Wood Properties of Butternut

Wood Properties of Butternut

BUTTERNUT Juglans cinerea (Juglans – the classical name of the walnut, meaning the nut of Jupiter; cinerea – ash-colored, pertaining to the bark)

The kernel of the nut is delicious and so rich and oily that the name OIL-NUT has sometimes been given to this tree.

It grows from Quebec down through the northeastern sections of the United States, westward to South Dakota and as far south as Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.

This wood is in many ways very similar in characteristics to American black walnut and has at times been called white walnut.  Like walnut, the nuts are edible and highly prized.  The sap obtained is sweet, and a syrup may be produced that is similar to syrup from the maple tree.  Butternut wood is lighter and not as strong and durable as black walnut.  It is soft in texture but coarse-grained.  The wood is easily worked with all types of tools, very sharp tools being desirable because of the softness of the wood.  Lovely interior paneling has been done with butternut, and a small amount used in the manufacture of furniture.  Also, many church altars have been made of this wood.  It is also used by wood carvers.

Reader’s Comments

Our first comment this week comes from Robert Larsen in response to last week’s post about “Human Face & Body Proportions and the Rule of Three.”  Robert writes:

“i like they way you broke down the portions of the whole body..very good reference”

Thank you Robert!  I also like to keep those diagrams handy and refer to them often.  I’m glad you found them helpful too.

Next we have an interesting question from Bob Tinsley about facial proportions.  Bob asks:

“What about the distance from the front of the skull to the back of the skull? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this.”

That’s a very good question, Bob.  Through all my research I have never seen this measurement either.  The only way I can help you there is to say that the front of the ear is located half way between the face and the back of the head.  This measurement has always served me well in most cases.

Lastly, we have a very kind comment from meyerco who writes:

“Love the newsletter, I don’t know how you do everything.”

Thank you so much for your nice words of encouragement!  I’s comments like yours that keep me moving forward!

Carver’s Corner

“Carver’s Corner” is the section where you can send in photos of your carvings to have them critiqued by me and get my truthful opinions on what you did right and where you might improve next time.  It’s an excellent opportunity to improve your carving skills!

This week we have a new photo from Dean Stewart which is an update on his mushroom green man carving: “Here’s an update on my mushroom green men.  The one in from front incorporates some of your feedback. Do you see anything else?”

Mushroom green man carved by Dean Stewart

Your second carving has a lot of improvements over your first one, Dean.  The cap is much better.  I like the way you gave it more shape as it adds interest to the carving.  I think you did a better job on the nose on this one, and the mustache is much fuller/bigger.  It looks more like leaves than before, to me.  The eyebrows are an improvement as well, as they now match the color of the cap. My main critique on this one is  with the flesh tone color of the face.  It’s too monotone and needs more color.  Next time, take some very diluted red and brush it over the cheeks and tip of the nose.  You can even brush some very lightly over the forehead.  If the red is too dark, take some clean water (only) on your brush and brush it over the dark spots to blend it in better.  You will be surprised how your carving will come to life!

Thank you for submitting your photo!

Photo Shop

“Photo Shop” is the section of Wood Chip Chatter where carvers can send in photos of their wood carvings for display. It’s your chance to show off your work…sort of a show and tell. The photos will only be displayed and no comments or critiques will be made.  For critiques on your carvings send them in to the “Carver’s Corner.”

This week we have several photos of the beautiful work Martyn Bacon from Scotland has been doing lately: “Like all this stuff.  Here are some of my carvings.   I do both whittling little characters and traditional carvings”

Frog carved by Martyn Bacon
Bird carved by Martyn Bacon
Caricature carved by Martyn Bacon
Man with a pipe carved by Martyn Bacon
Relief carving by Martyn Bacon

I can see you really do enjoy creating all different types of carvings, Martyn!  Thank you so much for sending in your photos.  We all appreciate seeing them.  Before I eventually switched over to carving mainly ornaments, Santas and small caricatures I also carved a little of everything…whatever interested me, I would carve it.  Even today, once in awhile if I see something different that I really like I will carve it.  Your work is very interesting and I hope we get to see more of it in the future!

Thank you so much for your photos!

Announcements

The first meeting of the International Association of Woodcarvers for 2022 will be held on Saturday, January 29 at 3:00 pm EST.  CCA member, Bob Hershey will be the presenter, and will be giving a demonstration on how to carve a floppy eared Easter Bunny bust.  You don’t want to miss this!

Zoom:  3104603575

Schedule:

1/29 – Bob Hershey

2/5 – Jim Hiser

2/12 – Tom Wilkinson

2/19 – Kevin Applegate

2/26 – Dave Francis

3/5 – Rich Schneider

3/12 – Roger Beane

4/9 – Joe You

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOODCARVERS

COME JOIN US!!!

WOOD CHIP CHATTER NEEDS YOUR PHOTOS!!!

