i FREAKING LOVE osage orange!!

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Forum topic by yellabret posted 04-16-2013 12:28 AM 2144 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 2226 days

04-16-2013 12:28 AM

THIS WOOD IS AWESOME! a friend gave me a log that had been dead a while, slight spalting in a few areas but not enough to get excited over. i milled it out, and letting it dry, but as an experiment i went ahead and made an experimental table to see how it does, otherwise, as dense as this wood is it would take 4 years for a 2” slab to dry. but – being so dense and straight grained, it is less prone to movement, so i took the leap.

the length is 6’, 2.25” thick

you can see the color change in the wood surrounding the initial checks in the log, showing that air did that. UV changes the color as well as i can see by my stacked slabs. i expect the whole table to be that rich brown color someday, but who knows how long? no worries, people love this color, and like the thought that it will look like walnut eventually – and will literally last centuries and centuries.

this table is a gift to the landowner that gave me the log – and 3 skinned/gutted deer as well. i’d like to keep that supply chain going! ;-) they also have another dead one for me, and a forest of live trees that i could possibly cherry pick 1 or 2 problem trees from. hoping to get a straight section for some bows, anyone in the area interested in that let me know.

as far as the table – the legs are from the first cut off the side of the log with the outside live edge. i used counter sunk lag screws to attach them from the top, then plugged the holes with a walnut dowel. i also turned them in a bit to add stability. you could park an 18- wheeler on it… ;-) — cracks are filled with tinted epoxy.

finish is an initial coat of General Finishes Armor Seal thinned 5o% with mineral spirits, then 3 coats of GF gel topcoat.

all comments pro and con are welcome – i learn from all.


5 replies so far

View BobWemm's profile


2470 posts in 1949 days

#1 posted 04-16-2013 12:37 AM

That is FREAKIN AWESOME. I just love the natural features in timber when they can be highlighted, and you certainly have done that.
I didn’t know that it changed color, so I have learned as well.

-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Bill Swartzwelder's profile

Bill Swartzwelder

176 posts in 1936 days

#2 posted 04-16-2013 12:42 AM

Wow that is beautiful. Have seen many bows (archery) made from osage orange, but never that wide of a piece. Gorgeous!!

-- What if the Hokey Pokey really is what its all about?

View yellabret's profile


56 posts in 2226 days

#3 posted 04-16-2013 12:44 AM

well Bob from western Australia (never met an aussie i didnt like, and surfed with quite a few in Indonesian) this is the hardest native north american wood, although some scales place persimmon slightly higher, its still harder than mesquite.

such an overlooked wood. i can only imagine how much has gone up in smoke as opposed to furniture.

they say it will crack a wood burning stove because the BTU is so high….fine – i’ll make a table!!!! ;-)

View Dakkar's profile


324 posts in 1951 days

#4 posted 04-16-2013 12:53 AM

That is inspiring. I’ve never made anything with it, but I used to wear my arm out with a tree saw trimming the big @$$ tree in front yard. The wood is really heavy and hard. We eventually had to have it removed and I always regretted not saving a log or two. They’re not hard to find in North Texas—just look for the big green “horse apples” the female trees produce and the painful needle-like spikes on some of the limbs.

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 2786 days

#5 posted 04-16-2013 12:58 AM

Coat it with a UV inhibitor and the color will stay orange for a long time, otherwise it will turn brown.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

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