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For the Woodcarver Wanting a Natural Finish

Butternut Carving Blocks and Wood Price List

Butternut Tree Butternut Tree Fruit

Butternut Wood

Butternut Tree Bark

Click here for our Butternut carving blocks and wood price list.

Also see  Basswood  for more carving wood.

Butternut - Juglans Cinerea - stands out as a superior wood for intricate carving.  Unlike basswood it shows a beautiful color and grain pattern.

Native Indians were more interested in the food value of the tree rather than the wood.  They ground the nuts for breads, cakes, soup, relish, and mush for baby food.  They saved the buttery fat left from boiling the nuts.  From the sap they made syrup and beverages.

The root and bark of the butternut tree have also been used as a laxative.  An iodine-yellow dye can be made from the fruit husks and bark.  Some Confederate soldiers colored their uniforms with this dye.  Today the nuts are popular in New England for making maple-butternut candy.

Butternut is a soft, lightweight hardwood that is odorless and not known to be toxic.  Its heartwood is a light chestnut brown with red or pinkish tinges.  Its narrow sapwood is white to light brown.  Butternut is prone to insect attacks.  The wood has a straight grain and a coarse texture.  Because of its course texture, tools must be sharp.  It is easy to work and takes a lustrous shine when finished.

The tree is not abundant.  It is slow growing, rarely lives longer than 75 years, and is declining because of a fungal disease.

Juglans is the Latin name for walnut - meaning the nut of Jupiter.  Cinerea refers to its ash colored bark.  Closely related to black walnut, it is sometimes called white walnut.  Another name is oil-nut.



Also see  Woodcarving Tools  and   Woodcarving Books


















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