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Topic: Feather Crotch American Walnut, Thoughts< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 24 2012,6:34  Skip to the next post in this topic.   QUOTE

Was looking at a Winchester 21 the other day and just was amazed by the piece of feather crotch walnut on it.  Was wondering why we don't see more true feather crotch out there.  Is it the stresses folks don't like in the wood (lots of things going on in there).  Or is English just the wood for pro stockers these days and American Black gets ignored because it doesn't machine as nice.  

Anyway, if anyone has any nice looking stock out there I'm sure folks would like to see them.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 24 2012,7:15 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.   QUOTE

This is strictly one man's opinion, but from a man who has had a lifelong obsession with pretty wood.

Feathercrotch is practically the definition of beautiful American Black walnut. Tell somebody you have a piece of "exhibition" quality and they'll most likely visualize feathercrotch. Of course, there are fans of fiddleback and stump figure, too, but feathercrotch corners the market on figured Am Black. IMO, as beautiful as it is, if you've seen one feathercrotch, you've seen 'em all. A Miss USA pageant made up of 50 brunettes would bore me. Each may be stunningly beautiful, but I'd opt for a few redheads, blonds and bald ones in the mix.

So, while I've stocked a half-dozen different guns for myself in feathercrotch Am Black, I don't think I've ever owned 2 at the same time. Winchesters of course just beg for it, but so do the other Am classics. There was enough European walnut used on high grades in the day that it doesn't look out of place to me, even on the field grades.

Working characteristics aside, there's tremendously more variety in the figure of Juglans regia than in Juglans nigra. That's why it has so many different names. Turkish, Circassian, French, etc. is so named because of the different color and figure characteristics evene thouigh it's  all English walnut. So I can have a dozen guns stocked in "extra fancy" English with as many different defining features. Even quartersawn English can be exhibition quality; somewhat tougher to imagine a "beautiful" quartersawn Am black blank. And while feathercrotch is almost synonymous with exhibition in Am black, it's somewhat uncommon in English.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 24 2012,7:47 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.   QUOTE

Boy, you've got me hooked! How about some photos Mike?
Here's one I'd like to classify; perhaps you can help...



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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 24 2012,8:48 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.   QUOTE


(mike campbell @ Feb. 24 2012,7:15)
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This is strictly one man's opinion, but from a man who has had a lifelong obsession with pretty wood.

Feathercrotch is practically the definition of beautiful American Black walnut. Tell somebody you have a piece of "exhibition" quality and they'll most likely visualize feathercrotch. Of course, there are fans of fiddleback and stump figure, too, but feathercrotch corners the market on figured Am Black. IMO, as beautiful as it is, if you've seen one feathercrotch, you've seen 'em all. A Miss USA pageant made up of 50 brunettes would bore me. Each may be stunningly beautiful, but I'd opt for a few redheads, blonds and bald ones in the mix.

So, while I've stocked a half-dozen different guns for myself in feathercrotch Am Black, I don't think I've ever owned 2 at the same time. Winchesters of course just beg for it, but so do the other Am classics. There was enough European walnut used on high grades in the day that it doesn't look out of place to me, even on the field grades.

Working characteristics aside, there's tremendously more variety in the figure of Juglans regia than in Juglans nigra. That's why it has so many different names. Turkish, Circassian, French, etc. is so named because of the different color and figure characteristics evene thouigh it's  all English walnut. So I can have a dozen guns stocked in "extra fancy" English with as many different defining features. Even quartersawn English can be exhibition quality; somewhat tougher to imagine a "beautiful" quartersawn Am black blank. And while feathercrotch is almost synonymous with exhibition in Am black, it's somewhat uncommon in English.

Yep.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2012,7:18 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.   QUOTE

Yep good point.  Thinking about building a Low Wall and it seemed to fit.  May still do it if I can find the right stick of wood.  An occasional brunette isn't bad.  Specially when you've had a blonde in the house for over 30 years.   :glare:
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2012,12:01 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.   QUOTE

My favorite supplier of black walnut blanks is Watts Walnut.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2012,5:59 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.   QUOTE


(mike campbell @ Feb. 26 2012,12:01)
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My favorite supplier of black walnut blanks is Watts Walnut.

I've now purchased 4 or 5 blanks from Watts Walnut--they are fantastic to deal with and i have gotten great service, fast turnaround and excellent quality wood every time with zero exceptions.  If you are looking for black walnut Watts is THE place to shop.  

The one thing that would cause me to shop elsewhere is that Watts wood, and feathercrotch wood in general, is extremely dense.  I think it is far, far less of a big deal for others, but given the very long length of pull I have and the lighter weight guns I like, and putting a very dense piece of wood on the end creates a huge problem for me even when radically hollowed out.  However, for the right gun (NOT an ultralightweight, NOT an extremely long length of pull) I think feathered wood is beautiful.  Buyer beware, I've seen a lot of feathered wood where the grain in the wrist is a disaster waiting to happen...but if cut right it's plenty strong.  Luckily the piece below is laid out well (this is from Watts).



Tut mentioned problems...feathered wood needs to be dried very well because it can be prone to checking.  The stock below is not feather croth, but it has some of the same issues that feathered wood can exhibit...note the two big checks just ahead of the darkest wood in the butt, and just behind the glare.  These had to be filled with epoxy before finishing...a bummer if you wanted an ultra-fancy stock on a high-grade gun, but they are what caused this to be a $30 blank and not a $200 blank.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2012,11:30 Skip to the previous post in this topic.    QUOTE


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