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Walnut Lumber, unsteamed

Walnut unsteamed

     American black walnut is one of our finest and most cherished native woods. Prized for its rich dark color, stability and workability, its history is intertwined with the early European settlement of this country, where it was used extensively in the finest furniture and millwork of the colonial period, and it has even been proposed as our national tree. The primary range of walnut is the eastern U.S. from New York through the Carolinas and west to the plains states. The majority of the walnut we carry comes from the limestone valleys of Central Pennsylvania and the Finger Lakes region of New York State, occasionally as far south as Virginia.

Figured Walnut Set  

     We carry only unsteamed walnut, with minimal sapwood. Commercially produced walnut lumber is treated with steam while in the kiln, and this process causes the color in the dark heartwood to migrate to and color the sapwood. The end result is a uniform but lifeless color throughout the board, including the sapwood, as the process alters the appearance of the lumber and diminishes its natural coloring and grain highlights. While this is good for the producers as it greatly increases the yield, the quality and color of the lumber is impacted as a result. Historically only the rich brown heart wood was used in fine furniture and millwork, as in its natural state the sapwood is a strongly contrasting grey-white color and is the most unstable part of the lumber.

     
Walnut waiting to go into the kiln
     

     We work hard to minimize the sapwood in the lumber we sell, trimming the bulk of it off the log before we start producing any boards in the logs we saw, and paying a premium to purchase only lumber that has a very high percentage of heartwood. This and the fact that we grade our lumber by standard FAS rules instead of the walnut grading rules, which allow many more defects in the top walnut lumber grades, results in a high quality product that isn't common in the marketplace today.

 

  Walnut Crotch
Wide walnut boards  

     Our inventory of walnut is quite extensive, and we carry this lumber in thicknesses from 4/4 through 24/4. We specialize in matched sets of 4/4 and 5/4 for panel and table stock, and consistently stock widths to 20"+ and as wide as 30" when we can find the logs. Walnut trees are notorious for the amount of degrade in the lumber so many of our ultra-wide sets are from 3'to 6' long after the splits and defects are removed, and these make great case sides and tops for furniture. We also stock a lot of random width and length material in these thicknesses of the same color and quality as the wider stock. We carry some 6/4, a large variety of 8/4 stock in widths up to 16", and 10/4 through 24/4 stock for legs and posts.

     It is difficult to find any quantity of figure in eastern black walnut, so our supply is limited and erratic, but we do have a very good selection of walnut crotches, in single boards and matched sets, mostly cut to 4/4 for panels and drawer fronts. We do set aside matched sets of lumber that have a lot of activity and wild grain, and these sets are priced in the figured category.

 

  Walnut Heavy Stock 
     
Narrow walnut   Walbut Pack
  narrow walnut pack

To view finished products created with our lumber visit our galleries.

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Irion Lumber Company 980 Calkins Rd. Wellsboro PA 16901 570.724.1895 info@irionlumber.com