I build my Porch Swings with Black Walnut and Cherry woods. I choose these woods for their natural beauty and durability, even under conditions favorable to decay.
Cherry and Black Walnut are absolutely beautiful when hand rubbed with a tung oil finish and that's why I love working with these woods so much.
following information comes from the US Department of Forestry. You can visit
them at http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/ for more information.
Black walnut is native to the eastern United
States, from southern Minnesota east to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York;
south to South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama; west to Texas; and north
through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
Black walnut trees reach heights of 120 ft (37
m), with a diameter of over
3 ft (1 m).
The sapwood of black walnut is nearly white,
while the heartwood is light brown to dark, chocolate brown, often with a
purplish cast and darker streaks. The wood is heavy, hard, and stiff and has
high shock resistance.
Black walnut is straight
grained and easily worked with hand tools and by machine. It finishes
beautifully and holds paint and stain exceptionally well. It also glues and
Rated as very resistant to heartwood
decay–one of the most durable woods, even under conditions favorable to decay.
is found in the eastern half of the United States, from the plains to the
Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. It also occurs
in high elevations in Mexico.
tree reaches a height of 100 ft (30 m), with a diameter of 4 to 5 ft (1.2 to
1.5 m). It is shrubby under poor growth conditions and at the northern limit of
its range. It does best on the rich, moist soil of the Appalachians.
sapwood is light yellow, while the heartwood is brownish with a greenish tinge,
darkening upon exposure to a deep reddish brown with a golden luster. The wood
has a mild, aromatic scent, but no characteristic taste. It is of medium
density, firm, and strong, with a fine, uniform texture. The grain is generally
is easy to work, finishes smoothly, and is dimensionally stable. It is easily
machined. It can be sawn cleanly, turned well, and planed excellently with
standard cutting angles. Screw-holding ability is good, as is gluing, except
where gum streaks are present.
Rated as very
resistant to heartwood decay.
genus Sequoia is represented by one species (S. sempervirens). A
related tree, the giant sequoia (Sequoiadenrdon giganteum) is
also called redwood, big tree or giant redwood. The word sequoia was selected
to honor Sequoyah (also spelled Sequoia), or George Guess (1770?-1843), Native
American inventor of the Cherokee alphabet. The name was unexplained by its
author, an Austrian linguist and botanist. The name sempervirens means
Redwood is native to the Pacific Coast regionfrom extreme southwestern Oregon (Curry County) south to central California
Redwood trees reach heights of 200 to 300 feet, withdiameters of 6 to 12 feet. The record is 376 feet tall, with a 20 foot diameter
and an age of 2,200 years, and represents the world’s tallest tree.
The sapwood of is white,while the heartwood is a dark reddish brown. The heartwood has no
characteristic odor or taste. It has exceptionally straight grain, high
dimensional stability and is resistant to warping. It is moderately strong in
bending, strong in endwise compression, stiff, moderately low in shock
resistance and holds paint well.
Redwood works easily with both hand and machine
tools, with little dulling effect on tools. It planes well, provided the
cutters are sharp and it splinters easily when working on the end grain. It
holds nails well, and paints and finishes satisfactorily. It also stains well,
but glues best with alkaline adhesives.
Redwood is rated very resistant to heartwood decay.