback. At the same time seeing a strain of Poplar specifically made for pulp production without the nasty byproducts that stink up paper mill towns sounds pretty compelling. But gene editing is scary because I saw Jurassic Park (read it too) and you can't help but wonder what kind of zombie tree army might be created in the process.
I'd totally watch that movie!
Featured Species: American Black Walnut
Juglans nigra or American Black Walnut is a hugely popular species all over the world. Native to Eastern North America but now grown in just about every region of the the continent and cultivars and transplants in many regions around the world. Black Walnut was exported like mad during the 18th century when furniture styles grew tired of Mahogany and sought something new from the colonies. Today the wood is still exported in great numbers all over the world.
It is my favorite species to work with hand tools and the semi ring porous structure is the perfect mix of hardness and softness that holds details well yet still is sweet under the chisel and hand plane. Many of the regional variations of Walnut work very similarly with slight variations in the density.
The grading of Walnut is tough with its own special rules but thankfully more and more wood is making it into the market today with character grades and rustic and common grades being more in vogue.
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