Black Walnut is unique because there are no other North American species of wood with the same distinct chocolate brown colored heartwood.
The woods beautiful color and grain gained popularity for furniture, flooring and interior woodwork applications. The wood’s rich tones make for excellent doors and paneling.Walnut machines easily due to its middle grade hardness, and it is very gentle on cutting edges. It holds detail well and finishes beautifully to a deep, rich brown.
Freshly milled Walnut exhibits many different color hues, from deep browns and purples to light creams. The process of steaming Walnut evens out some of those color variations and creates a much more uniform and mellow chocolate color. Over time and with oxidation and UV exposure, Walnut lightens in color, and it blends well with most other species.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.
Rot Resistance:Black Walnut is rated as very durable in terms of decay resistance, though it is susceptible to insect attack.
Workability: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.
Pricing/Availability:Very popular and widely available, though board widths can sometimes be narrow. Considered a premium North American hardwood, prices are in the high range for North American species.
Common Uses:Furniture, cabinetry, gunstocks, interior paneling, veneer, turned items, and other small wooden objects and novelties.