How do you show the grain figure in black walnut?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by TheCake1997, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. TheCake1997


    Nov 23, 2013
    Hey guys just had a question for you. I have a huge slab of black walnut that has been air drying for decades. Now, this piece is flat sawn, but the grain runs straight. I've tried to raise the grain using naphtha and BLO, but I can't get any figure anywhere, even on the crotch of the tree, which is where the grain should be crazy. I'd like to make a bass, but how do you bring out the grain and get the cool figures? Thanks
  2. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    It is not cut in such a way as to accentuate the figure. There may be some light flaming but if it isn't there there isn't anything you can do.

    Once you have it planed and sanded smooth you may see some light figure. If so I have always found that oil finishes help bring it out.

    I spent a number of years earning my living as a woodworker and I worked exclusivly with black walnut. It is one of my most favorite woods.
  3. I sand it to at least 320 and oil it,either lindseed or tung.If it's still roughsawn you won't really be able to tell much about how the grain will look till it's sanded
  4. To be honest, it may just not have it....