The common walnut and the black walnut and its allies are important for their attractive timber, which is hard, dense, tight-grained and polishes to a very smooth finish. The color ranges from creamy white in the sapwood to a dark chocolate color in the heartwood. Because of its color, hardness and grain, it is a prized furniture and carving wood. Walnut burls are commonly used to create bowls and other turned pieces. Veneer sliced from walnut burl is one of the most valuable and highly prized by cabinet makers and prestige car manufacturers. Walnut wood has been the timber of choice for gun makers for centuries. It remains one the most popular choices for rifle and shotgun stocks, and is generally considered to be the premium – as well as the most traditional – wood for gun stocks, due to its resilience to compression along the grain.
Crotch: A crotch is created where a branch intersects with a tree's trunk or when there is a double trunk. Wood fibers weave together to strengthen the limbs or branch involved forming the crotch and feather appearance. The term feather is sometimes used to describe it because the pattern created by this natural process resembles a feather. The term rat tail is sometimes used to describe the heart of crotch wood nearest to the center of the trunk. As the crotch works its way to the outer edges of a tree trunk, its heart widens, eventually turning into swirl.