Black Locust bowl

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Project by CSmithWoodturnings posted 09-29-2014 05:53 PM 2504 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Black Locust bowl
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At my parents house where I keep my lathe during the school year, our neighbors wanted a couple of trees cut down on the property line between our house and theirs. It is an older couple, and they came over to talk to my Dad and I while we were in the backyard to ask if we wanted to split the fee to pay for a tree service company to come remove them. My Dad and I gladly offered to remove them ourselves because I knew they were black locust trees and have always wanted to try turning them. We lease roughly 800 acres that we hunt on, so If I didn’t like how the wood was turning we could easily use the wood to burn, or fill in ditches at the farm. I cut the log in half with the chainsaw, made my bowl blank on my delta bandsaw and started turning.

I was amazed and how dense this stuff is! Some of the hardest wood I have ever turned, and I can’t even begin to describe the smell. Most everything Ive turned has been cherry, which has a lovely smell. This black locust almost smells like a sweat odor. The picture is of the final product. I typically use a mixture of mineral and beeswax to finish my bowls. You can really control the sheen depending on how many coats you put on. This bowl in particular received 3 coats and came out great.

I also made a mallet out of the black locust logs and it works great. Anyone else have any experience turning black locust?

4 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4318 days

#1 posted 09-29-2014 06:44 PM

The wood is beautiful and it’s a very nice bowl. Congratulations and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3586 days

#2 posted 09-29-2014 09:43 PM

Toss-up between this bowl and your cherry burls. Like them all!

-- Bill

View GENET's profile


38 posts in 3924 days

#3 posted 09-30-2014 04:08 PM


View CanfelinWoodWorks's profile


30 posts in 2960 days

#4 posted 01-28-2015 09:24 PM

Hi there – i recently got some “free” wood that we (and by “we” I mean me and the folks here at LJ) determined was black locust. Some of the hardest wood to turn, but the finished product, regardless of size, is well work the effort. I love the grain patterns and if you’re lucky, you’ll also get some chatoyance shining through. The BL bowls I made for my holiday sale went very quickly and I have a few custom orders I’m currently working on. Good luck and don’t get discouraged!

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