Has anyone worked with locust

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Forum topic by Brad36 posted 03-14-2012 05:34 PM 2288 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 2444 days

03-14-2012 05:34 PM

I just reclaimed about 20 logs of 100 year old locust any ideas on what I should do with it or does anyone have any pics of there projects

22 replies so far

View bruc101's profile


1256 posts in 3720 days

#1 posted 03-14-2012 07:11 PM

We’ve got a some locust here and it’s harvested mostly for split rail fences, burns hot in a wood stove too.
I’ve not seen any furniture built with locust but have seen a lot of hand rails in log homes made with locust.
I’ve got a friend that uses it for hand rails.
We’ve got a cedar split rail fence around our home instead of the locust, was about 1/2 the price. Once either age here and turn grey I can’t tell the difference unless I get up close to it.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3636 days

#2 posted 03-14-2012 07:25 PM

I’ve turned locust before… it is a beautiful wood, but is very hard on your tools. I’ve seen Locust logs buried in the ground for a fence before start to sprout new leaves… It grows like a weed and is tough as nails.

Click for details

-- San Diego, CA

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3104 days

#3 posted 03-14-2012 07:34 PM

Brad, I would be interested in some for a small feature. Send me a PM if you are wanting to unload some.

I have not worked with it before, but like the look of it!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Don W's profile

Don W

18992 posts in 2745 days

#4 posted 03-14-2012 07:51 PM

I’ve worked some with locust. The native north east stuff gets extremely hard when its dry. Keep your tools sharp. I once took the teeth off my chainsaw trying to cut a piece of old locust. Its great for fence post because it will outlast you even at the ground level. As Bruce said, it’ll burn forever in a wood stove.

That said it is a nice looking wood.

I’m not sure how you’ll cut reclaimed 100 year old locust. Plan on lots of sharpening.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View benchbuilder's profile


284 posts in 2628 days

#5 posted 03-14-2012 09:33 PM

I believe it would make one great workbench.

View Brad36's profile


13 posts in 2444 days

#6 posted 03-14-2012 10:05 PM

I didn’t think about that benchbuilder thats a great idea I just stated puting a shop together to and need a good workbench

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3136 days

#7 posted 03-14-2012 11:25 PM

It is gorgeous, but as stated above it destroys an edge. I cut some black locust for firewood, I had sparks from the chain as I cut it. I won’t use it, but some people do. It is a green hue when first sliced, then slowly turns dark, almost black, as a lot of time goes by. The workbench idea is a good one indeed.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View hhhopks's profile


654 posts in 2555 days

#8 posted 03-15-2012 12:17 AM

I have turned some handles for chisels & files.
It is hard and looks good.

I’ll return with couple of pics.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View HamS's profile


1829 posts in 2567 days

#9 posted 03-15-2012 12:46 AM

Black Locust are amazing trees. I planted four trees in 2003. Three of those trees are 4-5 inches in diameter now and 25 ft tall. I prune the lower limbs to make the trunks grow straight. They also have self seed seven or eight more trees that are already taller than I am. That doesn’t count the seedling I probably mow over. I am starting to get prunings big enough for tool handles and etc now.

I planted them to form kind of a hedgerow between my homestead and the cornfield. they are great at that.

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View Woodknack's profile


12402 posts in 2558 days

#10 posted 03-15-2012 01:45 AM

We considered Black Locust to be pests, get one and they spring up everywhere. Cut one down and three more will grow back. They last forever as fence posts and so should make some exceptional outdoor furniture or decking.

-- Rick M,

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 2838 days

#11 posted 03-15-2012 02:35 AM

We have two floors of Black Locust; it was nice to work with. It is a beautiful wood. We found that the wood milled very nicely. The aged color reminds me of the color of dark honey.
It is also known around our area of Eastern Virginia as “Poor Man’s Teak”.

-- Barbara

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2870 days

#12 posted 03-15-2012 02:45 AM

I’m thinking it might be as hard as bois d’arc. If so you’ll need some super sharp cutters.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View WDHLT15's profile


1788 posts in 2654 days

#13 posted 03-15-2012 03:54 AM

I think that the work bench is a great use for it.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

18992 posts in 2745 days

#14 posted 03-15-2012 04:02 AM

If its green it mills nice. I may have mis-read your post. For some reason I was thinking it was reclaimed. If its green, mill it now. sparks when the chain saw hits a dry locust chunk is not an exaggeration.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Brad36's profile


13 posts in 2444 days

#15 posted 03-15-2012 09:28 AM

The logs have been holding up a barn for almost a 100 years I cut this little 20” peace on the band saw and the saw did like tjat much its the hardest thing iv ever cut

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