A friend milled Walnut flitches for me this week. You never know what is inside a log before you start cutting but this Black Walnut log was beautiful inside.
Each piece is stacked in the order they were cut, just like the shape of the original log.
The first cut of a log or “Flitching Line” is the most important cut as the location of the first cut dictates the grain pattern for the entire sequence of cuts. Only years of experience on where the flitching line should be on the log will unveil the best the log has to offer in grain and color. If you get this first cut wrong, you could have unusable lumber.
This Black Walnut log is absolutely beautiful, just amazing! I was so excited to see the beautiful colors and grain.
Each flitch is around 14+ inches wide.
All of these boards were stacked in order of the cut and will be slowly air-dried. The boards will be stacked 10″ off the ground on a stable base. So that air can pass over each board, sticker boards are placed between each board. The sticker boards are all the same size or it will cause warped boards as the boards would be unevenly stacked. Once the stack is completed, each end of the boards will be painted with Anchorseal 2 to seal the ends of each board. Sealing the ends prevents splitting, cracking and lows down the drying process.
All of these boards were cut to a thickness of 5/4. It generally takes about a year to dry 5/4 before it can be used. The moisture content was 100% when these were cut. The moisture content will be monitored during the drying process. As I monitor the moisture I will also make sure that the flitches do not dry too fast which will cause splitting and cracking.
I hope you enjoyed seeing how logs are milled! These boards are going to make some beautiful pieces!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Photo credit Tricia Buice