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Blunting Effect
Boring
Comments
Common Names
Common Uses
Countries of Distribution
Cutting Resistance
Distribution Overview
Drying Defects
Ease of Drying
Environmental Profile
Family Name
Gluing
Grain
Heartwood Color
Kiln Drying Rate
Kiln Schedules
Light-Induced Color Change
Luster
Mortising
Moulding
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Numerical Data
Odor
Painting
Planing
Polishing
Product Sources
References
Regions of Distribution
Resistance to Impregnation
Response to Hand Tools
Routing & Recessing
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Screwing
Staining
Steam Bending
Strength Properties
Substitutes
Texture
Toxicity
Trade Name
Tree Identification
Tree Size
Turning
Varnishing
Veneering Qualities

Scientific Name
Juglans nigra

Trade Name
Black walnut

Family Name
Juglandaceae

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Common Names
American black walnut, American walnut, Black walnut, Eastern black walnut, Eastern walnut, Gun-wood, Nogal, Nogal blanco, Nogal silvestre, Nuez meca, Tocte, Tropical walnut, Walnut, Walnut tree, Wavey black walnut

Regions of Distribution
North America

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
Canada, United States

Common Uses
Bedroom suites, Boat building (general), Bobbins, Building materials, Cabinetmaking, Carvings, Caskets, Chairs, Chests, Coffins, Concealed parts (Furniture), Decorative veneer, Desks, Dining-room furniture, Dowell pins, Dowells, Drawer sides, Figured veneer, Fine furniture, Fixtures, Floor lamps, Fuelwood, Furniture , Furniture components, Furniture squares or stock, Furniture, Gunstocks, Hatracks, Interior construction, Kitchen cabinets, Living-room suites, Millwork, Moldings, Musical instruments, Musical instruments: piano, Office furniture, Paneling , Paneling, Particleboard, Picker sticks, Plywood, Posts, Radio - stereo - TV cabinets, Railroad ties, Rifle stock, Rustic furniture, Shade rollers, Shingles, Shuttles, Specialty items, Spindles, Spools, Sporting Goods, Stencil & chisel blocks, Tables , Tables, Turnery, Veneer, Veneer: decorative

Environmental Profile
Abundant/Secure
Widespread
Rank of relative endangerment based on number of occurences globally.
May be rare in some parts of its range
Globally secure
Data source is Nature Conservancy
Abundant


Distribution Overview
Black walnut is found throughout the eastern United States. It grows as far north as southern Minnesota, southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan, and southern Ontario. Isolated populations occur in the southern half of New York, Vermont, western Massachusetts, and northwestern Connecticut. Its range extends south to northwestern Florida, and to Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana except for the Mississippi Valley and Delta regions. In the Midwest, isolated populations occur in eastern Texas, western Oklahoma, central Kansas, and southeastern South Dakota. Black walnut is cultivated in Hawaii. Grows naturally in 32 states and in southern Ontario, Canada, most abundant in Allegheny Mountains to North Carolina and Tennessee. Occasionally cultivated as ornamental in eastern United States, western and central Europe. Planted in Europe for timber. Wind pollinated. Suited to rich bottomlands and fertile hillsides from lower Hudson Valley southward, walnut will grow a few hundred miles outside its natural range, but may not bear nuts.

Heartwood Color
Red
Brown
Pink
Purple
Yellow
Black
Dark brown
Purple
Brown
Pale brown
Purplish tinge
Greyish brown
Brown - deep chocolate
Black


Sapwood Color
White
Yellow
Brown
Red
Green/Grey
Pink
White to yellow
Well defined
Paler than heartwood
Yellow/Brown
Different than heartwood

It is a common practice to steam or stain the sapwood to match its color with that of the heartwood.

Grain
Figure
Straight
Distinct (figure)
Burrs (figure)
Very fine
Wavy
Stripe (figure)
Mottled (figure)
Closed
Even
Growth rings (figure)
Irregular

Straight
Figure shows burrs
Figure occurrence is very fine and distinct
Distinct figure
Wavy
Striped figure
Mottled figure
Open
Occasionally wavy
Irregular
Curly
Clear growth rings (figure)

Pore arrangement is similar to that in the Hickories (Carya) and Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana ), but the pores are smaller. The wood is famous for its wavy, curly and mottled figures which are obtained from burls, crotches and stumpwood.

