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The characteristics of walnut hardwood

As a new contributor to our blog, Andy speaks to the characteristics of walnut.

Walnut is commonly called black walnut. This American hardwood is widely available in a variety of sizes. Lengths generally do not exceed 12’.

The more desirable boards come from the heartwood with a familiar darker brown color as opposed to the lighter yellowish tan of the sapwood.

It is on the higher end price wise for a domestic wood (it’s still a great value when comparing to imported and exotic hardwoods); however, everyone appreciates walnut’s easy workability, versatility and value.

The easily finished wood showcases its warmth and bold darker coloring. Even with the most basic tools, any project is possible. Its hardness ranks right in the middle between pine and exotic dense hardwoods.

Personally, I favor pieces with knots or other unusual characteristics like swirls in the grain to be truly a unique, rustic look.

You’re unlikely to find many “wide” (>8”) boards, so gluing up multiple boards provides the width your project requires and gives you reliable stability and protect your sanity.

We also stock Walnut Plywood in 1/4″ and 3/4” thicknesses, together with boards in varying thicknesses: 1/2”, 4/4, 5/4, 8/4, 10/4, 12/4 in random width and random lengths. Finally, we carry Finished s4s Boards in 1×6, 1×8 and 1×12.

On my scale of favorites: 9 of 10, I’m only holding back a little due to its higher price.

By the way, therm terms 4/4, 5/4, etc., refer to the thickness of the product. If you remember your fractions from school: 4/4 is a 1” nominal thickness, 5/4 is 1.25 nominal and so on.

Find out more about hardwoods: Types of Hardwoods.

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