We offer Premium California English Walnut and Bastogne Walnut Stock Blanks




Drying VS Aging

As a Gunmaker, I'm more concerned about the age of a stock blank than the moisture content.  Here in the Sierra foothills, the humidity is rather low.  It is not unusual for a 2-3/4 inch thick blank to register a moisture content of 8-12% in a mere 6 to 8 months of drying time.  Would I dare to use a blank at this stage?  No way!  But why not? The meter says it is dry.

First of all, most moisture meters will only read to a depth of approximately 1".  But, just as important if not more, the wood has not de-stressed or stabilized.  This de-stressing is something only time can accomplish.  In my opinion, 30 months from the cut date is minimum aging time.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of wood being sold as ready that is probably only a year or so old - far too immature for carving.  Use of one of these immature blanks can result in an unstable stock, inletting which "opens up" leaving unsightly gaps, and other problems.  If you're unsure of a blank's age, date it and set it aside for future use.

Many of the blanks we now have in stock were cut in May of 1999.  The selection is very, very good.  We do have aged blanks in stock.  Be sure to specify.

GRADING

We have a rather complex grading system, but I feel it gives us a more consistent way to judge each blank.  Here's what we consider when looking at a stock blank.

Layout           It has to be correct to get top points.
Warpage        Some is inevitable, but it can't affect final product..
Defects          Will be downgraded.
Knots            Will be downgraded.
Sap               Will be downgraded if it affects final product.
Side to Side   This is consistency of both sides of a blank.  If one side is spectacular 
                     and the other average, of course the blank will be downgraded.
Size              Undersized blanks will be downgraded.

After being graded on the above criteria, each blank is evaluated for the amount of stripe, fiddleback, marble, feather crotch and contrast.  A premuim may be added to exceptional blanks.  We do not place a greater value on quartersawn blanks or slabsawn blanks - we leave that to our clients.

PRICING

Some matched sets are in stock.
Bastogne blanks from $400 - $750 each.
California English Blanks from $200 - $2000 each.
Approximately 1,000 blanks in stock.  All are medium to very high grade.
We sell NO low grade wood.
Very good selections in the $400-$800 price range.
Discounts for multiple blank purchases.

PURCHASING

Please contact us and we can email photos of our wood based on your requirements.









BY STEPHEN R. HEILMANN, GUNMAKER
© 2016 Stephen R. Heilmann