The Woods: American Black Walnut

Walnut is the quintessential synthesizer wood.   But despite being used to great extent in early Moog’s, Walnut wasn’t commercially used on that many synths.   But, the look of Walnut was imitated on many.  With stains, veneer, and sometimes even vinyl laminates…walnut was the look of classic synth production.


Walnut ranges from a light brown to deep chocolate color…often with dramatic grain patterns.  Often, commercial supplies of walnut are steamed when kiln dried in order to blend or mute color variations.  Much of the GMUSynth walnut comes from a supplier in North Alabama who harvests trees across the southeast United States.  He does NOT steam this wood.  The result is a board with much more dramatic color and grain patterns.  This not so good for trying to match pieces of furniture across a room….but it’s excellent for feature pieces like those on the side of a musical instrument.  Reasonably lightweight for a hardwood (although not super hard either), walnut is fairly easy to work, and ages beautifully.   



Hardness:            1,010 lbf

Density:               38 lbs/ft3