Different Species of Walnut? Or different Finish? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-05-2018, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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Different Species of Walnut? Or different Finish?

So I've been wanting to build a bedroom suite for my wife and I. (Mainly my wife) haha! And I finally came across a design that we absolutely love.

I know I can build it, as it's a relatively simple design, but what has me baffled to a degree is how to get this soft lighter walnut finish. I've taken a screenshot of a couple of the pieces. They claim it's walnut, which I would agree. But is this a different type of Walnut than your usual dark purplish walnut you buy anywhere? If so where would I source it? Or is there just a finishing technique to lighten walnut?

Or is this your regular walnut just from lighter growing trees? Aka the variance in a species?

I hope you might help bring some insight as I've seen many furniture pieces with this beautiful soft tone, all claiming to be walnut but I have no idea how they would have managed if using the only walnut that seems to be commonly available (as pictured)

Thanks for your time and any help you might have to offer!

Levi
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-05-2018, 06:34 AM
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-05-2018, 07:14 AM
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There are different species of walnut and looking at the picture it appears it might be a European walnut which runs lighter in color than American walnut. An easier solution to achieve the look you are wanting might be to build the wood out of alder which if you cut around the knots can be stained and finish to look amazingly like walnut.

The purple color of American walnut will eventually go away with age and exposure to light. It ages very well and becomes more of a golden brown however will never get as light in color as the picture you have shown.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-05-2018, 07:31 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Levi! When you get a minute go ahead and complete your profile with location. That often helps us to help you.

That would be a nice project in Walnut, even if it is a bit darker than you want. It's been a while since I bleached wood but you might research that (or ask Steve).

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-05-2018, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
There are different species of walnut and looking at the picture it appears it might be a European walnut which runs lighter in color than American walnut. An easier solution to achieve the look you are wanting might be to build the wood out of alder which if you cut around the knots can be stained and finish to look amazingly like walnut.

The purple color of American walnut will eventually go away with age and exposure to light. It ages very well and becomes more of a golden brown however will never get as light in color as the picture you have shown.
The Alder I buy doesn't have so many knots. I assume it's it's a better grade but it still has some knots. Also, there is Butternut. I have not seen any but I have read it's the poor man's walnut.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-05-2018, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye10 View Post
The Alder I buy doesn't have so many knots. I assume it's it's a better grade but it still has some knots. Also, there is Butternut. I have not seen any but I have read it's the poor man's walnut.
Ive used Butternut and it is a nice wood. It can be made to look almost like Walnut.
Butternut usually cost much less than Walnut. It is not as hard as Walnut and will splinter more easily in some operations like routing. But overall itís still a good choice.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-05-2018, 01:17 PM
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Juglans cinerea is Butternut, sometimes called "white walnut".
J. regia is the edible walnut of commerce.

I suggest that you try to get a good look at some butternut for color.
Could be just what you imagine.

Ash, Elm and Pecan are woods of similar tone.
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