The latest addition to my catalog of air-dried slabs for sale is butternut (Juglans cinerea). A relative to the highly sought-after black walnut, butternut shares the same grain patterns but the colour is lighter – similar to the shades of bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum).
Butternut is also lighter in weight and softer than black walnut, making it an ideal wood for working with hand tools and is popular for carvings. Other common uses include furniture and boxes. It is an ideal material to use for a sculpted/carved panel, contrasting with a comparatively simple frame. It is also ideal for chair seats for the same reasons pine is the traditional seat material in a windsor chair.
It works well with both hand and power tools and glues and finishes well. Butternut is a great wood to work with – especially for beginners.
The seat of my workshop stool is made of butternut. The legs are bigleaf maple.
I made the structural members and panel of this headboard out of butternut, and finished it with orange shellac.