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Black Walnut has long been considered one of the US's most durable hardwoods, and one of its most popular. Prized for its typically deep chocolate color (often highlighted by red or purple streaks and/or tint), straight grains (though sometimes irregular), fine texture and warm luster, the wood has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and is considered to have solid dimensional stability after drying. Its cooperative grain structure and moderate density give Black Walnut excellent working properties, which have made it coveted by fine furniture craftsmen for centuries.
While there remains a robust domestic supply, the demand for this wood also remains constant. It is considered a premium domestic hardwood.
African Walnut's grains are typically straight or slightly interlocked -- yielding good working properties -- with a fine to medium, consistent texture and a fine natural luster. Finding figured pieces is not uncommon. It turns, glues and finishes well. The wood is considered moderately durable.
Its heartwood can vary from a muted orange- to reddish-brown, with dark brown or black thin stripes. Sapwood typically has a yellow tint and is commonly seen in boards.