Texture
Coarse
Fine
Medium
Coarse
Uniform
Medium coarse to coarse
Fine


Luster
Medium
High
Dull

Develops a lustrous patina after many years in use.

Natural Durability
Susceptible to insect attack
Moderately durable
Non-resistant to powder post beetles
Non-resistant to termites
Perishable
Non-durable
Durable
Non-resistant to marine borers
Sapwood non-resistant to furniture beetles
Resistant to powder post beetles
Very durable
Durable
Moderately durable
Resistant to insect and fungal attack
Moderately resistant to termite (Isoptera) attack


Odor
Tasteless
Mild odor, when worked


Light-Induced Color Change
Darker


Toxicity
Some toxic effects


Kiln Schedules
Dry at a slow speed

Air-dry as thoroughly as possible before kiln drying

Drying Defects
Distortion
Splitting
Checking
Moderate collapse and honeycombing
Slight surface checking
Ring failure due to wetwood
Iron stains due to extractives
Honeycombing possible
Collapse
Checking due to severe drying


Ease of Drying
Fairly Easy
Variable
Rapidly
Reconditioning Treatement
Easy
Dries slowly
Difficult


Kiln Drying Rate
Naturally dries quickly
Drying rate is fairly rapid to fast


Tree Identification
Bole/stem form is straight


Tree Size
Bole length is 20-30 m
Trunk diameter is 150-200 cm
Tree height is 40-50 m
Trunk diameter is 100-150 cm
Tree height is 30-40 m
Bole length is 10-20 m
Sapwood width is 5-10 cm
Sapwood width is 0-5 cm
Tree height is 50-60 m
Tree height is 60-70 m
Trunk diameter is 200-250 cm
Sapwood width is 10-15 cm
Tree height is 20-30 m
Trunk diameter is 250-300 cm
Trunk diameter is 300-350 cm


The mature tree is described as rather large. Boles are often clear of branches

Product Sources
Although Black walnut lumber is available, supplies are not as abundant as they once were, and its use is down because of high prices. American black walnut, which produces the greatest variety of figure types than any other tree, demands a high price because it is so well respected that buyers are not deterred by the price.

Substitutes
Crabwood (Carapa guianensis) is similar in density.

Koa (Acacia koa), Aningre (Aningeria altissima, Aningeria robusta), and Ekop (Tetraberlinia tubmaniana) have similar properties.(moulding props.)

Mansonia (Mansonia altissima) is similar in strength and has superior bending and resistance to shock properties.

Mutenye (Guibourtia arnoldiana

G. ehie), Tchitola (Oxystigma oxyphyllum) and Imbuia (Phoebe porosa) are good veneer substitutes.

Comments
General finishing qualities are rated as good

Walnut is rated as the primary American wood for cabinetry, and is superior to all other woods for gunstock because it keeps its shape, it is relatively light in weight, and can absorb shocks rather well. The wood is strong and can withstand extra weight with little deflection or bending. Its strength properties are more than enough for the uses which it is employed, and is stronger than White oak. Color and figure are reported to vary considerably within species, and color variation between boards is also significant, particularly in lower grade materials and boards that are poorly steamed before kiln-drying.

Blunting Effect
Moderate
Little
Moderate effect


Boring
Fair to good results
Fairly difficult to very difficult
Very good properties

Percent of bored pieces reported to produce good to excellent results = 100

Cutting Resistance
Easy to saw
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult to saw
Cutting Resistance with green wood is easy
Cutting Resistance with dry wood is easy
Easy to saw


Gluing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Easy to glue
Fair to satisfactory gluing properties


Mortising
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Fair to Good Results


The wood has exceptional mortising properties. (Percent of mortised pieces reported to yield fair to excellent results = 98)

Moulding
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Fair to Good Results
Poor moulding properties

Expected number of moulded pieces out of one hundred producing good to excellent results = 34

Movement in Service
Excellent Stability - Small Movement
Fair to Good Stability - Medium Movement
Stable
Small
Shows only small movement after manufacture
Dimensionally stable after seasoning

