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WALNUT, BLACK

Juglans nigra



This page has gotten so long and cluttered that I've inserted the following to make it a bit easier to find things:


my samples: colors are generally accurate throughout (some color correction was needed, but not much --- walnut is not a hard wood to get good pictures of)


both sides of a sample plank of black walnut / Juglans nigra from Texas --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of American black walnut / Juglans nigra from Indiana --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of black walnut / Juglans nigra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This sample vendor, who is VERY unreliable about designating figure, has this as "bird's eye" walnut, which is just silly. There IS such a thing as bird's eye black walnut, but this is not it.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


Three planks --- middle one is light chocolate color and has a little curl, top one is grayish, bottom one is "standard" black walnut color


plank


plank


planks


the other end of the upper of the two planks directly above, and a closeup


planks


planks


planks


plank


planks


plank


planks


plank and closeup --- the light gray color is accurate


plank and closeup --- the light gray color is accurate


plank and two closeups --- the light gray color is accurate


several planks; both levels of enlargement are available, colors are accurate and show some of the variety available in black walnut


planks with accurately shown gray color


plank with accurately shown brown color with a faint reddish tinge


quartersawn planks --- grayish color is accurate


pair of planks and a closeup --- the grain on the closeup is much more accurate in the enlargements


pair of planks and a closeup


the upper two pieces are thin planks and the lower 2 are veneer.


a short piece off of a turning stick


plank and end grain


end grain closeup (upside down) of the piece directly above


plank and end grain. This one is a particularly rich-looking piece of black walnut and has none of the gray color that sometimes occurs in this species and that is very common when it is steamed.


end grain closeup of the piece directly above --- sanding scratches are very heavy


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


sample plank and end grain sold to me as black walnut / Juglans nigra --- the color correction put just a shade too much red in the pic --- the color of the end grain closeup below is correct. The other side of this sample plank has a HUGE void / bark inclusion and this really crappy quality is fairly common in the samples that I bought from the IWCS.


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


slab


plank


plank


one end of an 8-foot plank and a closeup --- extreme enlargements are present


the other end of the same 8' plank as directly above and a closeup --- extreme enlargements are present


flag case that I made from the left end of the plank directly above (first pic of the set). Although I normally am of the opinion that anyone who stains fine wood like this should be shot, I wanted a more somber look so I put dark walnut stain on it and it came out just the way I wanted it. The finish is 8 thin coats of shellac --- BIG enlargements are present


a set of small planks and a thin sheet and a couple of closeups. the highly figured pieces are almost certainly butt wood


a bunch of planks at a lumber yard (a little too much red in the lower pic)


lumber yard plank


misc planks photographed at a lumber yard


quartersawn thins


a set of walnut slats. I can't tell for sure, but given the gray color of many of the slats in this batch, I suspect that this is steamed walnut.


walnut pieces and end grain. These were contributed by Ken Brooks, whom I thank. NOTE that the color of these pieces has a slight orange tint that is not the more normal gray of walnut. This is correctly represented here. Then end grain closeup below does show a more normal gray. For all of the pics of this set HUGE enlargements are present


end grain closeup of the pieces directly above


flat cut surface closeup and quartersawn surface closeup. The flat cut surface show how walnut looks a bit grainy up close and the quartersawn surface shows how walnut DOES have ray flakes but they are quite small and not normally visible without magnification. The ray flakes are most easily seen on the right hand side of the enlargement of the quartersawn piece.


both sides of a small piece --- HUGE enlargements are present for both these and the pics directly below


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


NOT a raw wood color
a matched pair of black walnut slabs, a second slab, and a closeup of the second slab. These were shot in a furniture store and were both sections of table tops. The finish enriched the color but did not create the red/orange tint which really is in the wood.


