Walnut wood has a fine grain with diffuse pores. Its sapwood ranges from white to light brown. Its heartwood is chocolate brown. Walnut is highly prized for valuable items such as high-end furniture and caskets. It is also used in cabinetmaking for mouldings and architectural millwork.
A walnut wood comes from the walnut family of trees called juglandaceae. There are different types of species classified in this family. The most popular are English walnut, black walnut and white walnut (butternut) trees. The most prominent type of walnut tree used for lumber is the American black walnut. This can be found in various places in North America. The wood follows a rich history. Even from colonial times, American families have used walnut wood for homes and barns.
Walnut wood has many uses. It is used to make furniture, wood crafts and musical instruments such as piano. It is also ideal to use for panels, gun stocks and flooring. The highest quality of walnut lumber can be made into veneers. Veneers are slices of wood with a thickness of approximately 1/28 inch. They are typically pasted to cheaper wood that serves as framework. These veneers can also be used as panels. Using veneers is the economical way of enjoying the luxury and stability of walnut furniture.
There are two different types of walnut lumber depending on the layer. The outer layer is called sapwood and the inner layer is called the heartwood. Walnut sapwood can be three inches in width and has a creamy white color. The walnut heartwood has a more chocolate brown color. The walnut wood surface reflects an extraordinary grain variation. Its rich and illustrious brown color lasts over time, that's why it has become a favourite among carpenters and woodworkers.
Walnut wood is relatively easy to work with using power and hand tools. You can easily create crispy details after shaping, routing and sanding. It is inherently strong, stable and shock resistant. Compared to other wood types, walnut does not shrink or swell easily. These qualities are what cabinet makers and gunsmiths seek. Walnut wood rarely has sap pockets so you can polish it really well. One of the biggest advantages in crafting this wood is that in most cases, you do not need to add a layer of stain on the wood to make it more appealing. Its natural color makes it attractive enough that you only need to apply a clear-coat finish.
The wood quality is judged based on the number of possible defects on it. These defects may be dead limb, insect holes, knots and bird pecks. The best patterned part of a walnut wood can be taken from the roots of the tree. However, the amount of wood you can take from such part is only enough to make small wood ornaments. It is important to note that walnut wood's sawdust can irritate the eyes, skin and nose. It can also cause allergies and asthma. You have to take extra care and use a dust mask when working with walnut.