> I was taking a look at your website and saw where you had turned some
> Honey Locust (Thorn Tree). I've a big one on my farm that I will be
> cutting ( I can't afford any more tractor tires). I was wandering if
> you'd share with me your experience with this wood.
The Locust genus has about 14 species with 2 in N america and the rest
in S America, Asia and Africa.
What we call black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia are not closely
related to the Gleditsia species, but are called locust here in N
America, there are 20 species of the Robinia genus in N America
The Honey locust, Gleditsia triacanthos, or aka thorny locust, is one
of two N American species, the other one is the Gleditsia aquatica,
aka water locust.
Water locust is size is 50 feet tall and 2 feet diameter, Honey locust
size is 90 feet tall and 3 feet diameter
The Honey locust species has thornless individuals occurring in the
native species, also with or without seeds, these have been multiplied
by taking shoots off of them, and though the wild ones have mostly
thorns, the ones planted for yard and street-scaping do not.
The Honey locust I have turned have been real nice wood to turn, the
wood is hard and heavy, it's open grained and can be a little
splintery, not bad though.
I do love the reddish color, though not all have the same intensity,
some have more white than others, the slower grown have a redder
If you have a close look, you will see that each year ring has 2
colors, with the early-wood being more white and the late-wood more
The largest Honey locust I ever got was too big on the stump side for
me to get it into my Ford expedition, and had to cut a bid off to be
able to side it in, the opening is 36" high, it was the last one in a
row of Honey locust trees, and on the lower corner of a farmers field,
it got all the fertilized run-off that collected there, and then
drained-off, the darkest color Honey locust I got was from a
neighbor's tree, it was a long bottom branch that grow horizontally,
and was like 20 feet long and from 8" thick going down in size, I was
afraid that the tension would be a big problem, but as it turned out
it wasn't, I made some natural edge bowls from it, and the bark stayed
on and the distinction between the white sap-wood and the red heart-
wood looks great, LOML did keep one for her/us ;-))
So yes the wood turns well, it does get hard when dry, I never had a
problem with it splitting more than other wood, it sand and polishes
well, you just have to take precautions for getting stuff into the
open grain, so sealing is a good idea.
Rough turn when it's green and let dry slowly, and start out with wood
that has no splits in it to start off with.
Have fun and take care
Leo Van Der Loo