Working with Locust wood?

I'm making a bed for my daughter and she has chosen Honey Locust as the wood for the bed. Other than the small board I planed down as a test piece, I've never worked with this wood before.
It appears to look like it will work and finish similar to red oak...Is that right? Is this an open pore wood? Any tips on finishing or things to consider when machining/building with it? Is it similar to maple or pine in strength?
Thanks for you insights! Jim
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Jim asks:

Gleditsia triacanthos. It IS ring porous, so almost certainly will need a filler to get a really smooth finish.
Hard to split, unlike oaks, tools need to be really sharp. Takes glue very well, finishes to a really nice luster. Otherwise said to be a lot like oak in workability.
Much stronger than pine. Heavy (0.60 specific gravity...hard maple is 0.56, very close).
Are you sure it's honey locust, though, and not black locust (post locust, yellow locust)? That's Robinia pseudoacacia, difficult to work, but finishes smoothly, glues well, and is hard on tool edges. Heartwood is a greenish-yellow to a golden brown, specific gravity is 0.66. Stronger and stiffer than white oak. Bends well.
It is usually more readily available than honey locust in most areas, but may still be hard to find as lumber. Most get used for crates, pallets, fence posts.
Charlie Self
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." Will Rogers
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Charlie Self wrote:

I've got about 450 bf of black locust - picked up inexpensively (no wood is cheap) I used some of the less desirable stuff on the top of this mortising machine cabinet. Shellaced even knotty boards finished nicely and really play with light.
www.wood-workers.com/users/charlieb/MCmortisingCabinet3.html
charlie b www.wood-workers.com/users/charlieb/MCmortisingCabinet3.html
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charlie b states:

Yeah, that's black locust. You say on the site it may be honey or black locust, but honey locust is a much more golden color, without the yaller your top shows. Either one is an unusual wood to see and a great emphasis, IMO.
Charlie Self
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Mark Twain
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Thanks for the information Charlie. They told me at the saw mill it was honey locust. It has an almost orange look. They also had "plain Locust" which has a more grey-green cast to it.
It is also cheap! Only $.65/ft for a 1x4
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote in

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+ + + Yes, orange is the name of the game, here! PvR
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P van Rijckevorsel wrote:

Regards, Hank
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Isn't that what the Ark of the Covenant was made from ? Under the gold of course....
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+ + + A really lovely wood, with that distinct orangish color. Really great furniture can be made of this. In general the greatest difficulty is finding it. Probably not the easiest wood to work, although I would rather have this than than red oak, but worth it, with a reputation for finishing smoothly. PvR
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In my experience, its pretty "normal" Enough so that I don't really remember anything special about (Its beena few years since I did a piece in it). About all I remmeber is that honey locust glows undear a black light. Check it out - the grain is amazing.....
--JD

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Glowing under a black light will seal the deal for my daughter... I'm sure she will rate that very high on the teenage "kewl" scale!

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I have a bit of Honey Locust lying around here. I've never made any furniture from it, but I did use it to turn a couple of pairs of drumsticks! :-)
It's very hard, very strong, and very dense. It has a Janka-scale hardness factor of 2350, which makes it much harder than common furniture woods such as Red Oak (1290), Beech (1300), Hard Maple (1450), and Hickory (1820). It's WAY harder and stronger than pine, and in my estimation it's much tougher than Maple as well.
Others have called it an open-pored wood, but it doesn't look that way to me, certainly not like Red Oak. It has a nice tight grain, and to me it looks kinda like a cross between Maple and Poplar. It has nice figure too, as you can see to a degree in charlie b's photos. I think it would look good with almost any oil or film finish, but I don't think I'd risk trying to stain it; certainly not with a pigment stain. A dye stain maybe, but I wouldn't stain it at all; IMO it looks great the way it is.
Jim wrote:

--
To reply, change the chemical designation to its common name.


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woods such as Red Oak (1290), Beech (1300), Hard Maple (1450), and Hickory (1820).
+ + + This is not right? The hardness should be between that of Red Oak on the one hand and Hickory on the other hand. Actually it should be close to Hard Maple and Black Locust. http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/TechSheets/hardwood.html
Maybe you are confused with Red Locust (= Jatoba)? PvR
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Woop, you're probably right about the Janka hardness; I had done a quick google search, picked the first hit:
http://www.pinfoldtimber.com/wood.htm
and I guess I imagined I saw "honey" in front of the word "locust"; sorry 'bout that.
The actual hardness factors notwithstanding, my experience with those Honey Locust drumsticks tells me that it's very "tough". Hard Maple and Hickory are both popular woods to make drumsticks from, and with all the banging they receive on the metal rims and cymbal bells, the shanks can splinter and the tips will start to break apart. In this arena, the Honey Locust has held up as well (if not better!) than the Hickory (though it's heavier), and Maple is the least durable of the three...
Seems like it would be good alternative to Hickory for making tool handles (and maybe plane totes) if you don't mind the extra weight.
P van Rijckevorsel wrote:

--
To reply, change the chemical designation to its common name.


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Steve Turner responds:

Sounds like it. Where di you find your Janka scale? Mine misses the locust.

Black (post) locust is ring porous. Honey locust is not, AFAIK.
Charlie Self
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Mark Twain
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+ + + Honey Locust too, just not as pronounced as Black Locust. PvR
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Farmers used them for years as termite/rot resistant fence post. As I recall, locust has a beautiful yellowish tinge to it.
On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 18:09:44 +0200, "P van Rijckevorsel"

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+ + + Yes, many durable woods are used so. However if the diameter is sufficient these are better used for nobler purposes!
Black locust is greenish yellow and is pretty enough, but Honey locust can be a real beauty and quite orangish. PvR
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