«Previous    Next»
Walnuts Used To Create Beautiful Craft Projects
Kenneth Krampe sees no need to use a scroll saw to shape intricate designs when Mother Nature has already done the work. He finds all the artistic materials he needs in the abundance of walnuts around his Sigel, Ill., home.
    Since 1999, he has been turning 1/4-in. thick slices of walnut shells into whimsical wishing wells, covered bridges, clocks, crosses, candlesticks and napkin and pencil holders. He’s also built barns, outhouses and, most impressive of all, trains.
    He’s built 4 train sets so far. The biggest, 7 ft. long with an engine and six cars, fills a shelf at his son’s restaurant, Krampe’s Café. It took about 6 mos. to complete.
    Krampe, a retired farmer and truck driver, got the idea as he helped his wife dig the nutmeats out of walnuts for her baking. He decided to try it himself and built a hinged device to hold walnuts (to prevent cutting his fingers off) and a four-blade saw for his table saw to cut the walnut shell slices.
    Sometimes Krampe uses wooden patterns, such as when he makes picture frames. He covers the pattern with waxed paper and arranges the walnut shell slices.
    “Every nut shell has its own special design. I choose special pieces for each thing I make,” Krampe explains. “I sand the ends so they fit closer together.”
    He glues them together with Goop wood glue, which is tough and dries clear. He seals everything with clear polyurethane, and the items are fairly strong. The Krampes still use the first napkin holders he made nearly 15 years ago.
    Creating with walnut shells is relaxing, Krampe says, and he has managed to create some challenging items, such as clocks shaped like airplanes.
    He’s got ideas for more projects – and plenty of material to work with.
    “There are lots of nuts in the area. People will give them to you for free,” Krampe says, who sells many of his creations.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kenneth Krampe, 104 W. Harrison St., Sigel, Ill. 62462 (ph 217 844-2167).

  Click here to view page story appeared in

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2014 - Volume #38, Issue #1