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Black Locust #34475 06/21/18 09:20 AM
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Cecile en Don Wa Offline OP
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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?

Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #34476 06/22/18 12:28 AM
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timberwrestler Offline
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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.

Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #34477 06/22/18 01:19 AM
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Jay White Cloud Offline
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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

Last edited by Jay White Cloud; 06/22/18 01:21 AM.
Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #34478 06/22/18 07:08 AM
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Cecile en Don Wa Offline OP
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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).

Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #34479 06/29/18 12:27 AM
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timberwrestler Offline
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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.

Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #34480 06/29/18 02:32 PM
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Cecile en Don Wa Offline OP
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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.

Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #34481 06/30/18 03:42 PM
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Jay White Cloud Offline
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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

Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #34551 08/27/18 08:21 PM
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Cecile en Don Wa Offline OP
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Very interesting to work with this wood this way. Just getting used to it I find it challenging to surface, every little mistake seems magnified the wood being brutal and not forgiving. It cuts so crisply but with grain direction change bad tear-out seems hard to avoid. Compromise would be to work perpendicular or cross grain all the time foregoing a real smooth surface in exchange for consistency.

The progress till now.

Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #34554 08/28/18 02:23 AM
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Jay White Cloud Offline
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Nice Work!!! challenges and all!

Thanks for some great photos too...

You may have know if this already (???) I have found in recent years an old method...I guess you could call it "pseudo-hewing" (???) shared with me decades ago that seems to work well with such a species as Elm, Locust, Osage, etc...

Instead of employing an edged tool (aka axe) to create the Joggles up to the layout lines...We use a saw to kerf...sometimes closer together...sometime further apart than what you would find standard with many hewing practices...

For this type of hewing the primary tools are saws, wedges/gluts, roundel slicks/gouges, and scrub planes...A hewing axe/hatchet can be employ at certain stages and or straighter grain...

The method is extremely accurate for such species and very fast for others as well. I would also note this method also allows for more sculptural effects to be achieved like spirals, bends, etc...

Re: Black Locust [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #34556 08/28/18 05:47 PM
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timberwrestler Offline
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I have definitely chainsaw kerfed in hewing.

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