Janka hardness testing for the 'wood challenged'

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Forum topic by BlauSchuh posted 05-25-2012 03:54 AM 1591 views 0 times favorited 0 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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05-25-2012 03:54 AM

I posted about a week ago trying to figure out what kind of wood I had purchased…maple vs. hackberry, versus honey locust, etc. in this thread:

Anyway, the question of wood type made me think that it would be cool to try and test out the hardness of some wood on my own, so I bought a Dillon 5000lb force tested on ebay for cheap money and a couple of 11mm (0.433”) diameter bearing balls from ebay. Also, got a little $1.50 block of honey locust to test out. The janka test calls for .444” balls i think… close enough

The kicker is, as soon as I cranked on the handle from my mystery wood, it split into two pieces! will have to wait till tomorrow to get another piece. arg

Not sure if this is the correct way to do it, but what the heck.
1) I wedge the piece of wood in between the vice jaw and the 11mm ball and crank just enough so that the ball is making contact with the wood.
2) I then push a starret gauge against an AL block and 0 it out.
3) I then do two+ revolutions on the gauge (crank the vice handle like mad), which would indicate I’ve gone 0.210” into the wood.


some soft pine = 350
Red oak = 1200
african mahogany = 850

Hard maple = ~1100:

Small honey locust block ~1600, accepted value from the chart 1580:

The results from (what i was told was Macassar ebony). ~3100, accepted value ~3250 I had to REALLY crank to get the last 1/4 turn.

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