heavily waxed black walnut turning blank and end grain. This piece is even more attractive than the pics make it look


walnut plank and end grain. This was mistakenly believed to be butternut by Tom Denave who sent it to me in the hopes I could identify it for sure. We had it on the mystery page for a while but Tom sent it to the USDA and it was identified as American black walnut (Juglans nigra). These two pics show an orange tint that is not in the wood. I have to say, this looks to me EXACTLY like orientalwood ("Australian walnut"), and not at all like true walnut but who am I to contradict the USDA ?


end grain closeup of the piece directly above --- color is very accurate
CROTCH



both sides of a sample plank of figured black walnut crotch / Juglans nigra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The "figure" in this piece, other than the swirl from it being a crotch piece, is a very light curl.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


a black walnut crotch area. This is very dense and the fine-sanded area on the right is smooth as glass, unlike the normal somewhat grainy surface of walnut.


crotch plank that I bought to cut up and use in my bowls. There is a major bark inclusion which would make the plank a poor choice for many project but for my bowls, I'll just cut out pieces around it.


both sides of a crotch piece donated by Jim Glynn (thanks, Jim). Note that this piece has a nice "angel step" figure


plank with a crotch area and a closeup


plank with a crotch area and a closeup


crotch-area planks and a closeup


NOT a raw wood color
huge bookmatched pair of finished black walnut crotch slabs, about 6 feet tall and a closeup. Although there did seem to be a finish on the slabs I don't think it had much effect on the color ... the wood itself is naturally somewhat colorful. I'm not confident that I got the color correct exactly right on these, especially on the closeup, but they are not far off of true. HUGE enlargements are present but unfortunately on the slab itself the focus was just a tiny bit off so the enlargements are not as crisp as they should be.


cortch plank and end grain --- this was cut from the larger plank directly above and then sanded for the pics. The color is NOT correct --- it is missing the orange tint that is correctly shown in the full-plank pic above.


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


pen blanks of black walnut crotch


another plank from the same tree as the crotch-plank pair above


both sides of a sample plank of black walnut burl / Juglans nigra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


a small chunk of black walnut crotch and all 4 of the longer faces. Obviously, it has a lot of bark inclusions. HUGE enlargements are present.
SPALTED



black-line spalted black walnut. This is the best spalted black walnut I've ever seen. Rob Mathison had posted pics of a bunch of it on the WoodBarter forum was kind enough to contribute this piece and the sample below this one (and several other interesting species) to the site. Thanks Rob! When I saw Rob's pics on the wood forum and even when I got this piece, I thought the cream-colered areas were sapwood, but they are not ... they are white rot. They are not the least bit punky on this piece. HUGE enlargements are present


end grain and a side grain closeup of the piece directly above


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


Another piece of spalted black walnut contributed by Rob Mathison. HUGE enlargements are present. The light colored areas on the left of the first pic and the right of the 2nd pic are sapwood. The other cream-colored areas (where the spalting is) are white rot, but they are solid, not at all punky.


end grain and a side grain closeup of the piece directly above


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


another end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above
BIRD PECK



This is a very interesting, and in my experience, unique, piece of walnut. It was milled by Kevin (TexasTimbers) Jaynes of box elder fame and was discussed on the woodworking forum where he is a moderator. It looks to Kevin, and to me, like the work of the ambrosia beetle, and so would be called ambrosia walnut. Problem is that neither Kevin nor I nor anyone else on the forum has ever seen this happening with walnut. One of the other moderators on the forum (Daren, from whom I stole most of the redbud pics on this site) found a reference on the internet from the USDA Forest Service saying that there IS a type of beetle that brings the ambrosia fungus into walnut trees (and any beetle that does that is an "ambrosia beetle" regardless of what species it is), but apparently it doesn't happen often and only in certain locations and no one has yet said that they've ever SEEN it happen, until Kevin. Presumably someone from the USDA has. If anyone else has experience w/ this I'd appreciate hearing about it. There were suggestions that it might have been caused by a shotgun pellet having been in the wood at some point and allowed in the fungus that caused the stain, and that certainly is plausible but Kevin and other millers on the forum have all milled a lot of walnut that I'm sure sometimes has pellets and no one jumped in to say they had ever seen anything like this.

