Osage Orange Journey #1: In the beginning...

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Blog entry by woodchips posted 04-16-2010 06:31 AM 8384 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Hello fellow LJ’s,

i just wanted to share this amazing find with ya’ll since we all (more or less) share the same love of wood. A rancher pushed over this enormous bois d’arc tree to make way for a fence (of all things) anyway he gave a buddy and me free range to cut as much of it as we wanted to. I was overjoyed and so far this is all I’ve gotten to the sawmill but there is much more to come. one of the huge benefits to living in deep east Texas is there are sawmills just about around every corner. so i ended up getting about 150 bd ft of beautiful osage orange, and i gotta tell ya, this stuff is amazing. and amazingly hard, amazingly yellow (the photos don’t even do it justice), amazingly heavy and dense. i don’t really know yet what it will be but a dining table is certainly on the short list. i’ll probably get around 300 bd ft once it’s all said and done. the sawmill charges about .40 a bd ft so the 150 bd ft cost me around 58 bucks. all in all not a bad deal for some gorgeous wood. i had the sawyer cut the slabs at 5/4 thickness so that once the drying and machining takes place i’ll still have about an inch of thickness left. i think though that the next log i take up there i’ll get it cut into 10/4 slabs for leg material down the road.

well thanks for looking! i’m pretty excited about all this wood and can hardly wait to start using it.


From Osage Orange Journey

From Osage Orange Journey

From Osage Orange Journey

-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

10 comments so far

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4928 days

#1 posted 04-16-2010 07:16 AM

Fantastic wood score. Beautiful wood.

Thanks for posting.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View FordMike's profile


155 posts in 4969 days

#2 posted 04-16-2010 07:50 AM

Awesome score, for years I lusted after Osage Orange and finally found a reliable source, it is amazing to work with congrats and I’m more than a little envious.

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 5403 days

#3 posted 04-16-2010 03:06 PM

I love osage too, good score.

View lumberdog's profile


249 posts in 4765 days

#4 posted 04-16-2010 08:15 PM

I have used osage orange for tool handles and i have a osage orange fence post a friend brought from Missouri ( i live in Michigan and we don’t have a lot of it here ) I plan on making a long bow out of it someday, A find like yours is fantastic and something i can only dream about.

-- Measure twice, cut once, then force it to fit.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 5083 days

#5 posted 04-16-2010 08:19 PM

Nice one Isaac Wish it were mine.I wish many happy days enjoying your woodworking for the future . Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4516 days

#6 posted 04-16-2010 09:40 PM

Beautiful wood, great score = one happy camper! I’m JEALOUS!

Erwin Jacksonville, Fl

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4538 days

#7 posted 04-16-2010 09:49 PM

Nice Score!!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View WoodyBaker's profile


2 posts in 4460 days

#8 posted 04-17-2010 05:47 AM

I’m the buddy. The actual tree was huge! We got 3 9 ft or better logs out of it, and there is still a wonderful huge rootball, with about 4 feet of trunk still attached. Unfortunately, we will not be able to get it out, cause they have fenced it in. There are still 4 large logs to get picked up. To give you an idea, I have a 20 inch blade on my McCullough 1010 and I could not cut the trunk in one pass. This is the lumber from the straightest section. What I would LOVE to be able to do is to slice up that root ball. It is huge, and the grain has to be fantastic. You can see it twisting all over the place.

The top of the tree is still there, and I have managed to trim it into a couple pieces, but can’t get them out and over the fence.

One nice piece that we did get out (it’s mine ) has a nice bend in the middle. Hard to get straight stuff.
I’m going to have a 3 inch slab cut out of the middle, and then I think I’ll be able to make at least 4 guitar/banjo necks out of it, using the natural bend for the peghead. It is just about the right angle. No laminating or bending. Nature did it.

I did take a section of trunk about 18 inches long and split it into billets for tool handles. Make an awesome axe handle, am working on an even better one, and have made a nice hammer handle that is going to get a
2 lb sledge head. Can’t break the stuff.

I’m going to have the two slabs off the side of that log, cut 5/4 or thicker. Should be able to get some nifty curved table legs.

I split another section of trunk about 30 inches long. 4 chuncks Had to have help heaving them over the fence.

There are 4 other huge bois ‘d arc trees still standing around there. I got a lot of smaller stuff and limbs.

What I can’t use for projects, I may use for firewood. This wood weighs 4700 lbs per cord, and has a heating value of 39 million btu’s per cord. White oak has 29 million and weighs less than 4000 lbs per cord.

We had to skid the logs down a hill in the mud. There is still a huge log up there that we could not skid out. to slick, and never was able to get back up there with a 4 wd vehicle.

View WoodyBaker's profile


2 posts in 4460 days

#9 posted 04-17-2010 05:54 AM

Osage orange will easily last 40 years in the ground as a fence. Quarter sawn, it has a nice grain, with nice flecked pattern to it.

Several pieces are slated for bows. I do less cabinet type work, though at one time in my life, I ran my own cabinet shop. I have grown to love the natural twists and turns, and like to incorporate them into whatever I do.

I particularly love sycamore. My dad has 2 HUGE sycamores, one in the front yard and one in the back. They are both easily over 3 feet in diameter. Takes 3 people to reach around them.

Limbs come down regularly, and I have some really fantastic knobby, twisted canes and walking stick blanks.
One is especially nifty, because a limb grew to the right about 8 inches, then another grew off that, back toward the main limb at about a 45 degree angle, and actually touches it. Gonna peg it with a dowel to the main shaft, and have one heck of a cane, with a closed triangle for the handle. Really hard to describe.

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4562 days

#10 posted 04-17-2010 11:26 AM

Great score there.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

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