Walnut, American Black

American black walnut is a premium cabinet and furniture making timber, native to the eastern regions of North America. Availability in Australia is generally limited to the upper grades.

Other Names

American Walnut, Black Walnut, Virginia Walnut, Canaletto, Black Hickory Nut

Botanical Name

Juglans nigra

Common Form
Veneer
Species Type

American black walnut is a medium to large hardwood, native to the eastern regions of North America. Its heartwood ranges from a golden to rich chocolate brown colour, sometimes with narrow streaks of a darker purplish-brown. Sapwood is a distinctive creamy white colour. American black walnut is a fine and generally straight-grained timber, although sometimes it has an attractive wavy or curly grain, giving it a highly decorative figure.

By virtue of its appearance, durability and ready workability - being only moderately hard - American black walnut is an excellent cabinetmaking timber. It performs well with both machine and hand tools and can be polished to a high finish. It is also an excellent timber for carving and turning and is suitable for steam bending. It glues satisfactorily if conditions are carefully controlled. It is suited to high-end cabinetwork, and is a timber of choice for gunstocks. Other applications include general furniture and joinery work.

In Australia, commercial availability of American black walnut timber products is generally limited to the upper grades, in which knots and sapwood commonly occur. It is most readily available in Australia as a veneer. 

 

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

4.90%

Radial :

3.40%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.27%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.19%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

S8

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F11

F8

F7

F5

F4

Seasoned:

F17

F14

F11

F8

F7

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

615kg/m3

Unseasoned:

970kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

66

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

101

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

9.8

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

11.6

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

29.6

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

52.3

Impact - Unseasoned:

Impact - Seasoned:

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Toughness - Seasoned:

Hardness - Unseasoned:

4

Hardness - Seasoned:

4.5

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Not Resistant

Fire Properties

1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group
Number:

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

Not Tested
Appearance

American black walnut heartwood ranges from light to dark chocolate brown in colour, sometimes with narrow streaks with a purplish or darker brown tone. In comparison, sapwood is a distinctive creamy white. Black walnut is a finely grained timber, often with attractive swirls and wave patterning, especially around knotty areas. The heartwood lightens in colour as it ages, especially when it is exposed to UV light.

Common Applications

American black walnut is an exceptional cabinet and furniture making timber due to its attractive appearance. The timber is also used for doors, flooring, joinery, mouldings and turnings. In Australia, black walnut is typically available as a veneer and used for paneling and cabinetry.

Workability

American black walnut performs well with both machine and hand tools, and takes a very high polish. It is an excellent timber for carving and turning and is suitable for steam bending. It glues satisfactorily if conditions are carefully controlled. Black walnut also has good dimensional stability.

Origin of timber
North America
Readily Available
NSW
In Australia, commercial availability of American black walnut timber products is generally limited to the upper grades, in which knots and sapwood commonly occur. In Australia, black walnut is most commonly available as a veneer.
Source of timber
Native Forest
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Joinery

Timber joinery offers a classic, stylish touch to any interior or exterior space.
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Mouldings

Mouldings are extremely versatile and durable, enhancing the aesthetics of any interior and functioning as the icing on the cake for designs with a focus on beauty and splendour.

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