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Do any of the many experienced woodworkers out there have experience working with honey locust? I have quite a bit of it that I have milled into 2" flitches and 10" square cants. Gorgeous character in the grains and knots. Not sure what I will attempt to build with it, may sell some.

Any input would be appreciated.
 

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According to wood data book.
Honey Locust can be difficult to work with hand and machine tools on account of its density, though it generally produces good results. Turns, glues, stains, and finishes well.
Used in furniture , fence post and turned objects.
 

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The Honey Locust tree grows quickly to a height up to 100 feet tall, but is short-lived, living "only" around 120 years. It is popular as an ornamental plant, especially in colder climates where few other trees can survive. Most specimens I see around here are pretty small and are decorative. The picture below is a large specimen honey locust.

The black locust, on the other hand, looks to be a good species, tough, rot resistant, good grain, I think I'd like to try working with some of that. The Black Locust apparently was abundant when the country was founded, and is being farmed again. The board is a chunk of Black Locust, pretty nice grain and color.
 

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Those are some very nice flitches Mike. I'm envious.
 

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During ground clearing for planting in IL, Dad and I cut a lot of Honey Locust and Black Locust. I can attest to it's density, hardness and weight. Dad used it for firewood. I wish we would have saved a lot of it. But, at the time, neither of us were wood workers. It's gorgeous wood and, probably worth the effort to work it.
 
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Really nice for panels and trim. Grain can be absolutely beautiful and is often featured in a build. a real bear when it comes to sanding contours and sweeps. Can be a bit splintery.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I know quite a bit about the species of trees due to the fact that I am an arborist. I bought a sawmill to process some of the many logs we haul in from my jobs. After seeing some of the beautiful grains and characters in the boards, I wanted to get into woodworking using some of the boards.

Being a novice in working with the boards instead of the trees, I recognize that I am going to need quite a bit of guidance.

As far as Black Locust vs Honey Locust...I have quite a bit of both. I have a pretty consistent supply of Black Locust due to the prevalence of it in our area. Large honey locust on the other hand is not as common in sawlogs.

Thank you all for sharing some of your tips and experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bill,

When you speak of 'being nice for panels and trim', are you saying that this wood can be used for raised panels?
 

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The Honey Locust tree grows quickly to a height up to 100 feet tall, but is short-lived, living "only" around 120 years. It is popular as an ornamental plant, especially in colder climates where few other trees can survive. Most specimens I see around here are pretty small and are decorative. The picture below is a large specimen honey locust.

The black locust, on the other hand, looks to be a good species, tough, rot resistant, good grain, I think I'd like to try working with some of that. The Black Locust apparently was abundant when the country was founded, and is being farmed again. The board is a chunk of Black Locust, pretty nice grain and color.
That grain is beautiful!
 

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Bill,

When you speak of 'being nice for panels and trim', are you saying that this wood can be used for raised panels?
Absolutely! But you'll need "like new' sharp cutters. Depending on how many panels, plan on resharpening often. Locust can be very hard on an edge.

Its great you have access to as much as you do. Be sure to seal the ends, the wood wants to check like crazy. Not a whole lot difference in appearance between air dried and kiln dried. The way I understand it, kiln driers have to be careful. It don't take much to turn the wood ceramic hard. There can be a good bit of difference between colors in the trees. If you do go for panels, try to get as much as you can from a single tree or a couple of trees that have been harvested close to one another...
 
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Welcome to the forum Mike.
 

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I see some gorgeous projects coming out of your shop in the future. Glad you've joined the fun here.
 

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Its great you have access to as much as you do. Be sure to seal the ends, the wood wants to check like crazy. Not a whole lot difference in appearance between air dried and kiln dried.

If you do go for panels, try to get as much as you can from a single tree or a couple of trees that have been harvested close to one another...
I agree with Bill. 210%, you have to seal the ends or it will check. Cheap latex paint will do. I numbered my pieces as they came out of the saw. You should see that in my avatar (cherry wood)
 
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