Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Today we talk about walnut wood..

I have done my research on walnut wood completely on line, and here is what i have discovered!

"The common walnut and the black walnut and its allies, are important for their attractive timber, which is hard, dense, tight-grained and polishes to a very smooth finish. The colour ranges from creamy white in the sapwood to a dark chocolate colour in the heartwood. When kiln-dried, walnut wood tends toward a dull brown colour, but when air-dried can become a rich purplish-brown. Because of its colour, hardness and grain it is a prized furniture and carving wood.
Walnut wood has been the timber of choice for gun makers for centuries, including the Gewehr 98 and Lee Enfield rifles of the First World War. It remains one the most popular choices for rifle and shotgun stocks, and is generally considered to be the premium – as well as the most traditional – wood for gun stocks, due to its resilience to compression along the grain. Walnut is also used in lutherie, i.e. making stringed musical instruments.

In North America, forestry research has been undertaken mostly on J. nigra aiming to improve the quality of planting stock and markets. In some areas of the US black walnut is the most valuable commercial timber species.[13] The Walnut Council is the key body linking growers with scientists. In Europe, various EU-led scientific programs have studied walnut growing for timber.[14]

Walnuts,the fruit from the walnut tree, are considered to be a herb in Traditional Chinese medicine. They are said to tonify kidneys, strengthen the back and knees, warm and hold qi in lungs and help kidneys to grasp the qi, moisten the intestines and move stool. It is believed to stop asthma and is prescribed to be taken between bouts of asthma, but not for acute asthma. It is also used by the elderly to relieve constipation.

The two most commercially important species are J. regia for timber and nuts, and J. nigra for timber. Both species have similar cultivation requirements and are widely grown in temperate zones.
The 21 species in the genus range across the north temperate Old World from southeast Europe east to Japan, and more widely in the New World from southeast Canada west to California and south to Argentina." 
 THank you Wikipedia for that wonderful information!

I also discovered that Claro walnut is a completely different type of tree and wood, and it is an endangered tree, whereas the previous types of walnut are grown commercially for lumber and thier fruits.
Below is a picture of a fork made of Claro Walnut wood. Its graining is beautifully crazy!

Walnut wood is strong and beautiful, and we love to work with it. It is also very widely available and  grown sustainably for the lumber industry. While we have used some claro walnut on request, it was hard to find and due to its highly figured nature did not lend itself perfectly to making strong hairforks. It tends to stay flexible and alittle softer that we like for our forks. We do have a piece of it left and a few made forks with it that are available. It is very beautiful, much more expensive than regualr walnut, and hard to acquire.

WE hope that this information was interesting and helpful to those of you interested in the woods we use.
As a side note, working it is lovely, it has a bit of a peppery smell to me. It does finish beautifully and the boards we get that have some sap wood in them have a lighter color mixed with the dark brown to purple, and we truly enjoy working with it and making hairforks in this wood.

WE appreciate all of you so much, and look forward to showing our new creations and innovations in hair art for the coming year!
Happy New year to all!!

1 comment:

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