Opinions on use of walnut


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I've come into possession of a few hundred board feet of black walnut (free!), in rough hewn sizes ranging from 1 1/4" x 23" x 9' (the largest) to 1 1/2" x 8" x 8' (the smallest) so I would like to replace the gunwales, decks, thwart and seats in the walnut (with birds eye accents on the decks) which would contrast beautifully with the lighter cedar on my canoe, and ultimately, the red exterior.

I've read that the durability of the walnut is very high. Any experience or opinions out there regarding its rot resistance? I've made some paddles with it already and love the results. What about using it for the new stems?
I have harvested walnut for turning blanks off trees that have stood dead for years. The white sapwood decays fairly quickly, but the dark heartwood seems to be very rot resistant. My copy of Bruce Hoadley's Understanding Wood lists walnut as very rot resistant.

Walnut works beautifully and IMHO would make really stunning gunwales and decks. I think your idea of contrasting it with figured maple is excellent. Those two woods realy go together. I would also think the walnut wood work great for seats and thwarts.

I'm not sure about the density issue, but tend to believe that walnut might be more dense than the usual woods and might tend to add a bit of weight to the canoe.

As far as using it for stems, according to Hoadley, walnut steam bends well. I've never tried it. I normally use ash for stems which is very close to the same density as walnut. Walnut might be better than ash because it is more rot resisitant.
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Walnut makes great paddles.

Any quarter sawn wood would have the greates value added as instrument wood, if the grade is high enough. Its very desirable for that.
Comparison of wood species

Walnut (Juglans nigra) & White Ash (Fraxinus Americana)

Dimensional Stability: Walnut 10/64"; Ash 10/64" so Fully seal all exposed, semi-exposed and concealed surfaces.

Hardness: both ranked "Hard"; Specifically, Walnut 1,010; Ash 1,320

Modulus of Elasticity: Walnut 1.68; Ash 1.74
Both regarded as haveing good shock resistance and bending capabilities

Density: Walnut 38 lb/ft3; Ash 42 lb/ft3

Decay Resistance: Walnut very; Ash slightly

Oxidation: Walnut will fade; Ash turns golden

Both good choices, Choice now is largely aesthetic.