American Black Walnut Lumber
lumber is used for fine furniture, architectural woodwork, musical
instruments, decorative panels, interior trim, and flooring. Large
amounts are also used for veneer. Its stability and shock resistance
make it the wood of choice for gun stocks. Many customers appreciate
its "easy of use" and beautiful colours to use as a craft
wood in all their small turning and scrollsaw projects. The fact
that it is the only dark North American wood, has added to its reputation.
The Tree: Juglandaceae family
The black walnut's specific name is J.nigra. The black walnut is
sometimes called eastern or American black walnut. There are about
twenty species of walnut with six found in the U.S.A. Black walnuts
were once abundant in old growth forests with trees reaching 150
feet with six-foot diameter trunks. Today's trees are generally
80-100 feet tall with trunks of less than three feet.
The black walnut has one "bad habit" however in that it can poison
neighbouring trees and shrubs with a substance called juglone in
its roots. This is its way of protecting its territory and assuring
its access to good sunlight necessary for its growth.
It typically grows in a mixed hardwoods forest, with light coverage.
The sapwood is creamy white and may be three inches wide. Heartwood
is a rich chocolate or purplish brown in colour, with a dull sheen.
Black walnut is normally straight grained and is noted for its beautiful
grain character, producing more figure variation than any other
wood. Over the years the wood develops a lustrous patina. It is
the only dark brown domestic species, so it has a large following
of devoted woodworkers, that enjoy its rich colour and ease of use..
Weight: approx. 36-38 lbs. per cubic foot
Walnut takes any finish and most complement the lovely satin sheen
of the wood. It polishes well. Rarely do you find sap pockets that
Walnut works easily with power or hand tools but may cause some
dulling of cutting edges. Planing, turning, shaping, routing and
sanding all produce crisp detail. With figured crotch wood it is
necessary to watch the direction of feed, in both thickness planers
and jointers. Fasteners hold well with little tendency to split.
Standard adhesives and stains go on uniformly. Wood is rated tough
and hard with good steam bending qualities and little movement in
service. Wood and sawdust of black walnut are known to cause irritation
of the eyes, nose, skin and lungs, and may stimulate allergies and
asthma - precautionary measures are advised... a good dust mask