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Black Walnuts: Slicing Them Isn't Very Easy

Updated on September 9, 2016
firstcookbooklady profile image

Char is a writer who has written for the Freelance Writers International, Yahoo, Constant Content, Squidoo and now Hubpages.

Nut Cutter - How to Safely Cut a Walnut - This was the PROBLEM....

First I built a Miter box that was the width of a black walnut to hold my walnut. Then, I position it in front of the saw blade. I draw the saw across the top of the miter box and slice the nut.

The reason why I built a special holder was because I did not want to slice my finger off.

Be careful with power tools.

Be responsible.

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I wrote an article and included pictures

I am including the article details here, but if you wish to read the full article, you can google Char Milbrett Slicing Walnuts and read the entire article.

How to slice walnuts for the rim of a basket. The nations new hobby is making pine needle baskets with sliced walnuts around the rim.

How I accomplished slicing them without difficulty.

I started by walking in my yard and picking up a bucket full of black walnuts. It is Fall now, and the green husks have turned a dark chocolate brown and are what I describe as crispy and dry. When you press on them, the dark coating basically drops off and reveals a tan nut. Some are not so tan. Some of the dark coating stays on them.

This is okay. When I was a kid, my parents used to split English walnuts in half and make monkey faces. They were adorable. I see that people are using them in pine needle baskets. They add that certain French je ne sais pas [I do not know] quality to them.

I like them. They are pretty. I take a walnut holding jig that I designed. I put the walnut in it, I turn on my radial arm saw and I cut my slice. I move my walnut over and make another slice. It is probably not very safe to do. You have to be careful of walnut pieces flying at your face. Be sure to wear safety glasses if you try it at home. I wear glasses so I feel somewhat protected. Your vision is something that you should protect!

Yes. It works the best to do only two slices. So, out of a walnut, I can get two end pieces, two middles or two halves. The two end pieces can be used for jewelry. The two halves can be used to carve caricatures. The two middles can be used to make a pine-needle basket.

Yes. I carve the little nuts into faces. You will have to check out my other squidoo lens about carving caricatures.

You can try to be consistent with the pattern of the walnut that you are cutting. I prefer to try different angles. As I cut four nuts, I take a picture of them and I list them on ebay. You only need 7 pieces to make a basket, so I feel that some people will bid on them since there the quantity they need. Suppose they do not want to make two baskets. Maybe they just want to try to make one. Then they only need six sliced walnuts.

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Instructions on how to make a PINE NEEDLE basket

click on the basket picture to go to the webpage, then, hit your left arrow key to return to this webpage. Ooops, sorry. I guess you'll have to Google Nara White Owl and then you'll be taken to the following page:

Pine Needle Baskets by Nara White Owl - Pinterest

Do you need walnut slices??????????

I can cut some for you, or can put you in touch with people who do them in large quantities.

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Do You Need Black Walnuts?

I have a lot of black walnut trees.

This picture shows my yard, as of today March 25, 2011. I can see a cluster of walnuts that the squirrels did not take care of before we got our snowfall. DOES anyone want them? I can pick them up and mail them to you. Postage [plus so much for a walnut]

Reminds me of selling nightcrawlers.. $1 dozen

OH, that's right... I forgot.. walnuts come a dime a dozen. [that's midwest humor, for ya!!] Plus, you probably have a tree in your front yard. If not, let me know... We have trees in our yard that started from little, and they are already producing nuts... [We have been here 10 years]

Mostly, we mow them.. they are in the grass... whirrrr, and they are gone.

How does one charge for a walnut? The way I see it, suppose I picked up some walnuts, [i suppose i have to consider my time: you got the time bending over, picking them up, carrying them to the house, putting them in a box, addressing it, driving them to the postoffice, standing in line, doing the paperwork for mailing them, getting back into my car, driving home... walking up to my house, going into my house... sitting down, starting at my computer screen]

Maybe it'd get too expensive for ya.. well. It was a thought. That made me tired, just thinking about it. [smile]

I can supply fresh green walnuts fresh off the tree, newly fallen green walnuts, dried in the dirt blackened walnuts, last years fallen walnuts... I have many, many trees and many, many nuts.

I also have acorns, grapevine, woodvine, and pine cones.

