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#34475 - 06/21/18 05:20 AM Black Locust
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 277
Loc: the Netherlands
For me Robinia pseudoacacia the Black Locus itself is readily available making it desirable on that account alone as framing material. In the past I have worked with the wood incidentally and find it's ideally suitable for making pegs but not sure about the practicalities of making a whole construction out of this wood, to include squaring up the timbers with axes. Has anyone made a comparable use of this wood?
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#34476 - 06/21/18 08:28 PM Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa]
timberwrestler Offline
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Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 280
Loc: Becket, MA
I've hewn and framed with black locust. Only with it green. It works well, maybe comparable to red oak. Has a sickly green color when it's fresh, and then changes to a lovely orange.

I've worked with kiln dried boards as well, and it's very hard--can't drive a screw or nail into it.
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#34477 - 06/21/18 09:19 PM Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 514
Loc: Vermont
Hi Cecile,

I have, over the years built a number things from this species...including entire bents, restored several old barns comprising mainly of this species...a challenge course and obstacle course...and a few more structures...

Like Brad, I have typically worked it only green (like most timber framing elements) as when dry it is very resistant to tools...

I can say, from my experience and view of it, it lends itself really well to the Asian systems of timber framing, especially Japanese - Minka and other "live edge" modalities...

The unusual shapes these limbs and trucks take on when mature offer a wonderful effect both fully in the round or flattened on just two sides...

Hope that was of some use...

Regards,

j


Edited by Jay White Cloud (06/21/18 09:21 PM)
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#34478 - 06/22/18 03:08 AM Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa]
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 277
Loc: the Netherlands
Alright, thanks for the great responses, just what I was hoping for as guidance. One aspect I was thinking might be a drawback is how fibrous it is but that is maybe only apparent when working with split and riven wood.
It is the waney character that is also interesting to me Jay but I had the old timber frames of Normandy or even the Saxon barns out in Drenthe in mind rather than the far afield Japanese farmhouses,and going with a scribe lay out but I will most likely be squaring the timbers.
Alright, I'm pretty convinced. Now I will go select out the stems, any advice for the selection process? It's for converting my falling-down chicken coop to a bake house or forge, (I haven't decided which yet).
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#34479 - 06/28/18 08:27 PM Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa]
timberwrestler Offline
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Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 280
Loc: Becket, MA
Oddly enough, I've found that the larger locust logs around here often have a lot of the pith rotten out. So it's hard to saw out good sized timbers.
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#34480 - 06/29/18 10:32 AM Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa]
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 277
Loc: the Netherlands
I had a look on Tuesday, more than that I put in my order, and I will take nothing larger than a 19 cm top end diameter to spare on waste. At that age the pith was still sound from what I could see. It brings up an interesting point and that is the boxed hart and given the stems are not straight - by intention and design - how it will behave on seasoning.
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#34481 - 06/30/18 11:42 AM Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 514
Loc: Vermont
Hey Cecile,

Per some of the recent posts...

It is fibrous, so riven work beyond shingles and such, can be challenging...but doable. The style and use of such riven pieces tend to lend themselves to more Asian styles of building, and that the only reason I suggest it. I am sure all styles could be adapted...I think for a Normandy or Saxon Barn this would be a great species to employ!


I do like using it in the round often as well, especially for natural base children's playground equipment or elements of tactical and athletic Challenge and Obstacle Courses. It is extremely durable under such applications...

The practice of "Sewari" (spine splitting) is also very advantages with this species to keep it from checking rudely or too much...

It mills very nicely when solid logs are located, because in some regions (as Brad shared) it does tend to naturally hollow out at the near the base and root collar of the tree. In larger specimens this isn't a really big issue, as these often provide a great bolt section for milling quarter sawn flooring and furniture boards. I would note that not all regions are challenged with this characteristic for some reason? I have seen trees near a meter in diameter that are solid to the pith...

I look forward to what you think and learn while working this species for your project...

Regards,

j
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