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Issue 499

Nuts for You

It is the season of fall: falling leaves, (potentially) falling grouse – when your boss takes off hunting (again) – and falling nuts.

Nuts, of course, fall off of trees, the source of wood for woodworking. A coworker, for example, has collected a small pile of acorns as a decorative element for her desk. While those particular acorns won’t grow into oak trees and eventually be quartersawn into lumber for Mission style furniture, I think it’s safe to say that the squirrel population will take care of this year’s planting for us.

On a recent trip to Europe, I also watched chestnuts falling (note: if you’re going to stand under a chestnut tree in the fall, a hardhat might be a good idea). That’s not a wood that I’ve seen used much in American woodworking – likely largely because of the chestnut blight that devastated the species several years ago. (The American Chestnut Foundation is working diligently to bring them back.)

Obviously, there are other nut trees that also produce good wood for woodworking – black walnut, for example, comes easily to mind. What’s your favorite “nutty” wood to work with?

Joanna Werch Takes, Woodworker’s Journal

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