Butternut

As I understand Butternut is a close relative to Walnut. Workability is supposed to be the same as Walnut. Wifey wants a entertainment center for the big screen tv and I have an oppurtunity to by several hundred bd. ft of it at a very resonable price. Have done a bit of looking on the web but have found little in the way of information. Can anyone share there expreriances working Butternut ? Thanks
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John Edwards asks:

Looks like walnut, if stained: figure and grain patterns are similar, but wood is a much lighter color. Works a lot like walnut, but...it is softer, lighter (not much heavier than a light pine), not nearly as strong (make those 4/4 shelves 5/4), needs filling (walnut can use filling, doesn't need it), works very easily, finishes well. In other words, it works about like walnut, when stained it looks like walnut, but it is not as strong, nor as hard.
Depending on the price, it's a good substitute. Of course, you could always clear finish it, and tell people what it really is, "white walnut". Great for confusion purposes amongst non-woodworkers.
Charlie Self "Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable." Mark Twain
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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"White Walnut", I like that.
I have use some for a small project. It cuts, sands, planes, scrapes just like walnut. I clear finished mine and I do like the grain patterns.
Charlie Self wrote:

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basically my experience is the same as Charlie's in all respects. The wood is much softer than black walnut [juglans nigra]. Butternut is not Juglans nigra, black walnut, but is definately a member of the walnut family .Butternut, is also known as white walnut designated as Juglans cineria.....mjh

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It's about like walnut sapwood, it seems to me. Great carving wood, as it's not too hard, yet holds detail well.
Wonder if it could be steamed with walnut shavings like when they steam walnut to match sapwood?

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Basically, I'd agree with what others have said: it's markedly softer than walnut, similar grain patterns. Works nicely with 'lectricity or muscle power, however, so it's great for light duty projects -- i.e. I wouldn't make a dining room table from butternut. I would consider it for use in a sideboard or similar.
Good luck!
hex -30-
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On Sat, 6 Mar 2004 07:01:01 -0500, "JPEracing"

It is a very nice traditional wood. Not quite as durable as oak, maple, or cherry. Butternut is known as "white oak." It is a good choice for a large piece of furniture due to its light weight. It works easily with tools and carves well. Buy it!
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You mean white walnut, dontcha? :-)
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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On Sat, 06 Mar 2004 22:19:52 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Yup (I had white oak on the brain recently.)
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I've also heard it referred to as "Poor man's Walnut".
If I'm not mistaken there was a page on Butternut in one of the woodworking magazines not to long ago. I'll try to find it.
KP
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It has a tendency to fuzz a little when sanded. The preference would be towards scraping to avoid this.
Otherwise, ditto what everyone else said/says.
UA100
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wrote:

Couple of years ago I made a pair of antique gun display cases for a friend of mine, who balked at the original price estimate I gave him for walnut. Butternut, when stained, was an excellent substitute. Kinda fuzzy while working it, but the light weight definitely was a plus, since these cases hung on a wall.
Tom Flyer
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This fall I did a Pantry out of Butternut. It was a pleasure (for the most part) to work with. There is a slight difference in look than maybe walnut but some of it even has coloration of a lighter walnut (yes I have seen not sap wood walnut in a light brown). A good description might be whitish-brown base color with dark brown swirls through it. some of it looked like a marble cake. I had some that had a sort of Lacewood pattern in it (very cool) some had a three dimensional pattern (similar to the lace wood) a few pieces had no pattern at all. All this from supposedly the same tree. Mine was air dried 7+ years too so this may make a difference in some colorations and patterns. It smells like walnut and I would take the same precautions with it like walnut dust (which has a reputation to be an irritant). It works nicely and it didn't splinter quite like walnut will do, probably because it is softer. I had to hand plane some of the edges (for lack of a jointer) and a sharp plane can make a huge curl :) I had little problem with fuzz. Also Mine came in spalted form so it added even more interest to the piece. An entertainment cabinet would look wonderful. As I indicated before, grain patterns very so plan accordingly. If you desire I will either send pictures of wood and project or post them on ABPW.
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Young_carpenter wrote:

Please post 'em to abpw - just can't have too much inspiration!
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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