Scientific name: Juglans nigra
Origin: North America
Other names: Black Walnut
Average density: 38lbs/ft3 – 610kg/m3
Uses: Guitar back and sides, bodies and necks
The heartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Color can sometimes have a grey, purple or reddish cast. Sapwood is pale yellow-gray to nearly white. Figured grain patterns such as curl and burl are also seen. Grain is usually straight, but it can be irregular. It has a medium texture and moderate natural luster. Typically, it is easy to work providing the grain is straight and regular. Tearout can sometimes be a problem when surfacing pieces with irregular or figured grain. It glues, stains, finishes well (though walnut is rarely stained) and responds well to steam bending. Its cooperative working characteristics, coupled with its rich brown coloration puts the wood in a class by itself among temperate-zone hardwoods. It also has good dimensional stability, shock resistance, and strength properties.
Walnut combines properties found in Maple, Mahogany or Rosewood. Beautiful great sounding guitars have been made using this wood. The sound is bright, with good harmonics and rounded basses. Without any doubt this is a very good alternative to other traditional woods.