Where’s Walnut?

Specializing in both exotic and domestic hardwood lumber, McIlvain Company stocks plenty of Black Walnut lumber in its Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut lumberyards. Unlike any other North American wood species, Black Walnut is known for its dark brown heartwood. This unusual characteristic has given the wood recognition as far back as America’s colonial days, which is when McIlvain lumber began. Not long after the chocolate brown lumber began to be used popularly for furniture and interior millwork, it became one of America’s first exports. Soon after, British and European woodworkers were enjoying this beautiful wood as well.

While similar in color and hardness to Mahogany, Black Walnut’s availability has makes it more affordable and therefore a more realistic option for many who could not afford the price tag of exotic hardwoods. While Cherry Wood lumber remains the domestic hardwood of choice for many, Walnut is fast becoming its chief competitor. Found along the Ohio River Valley, this locally-sourced wood is equally sought after by furniture makers and flooring companies. Additional uses include doors and paneling, among other.

When freshly milled, Walnut lumber ranges in color from a deep purple-tinted brown to a light cream. Through steaming, the wood mellows to a consistently chocolate brown hue, and through sun and air exposure, it lightens to blend well with other woods.

In addition to its premier lumber, Black Walnut trees produce a fruit, the black walnut. With uses ranging from health benefits to dyes, these nuts have many unique characteristics. The outer casing, or hull, of the black walnut, starts out as a bright green and lightens to a yellowish green before darkening to brown. Inside the hull, the walnut husk has drying properties. Cracking this nut is harder than most nuts, and commercial equipment for that purpose utilizes car tires to grind the nuts against wire mesh.

The exterior appearance of the shell resembles a brain, and when ground up, it can be used in various ways. One is to deburr gears, and another is to clean jet engines. It is also used as a nonslip agent for car tires. Black walnut shells can also be used to help strip paints or carry insecticides. Housed within a butterfly-shaped casing, the nut meat has many uses.

First, its strong flavor makes it ideal for baking and other recipes. Rich in vitamins and nutrients, these nuts are more than just flavorful, healthy snacks. They can also aid in weight loss and according to recent studies, could even help cure some diseases. With proven benefits such as preventing gallbladder disease, protecting arteries, and promoting brain cell health, walnuts certainly are a miracle food.

Sourcing our Black Walnut lumber from the Ohio River Valley, McIlvain Company works hard to find wide, clear boards and an extensive selection of boards in various sizes. For over 200 years, McIlvain has been scouring the globe searching for the best locations for lumber, and their experience and expertise is second to none.  For more information on McIlvain’s lumber selection and to learn why no one is better equipped to help you with your next project, click here to visit their website, or check out these selections from their lumber blog:

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