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Pen #49



August 2005 - I had purchased a larger piece of Walnut to make a bowl and used the left overs for a pen. Black walnut, Juglans nigra, may also be known as eastern black walnut or American walnut. Black walnut was the number one prized fine hardwood in America at a time before the use of veneers. Early colonists exported the wood to England from Virginia as early as 1610. Solid walnut wood was used in every sort of homemade furniture imaginable, during the Colonial and Federal periods, but rarely was the fine grain appreciated. Most pieces were covered with a coat of paint. The rage for walnut as a fine furniture wood occurred in a period from 1830-1860, during the popularity of the Empire, Victorian, and Revival styles. Unfortunately by this time, black walnut wood was already becoming scarce. Black walnut never faltered in its use as gunstock material. It is unsurpassed, since no other wood has less jar or recoil, it doesn’t warp, shrink or splinter, and it is light in proportion to its strength. The smooth, satiny surface makes it easy to handle.  A closely related tree, the butternut, or white walnut, Juglans cinerea, is becoming very rare because of a fungal disease called "butternut canker".