I have pine trees, but the needles aren't very long, perhaps 4 inches at best.

I live in a snowy region, so most are not available until fall. September, October, November. [that's FRESH, mind you.. if you want the crunchy ones pictured in the photo here, I can get them now. OUR snow is melting... although, TODAY, those little little nuts are frozen pretty good into the ground.. I'd have to wait for them to loosen up... perhaps not today]

They Are Growing NOW

mmm.....they smell so 'fresh'.... I like the smell of a green walnut.

Perhaps they wouldn't smell like that for long. They would probably scent up my house for a bit, like cedar does.

I am not sure when they actually are mature enough to grow into a tree. That's all it takes, a little walnut like these and a little rain, some sun, and VOILA... a walnut tree.

Baby Walnut Tree

It is so cute. That is a chap stick laying next to it, so you know it is pretty small.

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Walnut Cutter PLANS

The easiest thing for me to do is describe how I made my cutter.

The drawing shows a one by ten inch board with a slight drawing of a radial arm saw.

Then, it shows a picture of a drill bit coming down onto a board. It also shows a hole cut in half.

It shows the completed jig with two walnuts.

Any questions? Comments? Concerns?

As I look at mine, to describe it, I used a 1 x 10 board.

Side 1 3/4

bottom 2 inch

top side 1 inch

I used a couple walnuts to measure for the spacing. I probably used glue to hold it initially and then nails after it was dry to hold it permanently. A quick reminder: do not put nails where you will be running your blade across to saw. Hitting nail with saw blade BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD...

I needed a piece of wood in between end and walnut to hold walnut steady. This small board is 1 3/4 wide. After I cut my first nut, I decided that I needed a rounded piece to hold it more steady, so I added a small board with a round circle in it.

How did I cut the round circle? I took a board and drilled a hole in it with my drill press, then, cut the board in half, going across the middle of the hole I just drilled. [clever, huh?]

I made a piece of wood that would slide back and forth in the groove and hold the nut down as I cut.

SAFETY first!!!

BE CAREFUL! DO NOT cut yourself.

That is the whole point of this jig, let me remind you!!!!

YOU still need to wear safety glasses. Don't FORGET!! Protect your eyes.

Work In Progress

I am currently, as of today, in the final days of creating a sawmill to slice black walnuts. If you wish to get on a mailing list to receive a pricelist for different products that will be available, just send me an email at char. milbrettdotcom@gmail.com

How About You

Do you have a need for black walnut slices?

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    • firstcookbooklady profile image
      Author

      Char Milbrett 4 months ago from Minnesota

      Mark: I have heard that there are black walnuts that get rather large. Ours are mid sized. I have many black walnut trees and many, many squirrels... Thanks for commenting!

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      mark 4 months ago

      it was a very good year for the black walnuts here in NEPA i got a couple thousand learned how to crack the big ones and now im learning how to shape and cut the smaller ones and the ones that were empty

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      Wa 2 years ago

      where do I buy and how much buy English walnuts for pine needle baskets?

    • MG Seltzer profile image

      MG Seltzer 2 years ago from South Portland, Maine

      I love the green walnut smell too, and I loved seeing the photo of the baby tree. I like tutorials that explain in a problem-solving way, including what didn't work and what corrections were made. Very helpful. Voted this thumbs up!

    • gypsiedream profile image

      gypsiedream 6 years ago

      Very cool.

    • gypsiedream profile image

      gypsiedream 6 years ago

      Very cool.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 6 years ago from Virginia

      This has got to be the smallest piece of woodworking I've seen, right up there with turning pens. Thanks for sharing and helping all the digits get to bed after woodworking fun safely. Great job!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      That's one piece of woodworking I've never tried. Walnut wood is fun to work with though.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      Darn interesting.. very unique lens. THUMBS UP on this one and another one on cookie bars that didn't have a guestbook.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Never heard of this before. thanks for enlightening me.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      Oh my another crafty use for the hundreds of walnuts that fall and kill my lawn every year. Have you ever heard of black walnut ink? Interesting lens!

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 7 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Interesting Lens! Thanks for visiting my lens as well!

    • Nara White Owl profile image

      Nara White Owl 7 years ago

      charmilbrettdotcom,I like the way you tell us how to cut the walnuts . Nara

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