It is reported to absorb and give off moisture more slowly than most woods

Nailing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Pre-Boring Recommended
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Holds nails well

Percent of pieces free from complete splits in nailing operations = 50

Planing
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Irregular grain is liable to pick up and may be difficult to plane
Fairly easy to work

Average number of planed pieces out of one hundred reported to yield perfect results = 62

Resistance to Impregnation
Resistant heartwood
Resistant sapwood


Response to Hand Tools
Easy to Work
Fairly Difficult to Difficult to Work
Responds Readily
Easy to machine
Works well with hand tools
Moderate working qualities


Routing & Recessing
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult


Sanding
Responds well to sanding operations
Leaves a clean, smooth surface


Screwing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Pre-boring recommended
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Good screw holding properties

Average number of pieces out of one hundred reported to screw without complete splits = 59

Turning
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Very easy to turn
Good results

Percent of pieces reported to produce fair to excellent results in turning = 91

Veneering Qualities
Veneers easily
Veneers moderately easy
Suitable for peeling
No drying degrade
Moderately easy to veneer
Various figures can yield decorative veneers
Suitable for slicing
Suitable for peeling
No drying degrade. Dries flat without splitting
Good gluing qualities

The figures include crotches, swirls, stumpwood, stripe or ribbon, mottle, snail and occasional burls.

Steam Bending
Poor to Very Poor Results
Tends to Degrade
Unsuitable
Good

Percent of unbroken pieces after steam bending = 78

Painting
Good results
Takes paint well


Polishing
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Good results
Excellent results


Staining
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Very Good to Excellent Results
Finish is generally good
Very good staining properties
Filling is required because of open grain


Varnishing
Varnished easily after filling


Strength Properties
Density (dry weight) = 38-45 lbs/cu. ft.
Max. crushing strength = medium
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = low
Bending strength (MOR) = medium
Hardness (side grain) = soft
Shrinkage, Tangential = moderate
Shrinkage, Radial = fairly large
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = low
Density (dry weight) = 31-37 lbs/cu. ft.
Toughness-Hammer drop (Impact Strength) = medium
Shrinkage, Radial = small
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = medium
Max. crushing strength (stiffness) = very low
Toughness-Hammer drop (Impact Strength) = low
Shrinkage, Tangential = small
Shrinkage, Tangential = fairly large
Shrinkage, Radial = moderate
Max. crushing strength = high
Density (dry weight) = 46-52 lbs/cu. ft.


Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Bending Strength930014831psi
Crushing Strength5491103psi
Density40lbs/ft3
Hardness1012lbs
Impact Strength5240inches
Maximum Crushing Strength42767330psi
Shearing Strength1590psi
Static Bending43128918psi
Stiffness143316951000 psi
Work to Maximum Load1213inch-lbs/in3
Specific Gravity0.480.55
Weight4338lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage4%
Tangential Shrinkage7%
Volumetric Shrinkage14%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Bending Strength6531042kg/cm2
Crushing Strength3877kg/cm2
Density641kg/m3
Hardness459kg
Impact Strength131101cm
Maximum Crushing Strength300515kg/cm2
Shearing Strength111kg/cm2
Static Bending303627kg/cm2
Stiffness1001191000 kg/cm2
Work to Maximum Load0.840.91cm-kg/cm3
Specific Gravity0.480.55
Weight689608kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage4%
Tangential Shrinkage7%

References
Boone, R.S., C.J. Kozlik, P.J. Bois, E.M. Wengert. 1988. Dry Kiln Schedules for Commercial Hardwoods - Temperate and Tropical. USDA, Forest Service, General Technical Report FPL-GTR-57, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin.

Brown, H.P. and Panshin, A.J.,1940,Commercial Timbers of the United States Their structure, identification,,properties and uses,McGraw-Hill, London

Brown, W.H.,1978,Timbers of the World: - No.7 North America,TRADA

California Department of Forestry. Comparative Physical & Mechanical Properties of Western & Eastern Hardwoods. Prepared by Forest Products Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California. n/d.

