Zaccahaeus Nuts

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by John Abt, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. John Abt

    John Abt

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    I was reading the AAW Project Book #1 and came across an article by Nick Cook about turning tagua nuts. I had no trouble finding sources for these nuts, but there was a picture of some turnings done with zaccahaeus nuts.

    The turnings have a wonderful, marble-like appearance (at least in the photos). Does anyone out there know of a source for zaccahaeus nuts?
     
  2. John:

    Best source I know of is Doren's. Go to:

    http://www.ivorynutpalm.com/

    He recently has had a small booth at the AAW Symposium with all manner of various palm seeds for sale.... I bought a variety of them at both the Kansas City and Louisville AAW symposia, but haven't yet had the time to play with them, despite their intriguing shapes and colors of the seed tissues.....not sure if he has the particular species you are asking about, but you can e-mail him to see what he has in stock.

    .....BTW, tagua "nuts" are not nuts at all, but are the seeds of this specific palm. These are usually falsely advertised as "nuts", but erroneously so..... The botany professor in me couldn't let this one go by without trying to correct this very, very common mistake.....!!

    I think you'll find an interesting range of mini-turning possibilities by looking at Doren's on-line gallery.

    Hope this helps...

    Rob Wallace
     
  3. Jake Debski

    Jake Debski

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    Rob,

    Since you are in the professor mode another question that has always confused me, aren't nuts themselves seeds? I often take fallen walnuts and hickory nuts and heel them in in my woods.
     
  4. DougBrown

    DougBrown

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    While we're on the subject, does anyone know where to get Thika Pods? I think I saw them in "Turned Boxes by Chris Stotts"
     
  5. GeorgeH

    GeorgeH

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  6. Botany Lesson of the Day

    Hello Jake:

    Finally getting to your reply - the end of last week found me swamped with lots of other "stuff" to finish before spring break started...having a somewhat relaxing monday before I have to get reading a stack of 96 mid-semester papers....

    We need to isolate some terms here: Recall that in flowering plants (which include many non-cone-forming trees), the female parts of the flowers mature into FRUITS after they have been pollinated and fertilized. The ovary wall eventually becomes the fruit wall as it matures, and the seeds are located within the fruit wall. Thus, fruits and seeds are two independent structures - seeds are contained within fruits.

    In some fruits (like tomatoes), there are many seeds within the fruit wall, which, in the case of this kind of fruit (a berry), the entire fruit wall remains fleshy and juicy. In some kinds of fruits, like the fruits we call true 'nuts', all cell layers of the fruit wall become hard and "bony", the fruit wall doesn't open at maturity, and this structure often contains a single seed within it - a good example of a true nut is the acorn - fruit of the oak tree. (BTW - the fruit in this case doesn't include the acorn cap - just the smooth brown solid structure that doesn't open when it falls from the tree.)

    In some fruits, just the inner layer of the fruit wall becomes stony and hard, and this structure contains one seed within it; the rest of the fruit wall can be soft and juicy. Some examples of this type of fruit (a drupe) is the peach, apricot, nectarine, and cherry. Although the outer fleshy layers are still part of the fruit wall, the thing that "survives" to propagate a peach or cherry tree is the inner "stone" (innermost part of the fruit wall) that contains the single seed inside (....by the way, almonds "in the shell" are not really nuts, but are actually drupes - what we eat in that case is the seed, NOT the nut! The fleshy outer fruit wall layers are removed before they are shipped.)

    For the examples of fruits you ask about, in the related walnut and hickory (both members of the Walnut Family, Juglandaceae), the fruits are somewhat complex.....they are actually modified drupes, with the outer fruit wall layers forming the so-called "husks" that fall away and expose the inner "stone" that has one seed inside....what you heel-in to your woods is actually the inner "stone" of the fruit wall containing a seed inside. Walnuts and hickories are sometimes called "dry drupes" because the outer fruit wall isn't juicy at fruit maturity, but forms the dry "husks" that fall away when ripe. Technically, walnuts and hickories aren't true nuts, but are dumped into that category for convenience! (Recall that in true nuts the entire fruit wall becomes hard and stony and these do not open at fruit maturity.) Some people call ANYTHING with a hard outer "shell" a nut, but botanically this is not accurate.

    Interestingly, tomorrow night I'm giving my "Complexity and Diversity of Wood" talk to the Cedar Valley Woodworkers in Waterloo, Iowa, and many of these same exact questions are asked by members of groups to whom I've given this talk before. I had offered to give this talk as a demo (along with another talk on lathe station ergonomics) at the forthcoming AAW Symposium in Portland, but received one of the "thanks, but no thanks" letters.....alas, no botany lessons from me in Portland this year.......

    If you need further clarification, please let me know. Teaching botany, biology, and related topics is my day job....makes appreciating the beauty and fine structure of wood a bit easier and enjoyable when you know the details.

    Hope this helps,

    Rob Wallace
     
  7. DougBrown

    DougBrown

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