Walnut Experiment 2004.1.26

The Walnut Experiment

I have always wondered what the inside of a walnut would look like if it was extracted from the walnut shell intact. Since I don't know any of the squirrels who work for Willy Wonka, I had to do it myself...

So, I got a walnut which when rattled didn't sound like it had too many pieces, and proceeded to attempt to cut the shell apart with a deremel. Walnut shells are hard. I started with a router bit, something theoreticly good for wood, and got nowhere. The abrasive wheel was much more effective. The shell behaves like metal, only it burns.

I was told later that one can get ground walnut shells to use in sand blasting equipment...

Anyway, I cut the equator of the nut, and then went over one pole. Then I attempted to remove one of the 1/4 nut segments. And discovered that the inside of the nut had been broken.

So, I got another nut, and tried again. Only this time instead of doing the equator, I went over the poles, and then did 1/2 of the equator. The equator is two or three times the thickness of the rest of the shell, so avoiding it seemed like a good idea... Unfortunately, I broke the second one too.

I didn't want to do this to all my walnuts (they taste good...). They unfortunately get coated with abrasive wheel grit in the process of cutting them open, and that is some nasty stuff... (I had done this entire exercise with a filter mask).

So, the pictures below are of the second nut, which ended up in three pieces, but was obvious to reassemble.