is this Walnut or Cherry?

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Forum topic by chadleo posted 09-23-2015 07:34 PM 912 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 395 days

09-23-2015 07:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut cherry table

I recently got a great deal ($17!) on a little bistro table that’s going to work great in my sunroom. The previous owner bought the table like this and didn’t know what the top was made of. I have good experience working with walnut, and before sanding, the grain pattern made me think it might in fact be aged walnut.

But after sanding with 80 grit, the sawdust was pinkish and it didn’t smell like walnut. Sanding brought out yellow and pink hues. Could this be cherry or a different hardwood? Next to a raw black walnut board, the grain pattern is similar but it is much more yellow with slight pink hues. When I wiped down with a wet cloth it had a dark brown with reddish hue.

Any input is appreciated. Thanks.

9 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


15456 posts in 2424 days

#1 posted 09-23-2015 07:59 PM

Looks like walnut to me.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3067 days

#2 posted 09-23-2015 08:03 PM


-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View iminmyshop's profile


251 posts in 1412 days

#3 posted 09-23-2015 08:19 PM

Congratulations on a great buy.
I agree with the others. Walnut.

View jmartel's profile


6464 posts in 1568 days

#4 posted 09-23-2015 08:25 PM

Definitely walnut. It tends to fade over time which is why it looks lighter/yellower than the other board of Walnut you compared it to.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View bearkatwood's profile


1171 posts in 430 days

#5 posted 09-23-2015 08:32 PM


-- Brian Noel

View chadleo's profile


2 posts in 395 days

#6 posted 09-23-2015 08:42 PM

I was hoping it was walnut, thanks!

I initially thought it was as well, but the pink sawdust and yellowed color made me wonder. Also when wet there was a deep red accent. With my other walnut pieces I haven’t experienced that. The top definitely has some age, but is sanding out nicely. I’m excited to finish it.

View Clarkie's profile


380 posts in 1259 days

#7 posted 09-23-2015 08:43 PM

Pay no attention to those other guys, it’s walnut…

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2602 days

#8 posted 09-23-2015 10:04 PM

It’s walnut, and should look amazing when finished. Use an oil-based finish to darken up the color a bit. I’d recommend danish oil for a basic flat finish in the wood, or waterlox / tung oil or maybe arm-r-seal for a shiny film finish with better protection.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Logboy's profile


43 posts in 2648 days

#9 posted 09-27-2015 04:23 AM

Walnut is my first guess for the application. However, if its very light in weight and soft, like you can write on it with your fingernail, then its butternut, a cousin to walnut. It is slightly lighter in color.

-- No log is too big to saw!

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