the grayish purple tints and which is very soft with large open pores. In the rough plank this wood often seems more attractive than the lighter colors but it soaks such a quantity of oil that it becomes almost black and the finishing process is needlessly prolonged. Moreover this wood does not work well under checking tools, fuzzing up badly under the cutters so that it is almost impossible to sharpen and smooth up ttie diamonds in the proper manner and this is in-
creased by the repeated application of oil necessary to finally secure a finish. Often the lightest of American walnut (providing it is not sapwood) will finish up sufficiently dark to make a truly beautiful stock.
From the foregoing remarks the reader will probably gather that I am somewhat partial to American walnut as compared to the foreign woods. The fact is, I am partial to the wood which is strongest, soundest and most beautifully grained regardless of whether it grew in the Catskills or the Himalayas. This thing of spec-ifying foreign walnut because it is foreign and not because it is good is all bunk. Some of the most beautiful stocks ever produced have been made of American walnut and some of the poorest, both as to design and appearance, have been of European walnut. This is not a general condemnation of the latter, however, but refers particularly to the lack of knowledge of what one is getting when he orders a foreign product. I have a Circassian walnut stock blank that is1 unusually dark in color and the most beautifully figured piece of wood I have ever seen anywhere. 1 have been offered $50 for this piece in the rough blank and was not in the least tempted. I have another piece of American walnut of equally fine finish and which from my own view point is equally valuable although it would not bring as much if offered for sale. The main object in deciding in favor of American walnut is that if it cannot be inspected personally when bought it can at least be purchased from a firm in this country to whom it can be returned if unsatisfactory.
The success or failure of any stock depends quite as much on the seasoning of the wood as upon its other qualities. The demand for walnut today is such that dealers cannot afford to keep their stock in the log for five or six yean as required for best results. Green walnut contains a sap which if not thoroughly removed will cause excessive warping and cracking. Prolonged air seasoning
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