Milling Black Locust Logs

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Forum topic by CrashDavis posted 11-30-2011 05:08 AM 5278 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2373 days

11-30-2011 05:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: black locust decking black locust milling black locust logs

I have just about worked my way thru my honeylocust logs and am about to begin milling my black locust logs. However, the internet is not giving me the information I desire. Some of my questions are, what thicknesses should I mill black locust? Because it dries so hard is it time saving to (this may show how much of a novis I am at milling) plane the boards once off the mill to save blades later? Should I only mill them to 4×4’s and sell them as posts?

Ideally I would mill them to become deck boards. Which brings along a plethora of new questions. Will a 1 inch board work as decking and would a 5/4 milled board give me a 1” deck board.

Well, I recon I have will just end my questions there. I have tried to find as much info as possible on the net but havn’t been satisfied yet with the amount of info I found. So I have once again turned to this community to help me thru my troubles.



5 replies so far

View dbol's profile


136 posts in 2991 days

#1 posted 11-30-2011 05:12 AM

Go here and ask. You will not be let down.

View HerbC's profile (online now)


1754 posts in 2853 days

#2 posted 11-30-2011 05:24 AM


I don’t think you’ll gain much by planing the Black Locust while it’s green.

I think that cutting it 5/4 would be fine for most deck applications. After all, the box stores sell 5/4 PT decking and it’s 1” thick when planed and sold… Just make sure your use of it provides adequate support, preferabbly at leas 2×8 on 24” centers, 16” centers would be better…

Good Luck.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 3115 days

#3 posted 11-30-2011 06:37 AM

Like the honey locust but not the black locust. I do like the hardness and durability of black locust but it is very plain to look at. I think that black locust is so hard and stout that even a 7/8 thick board would work as a deck board.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 2654 days

#4 posted 11-30-2011 04:15 PM

I have milled many Black Locust logs during my 16 years of running a sawmill. It has been my experience that hardwoods are best milled to the target thickness as often the wood will move quite a lot when re-sawn. By deck boards I m not sure if you mean exposed boards on the second floor of a post and beam constructed house, boards for the deck of a boat (Black Locust is also known as Poor Man’s Teak), or boards for an outside deck.
We have two floors in our house made of Black Locust. One is the upper floor in a post and beam house; those boards were milled at 8/4. The other is over a sub-floor; those boards were milled at 4/4.

-- Barbara

View WDHLT15's profile


1741 posts in 2469 days

#5 posted 12-01-2011 03:00 PM


Deck boards and posts are the way to go because these are the most common uses. For deck boards, I would mill at 1 3/8. That is 1 1/4” for 5/4 lumber plus 1/8” over as is the hardwood standard in the Industry. I am confident that the posts will sell because people want something that will last but is not treated with chemicals like with pressure treated posts. There are not many options for untreated posts, and black locust is the absolute very best choice after osage orange, but who can get enough osage orange to make posts?

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

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