I’m sure you all have some terrific carvings to share in my new “Photo Shop” section.  Photos of your carvings help to liven up the blog’s appearance and make it more interesting.  Also, my “Carver’s Corner” is a great way to get constructive critiques on your carvings so you can learn where to improve on your next ones.  When sending in photos please specify whether you want them for display in “Photo Shop” or if you want me to critique them in the “Carver’s Corner.”

KEEP THE CHIPS FLYING!!!

Send in your questions and comments so we can keep Wood Chip Chatter active and keep the conversations going!  Effective discussions are one of the best ways to learn about the topics that interest you.  Remember, there’s no such thing as a dumb question.  Plus we would all love to learn about the unique tips, techniques and products YOU use in your woodcarving process.

Keep a sharp edge and keep on carvin’!

Courtesy of Wayne Smith

Published by carverbobk

I’m a self taught award winning wood carver who has been carving since I was a teenager. I enjoy instructing other carvers, especially beginners.

7 thoughts on “Wood Properties of Butternut

  1. Hey Bob, here’s a couple pics if you think appropriate. Thanks!  Enjoyed the butternut review, how much does it cost approx.    I’ve learned a whole bunch about carving ‘pretty’ faces from Bob Tinsley watching his project pics.  Could always do funny, sad, old, and not pretty, just never got a handle on pretty till now. I think players are trying to eliminate spring training…if this strike ruins the season, I’m turning in my mlb membership card!

    Like

    1. Hey Jim…thanks for writing, and I greatly appreciate the carving photos. Unfortunately, the photos didn’t come through with your message. I’m having problems with my Wood Chip Chatter email address so could you please resend your photos to my personal email address which is: rwkoz51@gmail.com This way I can get them into Friday’s blog post. Thanks! Bob

      On Fri, Jan 21, 2022 at 11:31 AM Wood Chip Chatter wrote:

      >

      Like

  2. Photo Shop: Sharing a Santa bust I carved in Butternut. Butternut has a beautiful grain pattern that can be taken advantage of to establish a contour flow accenting movement seen in the hat. Butternut is also ideal to carve delicate details, as shown in the Holly on the hat and details surrounding the eyes.

    The block of Butternut I used was approximately 4″ x 4-1/2″ x 4″

    Enjoy, Mark Klein

    Sent from my U.S.Cellular© Smartphone Get Outlook for Android ________________________________ From: Wood Chip Chatter Sent: Friday, January 21, 2022 9:22:49 AM To: mek1839n9@hotmail.com Subject: [New post] Wood Properties of Butternut

    carverbobk posted: ” Wood Properties of Butternut BUTTERNUT Juglans cinerea (Juglans – the classical name of the walnut, meaning the nut of Jupiter; cinerea – ash-colored, pertaining to the bark) The kernel of the nut is delicious and so rich and oily that ” Respond to this post by replying above this line New post on Wood Chip Chatter [https://woodchipchatter.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/cropped-black-mouse.jpg?w=32] [http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/d5bf2e139cbf2ae6a5f172eeeda6d79c?s=50&d=identicon&r=G] Wood Properties of Butternut by carverbobk [https://woodchipchatter.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/tree-1.jpg?w=217]

    Wood Properties of Butternut

    BUTTERNUT Juglans cinerea (Juglans – the classical name of the walnut, meaning the nut of Jupiter; cinerea – ash-colored, pertaining to the bark)

    The kernel of the nut is delicious and so rich and oily that the name OIL-NUT has sometimes been given to this tree.

    It grows from Quebec down through the northeastern sections of the United States, westward to South Dakota and as far south as Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.

    This wood is in many ways very similar in characteristics to American black walnut and has at times been called white walnut. Like walnut, the nuts are edible and highly prized. The sap obtained is sweet, and a syrup may be produced that is similar to syrup from the maple tree. Butternut wood is lighter and not as strong and durable as black walnut. It is soft in texture but coarse-grained. The wood is easily worked with all types of tools, very sharp tools being desirable because of the softness of the wood. Lovely interior paneling has been done with butternut, and a small amount used in the manufacture of furniture. Also, many church altars have been made of this wood. It is also used by wood carvers.

    [https://woodchipchatter.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/page-1.jpg?w=560] [https://woodchipchatter.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/page-2.jpg?w=560] [https://woodchipchatter.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/page-3.jpg?w=560] [https://woodchipchatter.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/page-4.jpg?w=560]

    Reader’s Comments

    [https://woodchipchatter.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/boy.jpg?w=369]

    Our first comment this week comes from Robert Larsen

    Like

  3. I have since found a couple of references that show the distance from the tip of the nose to the back of the skull is equal to the distance from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.

    Like

  4. I live in southwest Ohio and have 4 butternut trees in my yard. My brother lives close and has 40-50 on his property. I have cut limbs, dried them and carved them

    Like

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