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Walnut, Black

Creamy white sapwood, with light brown to dark chocolate brown heartwood, occasionally with a purplish cast and darker streaks. Rich patina grows more lustrous with age. Usually supplied steamed, to darken sapwood. Generally straight grained, but can have a wavy or curly grain that produces an attractive and decorative figure.

Thicknesses

Subject to availability

4/4
5/4
6/4
7/4
8/4
9/4
10/4
12/4
16/4
20/4
1/2"
3/4"
1"
Lengths

Subject to availability

4-6'
7/8'
9/10'
11/12'
13/14'
15/16'
17-20'
7' and longer
Applications
Cabinet Doors
Cabinetry
Flooring
Furniture
Interior Millwork
Interior Trim
Passage Doors
Turned Objects
Veneer

Distribution

Eastern United States

Scientific Name

Juglans nigra

Specific Gravity: Basic

0.51

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.61

Janka Hardness

1010

Color/Appearance

Heartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Color can sometimes have a grey, purple, or reddish cast. Sapwood is pale yellow-gray to nearly white. Figured grain patterns such as curl, crotch, and burl are also seen.

Grain/Texture

Grain is usually straight, but can be irregular. Has a medium texture and moderate natural luster.

Endgrain

Semi-ring-porous; large earlywood pores grading to medium latewood pores, few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses occasionally to abundantly present; growth rings distinct; rays barely visible without lens; parenchyma banded (marginal), apotracheal parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates (sometimes very faint and barely visible even with lens).

Rot Resistance

Black Walnut is rated as very durable in terms of decay resistance, though it is susceptible to insect attack.

Workability

Typically easy to work provided the grain is straight and regular. Planer tearout can sometimes be a problem when surfacing pieces with irregular or figured grain. Glues, stains, and finishes well, (though walnut is rarely stained). Responds well to steam bending.

Odor

Black Walnut has a faint, mild odor when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity

Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Black Walnut has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation.

Pricing/Availability

Very popular and widely available, though board widths can sometimes be narrow. Considered a premium domestic hardwood, prices are in the high range for a domestic species.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
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Walnut, Black
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