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Tips for butternut?

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 201 days ago 556 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Purrmaster

773 posts in 592 days


201 days ago

I picked up a couple of boards of butternut (also known as white walnut). I’ve never used it before. Any tips, tricks, or suggestions? What finish looks good on it? How does it take stain?

Thanks in advance.


6 replies so far

View LSIrish's profile

LSIrish

44 posts in 410 days


#1 posted 201 days ago

Butternut is a fantastic carving wood! It has a slightly wider grain line than basswood, but cuts with the same ease. The wood has a pale grey-tan tone, the thin grain lines are slightly deeper in tone with a silvery fleck that just sparkles when you apply your finishing sealer. It takes detailing well and you can undercut deeply without being concerned that the ledge will chip out.

I have never stained butternut, I have spot painted several cane toppers with a thin mix of oil paint and turpentine. So I don’t know how it will take an overall staining. The natural coloring of the wood really doesn’t need stain, in my opinion.

I hope you will post the work you do with it.

-- http://LSIrish.com Join me on my Wood Carving Blog! http://ArtDesignsStudio.com

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5140 posts in 1874 days


#2 posted 201 days ago

It’s light and soft (dents easily, so makes a poor choice for table surfaces). Takes stain great, works great, etc.

The panels of this door are stained butternut:

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View huff's profile

huff

2721 posts in 1784 days


#3 posted 201 days ago

Butternut is a very easy wood to work with. It is soft, so like mentioned above, you need to take that into consideration.

I’ve built a number of projects with butternut and have always felt it’s real beauty is in it’s natural color.

I think you will enjoy working with it.

Good luck and enjoy.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

View Dabcan's profile

Dabcan

57 posts in 1170 days


#4 posted 200 days ago

I’m in the middle of finishing a room divider out of butternut. Sometimes it gets a bit of a hairy edge on the saw or jointer and needs a sharp hand plane to touch it up. Grain is beautiful and I would never think of staining it (if you want it darker, use walnut!). It is soft, close to pine I would say, although there is variability. I think BLO looks great, darkens it slightly while making the grain pop.

-- http://www.craftcollective.wordpress.com

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

773 posts in 592 days


#5 posted 200 days ago

I’d love to work with more walnut except it costs much more in my area. The butternut was about $3.75 a board foot whereas walnut was about $15-20 a board foot depending on color.

I did a couple of finish tests, once with boiled linseed oil. It did look nice but it would need a film finish on top for protection.

Can another finish be put over boiled linseed oil? Like lacquer, for example?

And does butternut require grain filling?

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5140 posts in 1874 days


#6 posted 199 days ago

”...does butternut require grain filling?”

Grain filler is optional…..I didn’t.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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