NOTE: A couple of years after the piece above was posted, the following plank was sent to me. See the comments with that sample. Clearly the piece above is the same "bird peck"


this, and the sample directly below, are both part of the same plank (it was cut for shipping) contributed to the site by Rob Mathison whom I thank for this and other contributions. HUGE enlargements are present for all pics of both parts of the plank. The streaking is what is called "bird peck". The cause is the subject of some debate, but on the wood forum where we discussed it (see thread here: thread), the consensus, to the extent that there WAS a consensus is that it is caused by birds pecking the outside of the wood and the outside of the hole filling up but a section of the hole staying open as the tree grows around it. The sap carries a stain up and down the tree and this leaves what you see in the face grain --- a light stain centered on the hole, going up and down the tree, and surrounded by a darker border.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


The other section of the sample directly above


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


closeup of one of the bird peck areas
WORMY



wormy walnut plank contributed to the site by Rob Mathison, whom I thank for this and other contributions. HUGE enlargements are present.

On both this plank and on the turning stick directly below, the holes are very straight. I was able to see all the way through the plank on about half the holes I could poke a straightened-out paper clip all the way through on most of them and well over an inch into the wood on the turning stick below. Interestingly, the holes in the plank are all pretty much with the grain and in the turning stick, they are all pretty much perpendicular to the grain.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


two faces of a turning stick contributed to the site by Rob Mathison, whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. HUGE enlargements are present.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above
REGULAR VENEER



striped, figured veneer and plain veneer. Note that the plain veneer has a small amount of sapwood showing on the bottom, which indicates that it is NOT steamed walnut. Colors are accurate.


flat cut black walnut veneer


curly black walnut veneer with accurate color


veneer sheet and closeup


veneer with accurate color and the normal graininess of walnut.


veneer with accurate color. This was an unusually smooth piece.


veneer with accurate color and some sapwood a the top. The gray color of this piece is more typical of steamed black walnut but the sapwood indicates that this is not steamed.


several mixes of black walnut veneer with flat cut, quartersawn, burls and crotches. Colors are accurate and enlargements are present


sapwood burl veneer --- you can just see the heartwood area in the lower right corner.


another veneer, just showing the never-ending variety of grain and color that is avalailable in walnut


and yet another veneer, this one with some curl in the figure
FIDDLEBACK VENEER



fiddleback veneer
CROTCH VENEER



crotch veneer --- some of these shots are enlargements of the shot next to them. The red tint on the first pic is exaggerated.


flame crotch veneer sheet --- some vendors would call this a feather crotch, others will call it a flame crotch.
BURL VENEER



burl veneer --- the grain and color varieties in walnut burls are so extensive that no amount of examples can really be thought of as fully representative, so just take these as some random samples of the kind of thing you'll see in walnut burls. Claro walnut burls tend to be more colorful than these black walnut burls.


veneer sheets (burl and curly crotch) with half of each moistened with mineral oil



a bunch of black walnut burl pieces, showing only a small amount of the variety that is available with these burls.
Some of these are claro walnut --- I'll separate them out eventually



black walnut burl veneer


a couple of book-matched burl veneer pairs


bookmatched veneer pair with a particularly rich color and nice sheen --- color is very accurate --- take a look at this on at the 2nd enlargement --- very nice indeed


although this one came with a large batch of miscellaneous walnut burl veneer, it looks suspeciously like carpathian elm burl to me.



