(Juglans spp. -- grafted)
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SPECIFIC GRAVITY: .56
DENSITY: 40 lbs./cu.ft.
TANGENTIAL MOVEMENT: 6.4%
RADIAL MOVEMENT: 4.3%
VOLUMETRIC SHRINKAGE: 12.8%
DURABILITY1: Moderate to good
SOURCE: Western U.S., principally northern California to Washington
Claro is a Spanish word meaning clear or bright, and the common name "claro walnut" is usually used to refer to the wood cut from the lower bole (stump) of orchard walnut trees, especially on the West coast of the US. These trees are a mixture of species, created by grafting an English walnut (Juglans regia) scion to a rootstock of one of our native walnut species -- either black walnut (Juglans nigra) or California walnut (Juglans hindsii). The wood near the graft tends to be variegated in color, with beautiful marble-like, dark brown and tan swirls in the figure. It is a favorite wood for making gunstocks.
There is some confusion about the term "claro", since the lumber trade sometimes uses it to describe the wood of ordinary California walnut, which is more like black walnut, rather than the marbled variety cut from orchard trees.
Claro walnut has working properties similar to black walnut. It works well with hand and power tools, has good strength and bending properties, and takes finishes well. It is used mainly for high-quality furniture and gunstocks.