Black Walnut: Lumber of choice for high-end cabinets & furniture

February 20, 2019
Amanda Zimmerman
Black Walnut: Lumber of choice for high-end cabinets & furniture

When it comes to high-end woodworking, some lumber is rich and luxe, while other types are easier to carve and craft. Black Walnut is that rare example of both, marrying sophisticated elegance with supreme workability to make it a prized choice for premium cabinets, furniture, mouldings, paneling, and other custom millwork.

A domestic treasure

Black Walnut is native to eastern and central North America, where trees can grow up to 120’. It can take a century for a Black Walnut tree to fully mature, making each tree all the more valuable. Long a favorite among American woodworkers and furniture makers, Black Walnut is so valued for its beauty, strength and workability that in recent years the domestic and international demand for its lumber has led to shorter supply and higher prices.

Black Walnut: Lumber of choice for high-end cabinets & furniture

Defining features of Black Walnut

Black Walnut has two distinguishing characteristics that secure its place as a highly sought-after premium domestic wood: color and workability.

In color, Black Walnut spans a range from rich, dark-colored hardwood in hues of reddish brown to white or cream-colored sapwood. Though curly or wavy patterns may appear, the wood is mostly straight grained, allowing for a clean, color-saturated appearance that can be finished to a high polish.

Just as valued as its appearance, however, is Black Walnut’s workability. The wood takes easily to hand and power tools, as well as nails, screws, stains and glue. With low stiffness but high durability, Black Walnut also responds well to steam bending.

Black Walnut: Lumber of choice for high-end cabinets & furniture

Black Walnut in custom millwork

Because of its natural beauty and responsiveness to both hand and power tools, Black Walnut is a mainstay of high-end cabinetry and furniture. It also figures largely in turned or carved pieces, from musical instruments and clocks to balusters and spindles.

You will see the rich shades and high polish of Black Walnut in high-end living rooms and bedrooms, but perhaps most especially in kitchens. There, the lustrous wood forms cabinets and graces table and countertops, bringing depth and elegance to the décor.

Black Walnut: Lumber of choice for high-end cabinets & furniture

For the skilled craftsmen at Eisenhardt Mills, Black Walnut’s unique characteristics provide an opportunity to create custom millwork that honors the American woodworking tradition by creating enduring and classic pieces. Highly skilled in the use of premium lumber, Eisenhardt Mills artisans showcase the wood’s strengths and beauty, rendering unforgettable pieces that take their own place in the tradition of American woodworking.