The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
walnut, black (Juglans nigra) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for each of the 3 views. NOTE: the Wood Book pages incorrectly show the number "25" with this wood when it is clearly supposed to be "35" (25 is aromatic red cedar)



web pics:


planks with wet and dry sections; the first is quartersawn and was listed as Juglans nigra and the second one is flat cut.


slab


flat cut planks


plank listed as black walnut but both the color and the fluted grain suggest that this might be butternut.


flat cut plank and closeup


flat cut planks and closeup


flat cut planks and closeup


flat cut planks and closeup


quartersawn planks --- quartersawn walnut is less common that flat cut simply because walnut is considerably more attractive as a flat cut due to the very common cathedral grain.


misc planks


listed as a stump piece, this is the least figured stump piece of walnut I've ever seen


figured plank --- I've never encountered a board this dark but I can't say it's impossible; it just seems very unusual


figured planks


figured pieces


spalted planks


turning stock


bowl blanks


crotch planks


small crotch slabs with some moistened areas to show the crotch figure


crotch plank pair and closeup


bookmatched crotch slab pair and closeups


bookmatched crotch planks


bookmatched crotch planks (these are probably scales)


flat cut veneer


flat cut veneer listed as Oregon walnut


quartersawn veneer


sapwood veneer


curly planks


quilted plank


pen blanks --- some are sapwood, thus the light color, but I don't believe the red/orange color nor the brightness of the yellow in the sapwood. This is the kind of unrealistic picture that got me started on this web site in the first place.


curly veneer


fiddleback veneer


figured veneer


quartersawn figured veneer


quartersawn figured plank


mottled veneer


razor mottle veneer


quartersawn mottled veneer


this piece was advertised as a "flame burl", but it doesn't look like a burl to me, it looks like a crotch, and the color is very strange.


speckled veneer --- enlarge it and you'll see a bird's eye type figure


"angel step" veneer


stump veneer --- angel step veneer is generally stump veneer


angel step veneer quartermatched


quilted veneer


flat cut quilted veneer


flat cut quilted veneer and closeup


crotch veneer


flame crotch (bookmatched) and curly crotch bookmatched (sort of) veneer


bookmatched swirl veneer


quartermatched swirl veneer


guitar back matched pair of thin wood


burls


a burl that is in a crotch which, to me, sounds either obscene or dangerous or both, but hey, what do I know?.


burl veneer


burl veneer all from the same vendor


bookmatched burl veneer


quartermatched burl veneer


cluster burl veneer


burl veneer with sapwood


sapwood burl veneer --- the pink color on the second piece is doubtful


MADE OBJECTS



two views of a black walnut crotch table


guitar of curly crotch black walnut by Gregory Pizzeck


guitar sets all listed as American black walnut cut in Oregon --- both enlargements are present


bowl with what appears to be very accurate color


bowl --- the color is probably a little too orange


two views of a bowl


black walnut bowls


black walnut bowls turned and photographed by Tom Pleatman, whom I thank for these pics and other contributions to the site. Big enlargements are present.


rough turned then final turned and finished --- I think the color change has as much to do with photography and lighting as it does with the finishing agent.



bowl shot at a craft store that specialized in wooden bowls. It has a heavy oil coating and the color is accurate; I think the finish gave the wood the slight red tint.


segmented bowl shot in the same store as the one above, this one also has an oil coating and the colors are accurate


crotch bowl


end grain cutting board made with pieces that have heartwood and sapwood to make a visually interesting effect.


plaque about 3' across in the long direction




walnut cracking the hard way ... sawyer Gary Keener slabbed this walnut butt crotch and found two whole walnuts trapped between the two sections


bookmatched crotch pair with embedded walnuts





a single turning sample, showing the same crotch from different angles. The coating is polyurethane (several coats). The color in these pics has a kind of pinkish tint that the wood does not have; it's darker and more brown (the pics were take in a very strong light). The same piece, aged, is shown below


the same piece as directly above but 9 years older. It spent most of those 9 years in a closed box that, unfortunately, developed some water damage and resulted is some mildew, most of which was on this particular piece and caused the polyurethane finish to be extremely degraded in some areas, mostly on the top. The color on these pics has an orangish tint that is not present in the wood, which is a very pretty chocolate brown.