Claro walnut is by far one of our favorite woods to work with. This hardwood is popular for gunstocks, musical instruments, and furniture of all kinds. It’s easy to see the appeal of this wood, with its vibrant color and lively grain. But what is it that makes claro walnut so special?
What is Claro Walnut?
What we call claro walnut in the woodworking industry isn’t a single species of walnut, but rather comes from a number of different species, usually hinds black walnut or California walnut. It can also come from English walnut grafted onto hinds black walnut rootstock, or from hybrids between multiple species. It is usually salvaged from orchard trees, and all of it is grown in northern California and Oregon.
Although walnut orchards are common in this area, the wood they produce is far from ordinary. Claro walnut is famous for its unique color and grain patterns. The wood can have hues of brown, red, purple, grey and black. Walnut trees grow rapidly in California’s mild climate, giving the wood large, distinct growth rings. All the wood is highly figured, and even straight grained pieces can have beautiful character. The burl wood found at the base of the trees, though, is truly spectacular. These burls usually feature a wide variety of colors and marbled grain patterns.
Claro Walnut Grain
The grain and color of claro walnut are what make the wood so highly sought after. The other varieties of walnut on the market simply can’t compare to the rich tones and marbled and curly grain patterns. The walnut grown in the east has much more subdued and uniform color, and is not nearly as showy as California’s walnut. The live edge table shown below is a great example of the liveliness and warmth claro walnut brings to rustic wood furniture.
Why We Love Claro Walnut
We love working with claro walnut. Not only is it a beautiful wood with a wide range of color and figure, but it’s also easy to work with. It is a strong, durable wood highly desired by woodworkers and furniture makers, and in the right hands, the finished results can be absolutely stunning.
In any project, claro walnut’s grain and color take center stage. Although it works well in many different styles of furniture, we find that simple, rustic designs are best to highlight the natural beauty of the wood. We typically work with live edge burl wood slabs, and we love the versatility of these pieces. Every piece that comes through our shop is unique, and we take great satisfaction in seeing the transformation from a raw stump to a beautiful piece of custom wood furniture.
Custom Wood Furniture is Available
Our custom wood furniture makers have been working with walnut for years. We specialize in burl wood furniture and create beautiful live edge tables, vanities, mantels and more from live edge slabs. We salvage all our wood from California’s north coast, and our wood source specializes in ethical sourcing.