Characteristics of Honeylocust Wood

      Thoughts on Honeylocust, a little-known but attractive and useful wood species. June 30, 2007

I didn't discover, or even know about, honeylocust wood until I salvaged a few pieces from a nearby golf course, and sent a sample to an expert for identification. I was surprised what a beautiful wood it is. I've since salvaged quite a few pieces of honeylocust wood for various projects, such as a bench, a table, and walking canes. Have any of you used honeylocust for your woodworking projects? If so, I'd like to read what you've made from honeylocust, and I'd like to see pictures of your completed projects.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor G:
I got some off the roadside from a tree that had fallen... made a lot of firewood out of it because the county had cut it up so short. I do love its color and made a knife handle and sheath out of the firewood. Now, you may say what the heck... but we have a log of honey locust we are picking up next week that we are plan on milling into a beefy mantel. I think it will be awesome. Especially if I can convince the customer to do a clear finish.
Have never bought any and don't know cost.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
It is indeed a wonderful wood with great grain, etc. The strong red color will fade with time, a bit. Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) is not related to black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). For that reason, perhaps, the official lumber name is spelled as one word.

From contributor J:
I have made coffee tables and benches of honeylocust. Unfinished it had a strong ash type grain. I didn't finish the items so I don't know how it finishes. It worked a lot like oak. Most of the furniture I used to make was unfinished, as I didn't have a finishing space and didn't want to build one.

From contributor D:
I love honeylocust. Mill a good deal of it and use it in some of my attempts at woodworking. Sometimes the wood can have punky spots in an otherwise perfect board, so it takes a little selective cutting of the stock. It is a good hard wood. Here is a set of patio chairs made from it. They are unfinished.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

Here is one of the chairs wet with water (washing it off before it left). It should show how a finish would bring out the color of the grain.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

From contributor U:
I just got some honeylocust logs from a local tree business two days ago. I cut one smaller log into two 4" thick slabs today, about 12 inches wide. I got the ends Anchorsealed. The wood was pretty slow cutting. The logs were frozen when I cut, however. There was a knot in the slabs on one side which will look really cool when dried. I will bookmark them into one large slab for a table top.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
I had several trees sawed, dried, and planed into 3/4 inch boards and have made some beautiful tables. Some of the board are around ten years old and have acquired a yellow and red streak/appearance.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling

  • KnowledgeBase: Wood Engineering

  • KnowledgeBase: Wood Engineering: Wood Properties

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article