Sunday, June 29, 2014

Honey Locust

I've never worked with Honey Locust, of course you could say that about a lot of woods. The Wood Data Base list it as: "...Honey Locust can be difficult to work with hand and machine tools on account of its density, though it generally produces good results." With that info I decided to mill a small piece to cut a couple of dovetails and put some finish on. I did not find it difficult to work at all, it saws nicely, no problem with planing, cuts smoothly with a chisel and at least with "Tried and True" the finished look is very nice. I can get Honey Locust for about the same per BF as Red Oak, I think it is easier to work than Red Oak and the color and figure is more pleasing to my eye.

Kinda brings up a problem, I can always find Red Oak or for that matter Soft Maple, in this area both cost about the same as the Honey Locust. Do I keep the Honey Locust for furniture and go find some Soft Maple for my base or go ahead and do the workbench base in Honey Locust. Right now I'm leaning towards keeping the Honey Locust for other projects.


  1. .


    Beech is as cheap as chips in this part of the world, but that Honey Locust would be classed as an 'exotic timber'.

    Nice looking wood and if it works as well as you say, then it's furniture material for my money.

    All best from wales

  2. Beech must be, I paid $530 USD for 135 BF of 8/4 European Beach. Less than any of the Maples. From my experience while the Pound is worth more than the Dollar the nominal price is close the the same, in other words if fries cost $2.50 USD here then chips cost about 2.5 pounds in the UK (sorry I don't have a quick way to the pounds symbol).

    I'm keeping the Honey Locust for other projects, it's just too nice a wood to use for a workbench base.

    Take care,


  3. Anonymous9:06 AM

    I've tried a couple spoons out of Honey Locust. Sapwood is very different from heartwood. Don't know if it's typical - all my sticks are from a single tree - but from time to time a fiber or thread will pop out of the grain as I whittle. For me, Honey Locust is to Birch as Birch is to carrots. Hope that means durable spoons.

  4. Two and a half quid is an expensive bag of chips!

    We buy timber by the cubic metre, except us old fogies still use cubic feet. By my calculation, I BF is 12"x12"x1" or 1/12th a Cu ft.

    Doing the sums, it works out at about $47 a Cu ft. Using the tourist rate that come out in the region of £30 a Cu ft. You did very well there - clear, good quality, kiln-dried Beech would be about the same price here, notwithstanding shipping costs.

    One tip, though. Beech retains moisture on the inside; in large baulks it can be prone to a little movement when it is re-sawn. Sometimes it's instantaneous - it will jam your saw, otherwise it may take a little time to show up.

    But good luck with it. In my opinion it is the traditional material for benches.

    All best from Wales

  5. Yep, I've watched it do stupid wood tricks after the rough cuts. That's one of the reasons the bench is taking longer to finish and I almost ran out of stock. Several boards needed a bit of stock removed to be four square. That said, after working it I can understand way it is traditional, tight, smooth grain, heavy and hard yet is easy to work. It should make a good bench.