Cutting locust with a chainsaw. How much trouble?


I have a large number of 25 inch plus diameter locust trees on my property. I have burn some as fire wood but I'd like to try to cut some of this into lumber for a few projects. How hard is this going to be on my chainsaw? I have a 6bhp saw with a 36 inch bar.
I know that it dulls my saw pretty fast just cutting it for firewood, what is this going to do to a thickness planer and joiner?
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Modat22 wrote:

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Black_locust_uses.html
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I haven't done a lot of work with black locust, but it doesn't seem to me that it dulled planer and jointer blades as badly as hickory, though it rates as harder, it is fairly easy to saw, and to work generally, about on a part, IMO, with white oak.
I would rather have a band mill cut the wood, but if a chainsaw mill is all the OP has, then it makes sense to use it.
At least in this area, 25" locust trees are fairly rare. Mor eapt to be in the 12" to 14" range, but that's largely because they get cut down and whacked into fence posts at about that size.
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Charlie Self wrote:

Yep, I agree...locust is hard but not excessively hard on tool edges.
It makes some attractive lumber. It's one that like fir, and particularly yellow pine, that seems to get much harder w/ time...
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Modat22 wrote:

Are you talking about just free handing it and trying to cut some boards or do you have a chain mill? If you are talking about free handing I would say it will be a waste of time and you would be best to hire out a portable mill or haul the logs to a local sawmill.
Oddly, I just came in from cutting a bunch of locust for a horse building I am putting up on the property. We have a small portable band mill and have sawn locust on it several times. Easy to saw and would be easy to saw with a ripping chain on a chain mill however there will be a lot of waste.
Mark
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boxes easels etc). I agree there is a lot of waste. Its also a laborious task requiring a bit of patients even with a correctly sharpened rip chain. BUT ITS FEE and opens up the opportunity to experiment with many different wood types..
Cheers Bill D
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Bill D wrote:

Bill,     I agree, playing around with some small scale stuff free hand with a chainsaw is fine. I do it myself if I have some small logs (about 4' is the shortest I can saw on the mill practically). However, sawing a bunch of 25" locust logs is a different story. It is very rare to even find a locust that big that is even worth putting on the mill. Most always locust is all gangly, crooked, and prone to blight which keeps them small or dead.     In another forum this would start a flame of all flames, but.... It would be truly sad to see a the footage wasted from a chainmill sawing a bunch of 25" locusts period. The waste is not just from the sawing but from what it takes to surface them afterwards as well.
Ciao, Mark     
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I made a mill setup for my chainsaw, It does alright as long as I have a nice straight board to use as a guide for the first cut.
I have a few groves of honey locust that evidently started themselves 25 to 30 years ago when my property was logged. Its pretty wood.
I know a fella that has a bandsaw mill but he won't cut the locust with it, he said its too hard on his blades. He probably had the same incorrect information poured in his head about locust that I have.
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Modat22 wrote:

Agreed,     With a chainmill, if you dont get a perfect start you carry the trouble through the whole log.     What you could try with your bandmill guy is to buy a few blades and ask him to saw you some locust. It shouldnt bother him in the least if you are paying for the blades. Depending on the mill you should be able to get most blades for under 20.00 each. Perhaps more like 12-15 dollars for an average blade. Thats what we pay. With modest re-sharpening we can get 6 or so re-sharpens (sharpen our own) out of a blade.     If the logs are clean we get 200-400 feet per blade but we change blades the instant they slow down. At the worst, 6 blades could get you 1200bd' of lumber (plus his sawing, less the cost he includes for blades) and you may change his mindset on sawing locust.     We have sawn much worse woods than locust. Hickory is rough, and while it isnt hard on the blades, hackberry can be a bi*ch to saw, long fibers, but it really spalts nice. ;)
Mark
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