Suitability of Black Walnut for marine trim applications.


How well will black walnut work as cabinet tops, trim, and gunwales in a boat? It will be covered in epoxy and then coated with several coats of high gloss UV blocking varnish, but I am interested in knowing if it is resistant to rot and such.
Thanks!
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SouthForkSam wrote:

protection will be the same. They have used walnut in boats and boat trimming for many years.
Here is a page to view:
http://www.classicboat.com/id-28custom-runabout-1929-1931.htm
Try a google with "walnut" "wooden boat" "marine" and see what happens...
Philski
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Gunwales and cabinet trim are pretty far apart. Usually, one wants a hard tough wood like oak for gunwales and a nicely finished wood likecherry, walnut, teak or mahogany for cabinet trim. I believe that black walnut is not particularly rot resistant. Dave

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Dave W says...

Walnut is hard, tough and very resistant to decay. See http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/TechSheets/HardwoodNA/htmlDocs/juglans2.html
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Should I worry that Black Walnut is only 1010 on the Janka hardness scale where White Oak is 1300 and something?
Maybe I should just use Purple Heart or Padauk (both higher on the hardness scale than white oak)...... but I really am leaning towards the color of the walnut. I can already see the dark brown, brightworked gunwale contrasting against an ivory paint on the outer hull.
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Hardness is not an indicator of rot resistance. I'm sure cedar and cypress come in much lower but have good resistance.
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SouthForkSam says...

I'm not a boat builder, but it doesn't seem like a big deal considering the application and considering you are going to put some tough finishes on it. You could use Jatoba as well. Very hard and durable and it has a nice color.
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As the boat I am working on is a drift boat the gunwales may see some abuse. I want a fairly tough wood with good shock resistance.
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For what it's worth, there's an old maritime superstition that black walnut is unlucky on boats.
Tom Dacon

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