Osage Gates

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Project by campy posted 11-29-2009 04:21 AM 3049 views 5 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Designed by me and Built by the incredible RUDY T.

Bowdock grows in abundance here in TN

Names: Maclura Pomifera, Bowdock, Hedge Apple, Osage Orange

Wood with a vengeance.
Some qualities of Bowdock.
1) Lasts 100 years buried in the ground
2) Strongest wood in north America
3) Replacement for metal
4) Grows fast and is sustainable
5) Pretty color and grain
6) Best wood for archery bows
7) Can be used around food like for rolling pins, cutting boards and spoons.
8) Heavy and dense
9) Sawdust can be used as yellow dye
10) Fruit is edible and good for lawn bowling
11) Good for perimeter security. Troops in the Civil War had to maneuver around Bowdock groves because the are so impenetrable.
12) No need to dry it is stable and will not shrink
13) Although not native to Illinois does grow in the state. Presidents Roosevelt is most likely the one responsible for the tree being there as it was one of the trees of choice used in his ambitious WPA project “Great Plains Shelterbelt.” The project used the trees size and density to act as a windbreak, the goal being to modify weather to prevent soil erosion in the Midwest. In all approximately 220 million trees of different species were planted in all.
14) It produces fire works when burned.

20 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3539 days

#1 posted 11-29-2009 04:28 AM

Wow Campy
Very cool gates and great information too

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18241 posts in 3638 days

#2 posted 11-29-2009 04:39 AM

Nice gates. How is it on your tools?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Attila 's profile


41 posts in 3245 days

#3 posted 11-29-2009 04:50 AM

That is gorgeous! Love it !

Thanks for sharing.


View campy's profile


26 posts in 3072 days

#4 posted 11-29-2009 04:50 AM

Murder on the tools.
They need sharpening at shorter intervals.

View FenceWorkshop's profile


267 posts in 3086 days

#5 posted 11-29-2009 05:05 AM

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3346 days

#6 posted 11-29-2009 06:12 AM

That should last you a few years and it looks way better than any other wood you could find locally I’m sure. You forgot a couple names for the wood. In Kentucky, when I was growing up, we called them milk ball trees, or monkey ball trees. The milk name came from the milky white sap and the monkey ball name I guess because they were balls in a tree where monkeys could play with them. Seems silly, but that’s what I learned and it took me years before I heard them called by a different name than monkey ball or milk ball. The balls were fun to shoot with a shot gun too, because of the way they blew apart when hit.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View bruc101's profile


1200 posts in 3504 days

#7 posted 11-29-2009 06:41 AM

I’ve worked the wood “Osage Orange” and campy telling the truth…HARD! nice looking gates you got there campy.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3847 days

#8 posted 11-29-2009 07:03 AM

Beautiful gates….GREAT JOB!!!!
I’m very familiar with the wood I’ve used it for fence/corner posts and fire wood. My uncle made bows from it and I saw a guy turn a green (not dried) bowl using it, he made it very thin to where it was translucent and would flex/bend while being turned in the lathe.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View kckevin's profile


41 posts in 3200 days

#9 posted 11-29-2009 07:20 AM

You’ve got gates there that will probably out live the hinges holding them up. My Grandfather set some Osage Orange fence posts that are still solid 75 years later. Great Work.

-- KCkevin

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4089 days

#10 posted 11-29-2009 12:24 PM

We have a fence on our property that was constructed of osage orange around the year 1936 and is still going strong.

Vive la bois d’arc.

-- 温故知新

View goldenhands's profile


142 posts in 3501 days

#11 posted 11-29-2009 01:54 PM

I love the elegance of it.
Can not see any details sadly :(

-- The way I work - the way I live. goldenhands

View Mike Pousson's profile

Mike Pousson

10 posts in 3151 days

#12 posted 11-29-2009 03:23 PM

Bois D’Arc was used for many years (may still be) for making police billy clubs. It is almost impossible to break.

-- Mike in Waubaushene, ON

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3489 days

#13 posted 11-29-2009 05:59 PM

There’s a gate with character! Very cool!!!!!!!!! Great design!!!!!!!!!!1

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4268 days

#14 posted 11-29-2009 06:49 PM

I have several of these trees on my property and quite a few projects made from them.. I agree, stong and beautiful wood.. Nice gates…

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3151 days

#15 posted 11-29-2009 07:04 PM

Great gate and thx for the info never heard of this wood! Like the design and flow of the pattern.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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