A woodworker is harvesting some 8-12″ walnut trees and wants to cut and dry them. He’s heard that there might be nails in them as part of the process of planting these trees. Someone also told him that walnut trees, over time, eventually dissolve nails.
Michael Dresdner: They do corrode, but don’t dissolve completely. Besides, a 12″ tree is way too young to have had time to do that. If there are nails?and there’s a darn good chance there will be?you can count on them taking out the teeth of your saw blade. Use a metal detector first, or give the job to someone who has the gear for it.
Ellis Walentine: Walnut trees of this diameter are virtually useless for lumber because of the high percentage of sapwood. Your actual heartwood diameter probably ranges from about 2″ to 6″?hardly enough to justify milling the trees. If you want to go ahead with it, check for nails with a metal detector first. Even if walnut dissolves nails, it probably takes many years to do so, and it doesn’t pay to take chances on expensive saw blades.