Strip Canoe With All Walnut?


New Member
Howdy All -
I recently came into a huge amount of walnut that is about 3/4" x 2-3" x 6-8 feet. It's in good shape, dry, about 15 years old, no rot, and it's been nicely weathered under the cover of a deck. With the help of a planer, a table saw, and a router table w/ the right bits, I'm pretty confident that I could make more than enough strips for an entire canoe. My question is to the experienced builders out there: is stripping an entire canoe in walnut like this a realistic option? Any drawbacks?
Weight !

Walnut will not flex as nice as WR Cedar. You should consider cutting thinner strips to add flexibility, as well as reduce weight. Machine some Aspen to use in decorative strips.

If I had decent Walnut ? I'd try and trade for some WR Cedar for a canoe build !

Walnut is dirty to work with, and I suppose it would be substantially heavier than cedar.
Might make a cool accent strip!
Don't go there. This is the voice of experience using a hardwood for a canoe hull.

Use that striking walnut for trim, seats, decks, and maybe special accent strip a little above the waterline like the cover photos in Canoecraft.

I tried clear butternut and milled it cove-and-bead for the hull of a canoe. Compared to most hardwoods like walnut or maple, butternut is relatively soft and lightweight, so I thought, "Why not?"

The canoe was a disappointment. Being brittle, the sharp knife-edges of the coves regularly chipped off at the outer table. It was really hard to sand, it added 10-1 pounds to the canoe, and it was not especially pretty. The grain was too prominent and varied, and the hull looked "busy."

Don't pass up on nice walnut though. Build a piano.

When people figure out what's important in Life, there's gonna be a shortage of canoes.