Canadian Forestry Service. 1981. Canadian Woods - Their Properties and Uses. Third Edition. E.J. Mullins and T.S. McKnight, Editors. Published by University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada.

Clifford, N.,1957,Timber Identification for the Builder and Architect,Leonard Hill (Books) LTD. London

Farmer, R.H.,1972,Handbook of Hardwoods,HMSO

Harrar, E.S.,1942,Some Physical Properties of Modern Cabinet Woods 3. Directional and Volume,Shrinkage,Tropical Woods,9(71, pp26-32

HMSO, 1981. Handbook of Hardwoods, 2nd Edition. Revised by R.H. Farmer. Department of the Environment, Building Research Establishment, Princes Risborough Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Howard, A.L.,1948,A Manual of Timbers of the World.,Macmillan & Co. Ltd. London 3rd ed.

I.U.F.R.O.,1973,Veneer Species of the World,Assembled at F.P.L. Madison on behalf of I.U.F.R.O. Working Party on,Slicing and Veneer Cutting

Jackson, A. and D. Day. 1991. Good Wood Handbook - The Woodworker's Guide to Identifying, Selecting and Using the Right Wood. Betterway Publications, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kaiser, J. 1992. Wood of the Month: Claro - The West Coast Walnut. Wood and Wood Products, August, 1992. Page 50.

Kaiser, J. 1989. Wood of the Month - Walnut: Our Prestigious Domestic. Wood of the Month Annual, Volume 1, Supplement to Wood and Wood Products. Pages 35-36.

Kline, M. 1976. Juglans nigra - Black walnut. In A Guide to Useful Woods of the World, Flynn Jr., J.H., Editor. King Philip Publishing Co., Portland, Maine. 1994. Pages 195-196.

Kukachka, B.F.,1962,Characters of Some Imported Woods,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison,,Foreign Wood Series,No.2242

Little, E.L. 1980. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees - Eastern Region. Published by Arthur A. Knopf, New York.

Markwardt, L.J., Wilson, T.R.C.,1935,Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin,No.479

Mullins, E.J. and McKnight, T.S.,1981,Canadian Woods Their Properties and Uses,University of Toronto Press 3rd Edition

NWFA. 1994. Wood Species Used in Wood Flooring. Technical Publication No. A200. National Wood Flooring Association, Manchester, MO.

Panshin, A.J. and C. deZeeuw. Textbook of Wood Technology. McGraw-Hill Series in Forest Resources. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Patterson, D.,1988,Commercial Timbers of the World, 5th Edition,Gower Technical Press

Record, S.J., Hess, R.W.,1943,Timbers of the New World,Yale University Press

Rendle, B.J.,1969,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Ernest Benn Ltd. London

Rijsdijk, L.F. and Laming, P.B.,1994,Physical and Related Properties of 145 Timbers, Information for,Practice,TNO Building and Construction Research Centre for Timber Research Kluwer,Academic Publishers

Rink, G.,1985,American Woods - Black Walnut,USDA, Forest Service, American Woods FS-270

Stone, H.,1924,The Timbers of Commerce and their Identification,William Rider & Sons Ltd. London

Timber Development Association Ltd.,1955,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Timber Development Association Ltd.

Titmuss, F.H.,1965,Commercial Timbers of the World,Technical Press Ltd., London, 3rd edition

U.S.D.A. Forest Service,1974,Wood Handbook,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Handbook,72

USDA. 1987. Wood Handbook : Wood as an Engineering Material. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook No. 72. Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin.

USDA. 1988. Dry Kiln Operators Manual, Preliminary Copy. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin.

Wangaard, F.F., et al,1954,Properties and Uses of Tropical Woods 4,Tropical Woods,14(99, pp1-187

Wang, S.F.,1963,Studies on the absorption and penetration of woods treated with various,treating methods of preservatives,Taiwan Forest Research Institute Bulletin,No.89

Wolcott, G.N.,1950,An Index to the Termite Resistance of Woods,Agricultural Experimental Station, University of Puerto Rico Bulletin,No.85

Wood, A.D.,1963,Plywoods of the World: Their Development, Manufacture and,Application,Johnston & Bacon Ltd. Edinburgh & London








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