VERSATILE HARDWOOD THAT IS DARK IN COLOR AND LIGHT IN WEIGHT
Once considered a poor relative of English walnut (J. regia), black walnut is now a popular lumber worldwide for furniture and cabinetmaking, and for specialist work on clocks, carvings and gunstocks. Grown across North America, the lumber is usually straight-grained,
with streaky dark brown heartwood that can have a purple hue. It is usually supplied kiln-dried and feels remarkably lightweight for a hardwood.
Type Temperate hardwood
Other names American black walnut (U.K.)
Alternatives Brown oak, which is the diseased form of English oak (Quercus robur)
Sources U.S. and Canada
Color Dark brown with some lighter streaks, fading toward the edges with a faint purple hue
Texture Even, but slightly coarse
Grain Generally straight, but can be wavy
Hardness Soft to medium for a hardwood
Weight Medium to heavy (40 lb./cu. ft.) (640 kg/cu. m)
Strength Medium, but can bruise easily
Seasoning and stability Stable; seasons reasonably well but can check and degrade if dried too quickly.
Range of board widths Good
Range of board thicknesses Good
Durability Moderate; needs preservative for external use.
Some veneer is available, mainly for decorative effects. Some boards may have a little rippled figure.
Black walnut is widely available from certified sustainable sources. It should be under no threat.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
It is easy to find at hardwood suppliers. Very low wastage rates make black walnut a good value.