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NOTE: there is rarely any "standard" or "typical" look for a wood so take what's in this table with a grain of salt
the REST of the pictures on this page will give you a better overall feel for this wood

butternut / Juglans cinerea

5" x 5" flat cut, 5" x 5" quartersawn, 1" wide end grain, and a 1/4" x 1/4" end grain closeup. The fluted grain in the flat cut surface is a characteristic of butternut (although it doesn't occur in every piece)

Semi ring porous with medium sized sparse pores with vasicentric parenchyma, sometimes in radial multiples of 2 or 3. Growth ring boundaries are well delineated, marginal parenchyma is usually obvious, rays are present but are generally too thin to see even at 10X. It has diffuse-in-aggregates parenchyma which frequently cannot be seen even at 10X. There is sometimes tylosis in the pores but you will not likely see it with just shop level wood processing because the pores are too small for it to show up well at 10X without much finer end grain processing than the 1200 grit I use.

This is a close relative of walnut but it is generally lighter and softer than walnut and has slightly more graininess and is tan in color rather than the darker color of walnut.



FLUTED GRAIN IN BUTTERNUT


my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting --- colors will vary under other lighting conditions


plank and closeup; the closeup shows and area that is a perfect illustration of the fluted grain that sometimes happens in butternut (and occasionally in basswood)


crotch section cut out of the larger plank above and a closeup


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from both of a couple of smaller planks cut from the big one directly above


crotch plank


plank and end grain; this piece, which came from a wood-sample set I bought, is considerable harder, heavier, and less porous and grainy than the next two. I've only had a couple of planks and they were both like the 2nd and 3rd samples, but my reading indicates that the characteristics of the wood are often more like this sample than the next two. The color on all of these is quite accurate; no color correction was needed.


HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above


plank and end grain


end grain closeup of the piece directly above --- color is a little too dark


plank and end grain


end grain closeup (upside down) and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


sample plank and end grain sold to me as butternut and BOTH / Juglans occidentalis and Juglans cinerea


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above --- color has a purple tint that is not in the wood


both sides of a sample plank of butternut / Juglans cinerea --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


first face and the end grain of a sample of butternut / Juglans cinerea. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION A


the second face, before and after sanding, showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.


both sides of a sample plank of butternut / Juglans cinerea --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of buartnut / Juglans x bixbyi --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.

A note on the name of this species: Japanese walnut / Juglans ailantifolia and North American butternut / Juglans cinerea hybridize readily and the resulting hybrid is named Juglans x bixbyi and is also known as J. cinera x ailantifolia


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a butternut plank


the web pic of the plank directly above --- my colors are more accurate


closeup of the plank directly above


plank cut from the larger plank directly above, and medium-sanded


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


The 4 pieces in this section are all from the same tree and were sent to me for identification. I identified them as butternut and Mark Peet, who looked at it later, thinks that it is likely either a butternut/walnut hybrid or possibly is one of the Japanese walnuts. In any event, I have not included the end grain closeups of these pieces in the anatomy pages because of the uncertainty of the identification.


both sides of a small piece


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


two more pieces, which looks like one but you can see in the enlargement that it was cut in half (before it came to me). The pics below are from these two pieces


both faces of each piece (which, as you can see, make a bookmatched pair) and a closeup of one, taken after it was sanded smooth, because it has some nice ray flakes


both sides of yet another piece, this one being a transverse cut so that the "faces" are actually end grain.


a couple of HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUPs taken from a couple of the various pieces directly above


a face grain closeup of one of the pieces





planks shot in a wood store. HUGE enlargements are present. The last pic is an enlargement of a wormy area on the third plank


planks shot in a wood store and a closeup. HUGE enlargements are present


spalted butternut pair, moistened for the pic which was contributed by Todd Levy; thanks Todd.


A piece of buartnut / Juglans x bixbyi sapwood. This is a hybrid of North American butternut (Juglans cinerea) and Japanese walnut (Juglans ailantifolia) and was contributed to the site by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Mark gave me this piece because of the really wild and funky bark pattern that you can see below. This hybrid generally goes under the name bluart or bluartnut and is considered primarily a butternut, not a walnut.


the end grain of the piece and the bark


two side grain closeups showing the weird bark


3 views of a pen, turned and photographed by Bruce Selyem from the bluart bark shown directly above


long veneer sheet and closeup


veneer sheet and closeup


veneer sheet and closeup



veneer sheet and two closeups


long veneer sheet and closeup




long veneer sheet and two closeups


veneer --- the last pic is a little too red


veneer with very accurate slightly reddish color (but too shiny) and chosen to show some grain variety


veneer from yet another lot


The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
butternut (Juglans cinerea, aka white walnut and oil-nut) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views

web pics:


log half

       
       
slab sections dry and wet, all from the same vendor, all labeled butternut / Juglans cinerea --- enlargements are present


slab


portions of slabs


slab with natural edge; both levels of enlargement are present


plank with wet and dry sections


flat cut planks


flat cut planks, all from the same vendor, labled as butternut / Juglans cinerea --- the rich orange color seems unlikely to me.


quartersawn planks


planks


planks and closeup


planks with VERY unlikely colors


long turning stock


both sides and a closeup of a set of planks --- on the color, the left-hand pic likely has too much green and the other two are probably close to the true wood color (I suspect these are weathered planks, thus the gray color). The next two sets of pics, direcly below, are from the same vendor and also seem to have too much green in them, which is typical of this vendor's pics.


both sides and a closeup of a set of planks


both sides and a closeup of a set of planks


pen blanks


turning blocks and bowl blank


color in this plank seems WAY too deep a brown --- I've never seen butternut have a chocolate color like this.


crotch planks


veneer with what appears to be accurate color


veneer


veneer that has been moistened for the pics (there are is a small dry area at each side); color seems a bit too gray to me


veneer with what I believe is definitely too much yellow/green tint





these are from the BogusColorVendor, so I seriously doubt that any of these pieces have any of the red or orange shown here.







butternut table, about 6' long and 3' wide, that I shot at a craft show. This pic really doesn't do the table justice. HUGE enlargements are present and they do give a better sense of the grain, particularly at the far end.


a finished piece on the end of a bed headboard


one end of a crotch slab coffee table with bowties that appear to be tulipwood


platters --- I suspect the pinkish tint is due to the finish or the photography, not the wood itself


vase


end gran vessel and closeup REALLY nicely showing the fluted grain that sometimes happens in butternut


bowls


bowl that shows off the fluted grain that sometimes happens in butternut


bowl listed as wormy butternut


burl bowl


hollow forms


beautifully turned and carved hollow form. Presumably dark because of a finishing agent.


several wormy butternut bowls that I shot at a craft store; all are segmented and presumably dark because of a finishing agent.