Honey Locust Wood

Q: Can honey locust wood be used to make furniture?

Tim Inman: Yes, it is beautiful. It’s not the most dimensionally stable wood in the world, but it is useable and very pretty.

T. C. Knight: Absolutely. The sapwood of honeylocust (Gledtisia triacanthos) is yellowish and wide, while the heartwood is light red to reddish-brown. It has no characteristic odor or taste. It is very heavy and very hard, tough, strong, with a high luster. The texture is moderately coarse, with straight to irregular grain. It is a ring porous tree, which means it will have open grain somewhat akin to white oak, so it may require filling of pores before finishing. It is a beautiful wood with pronounced grain so it would make fine furniture. By the way, the correct spelling is one word: honeylocust. I recommend every woodworker who wants to know all the technical aspects of wood to own a copy of the USDA Forest Service publication the Wood Handbook. It is available for download from the USDA Forest Products Lab, but is a huge file, so it would probably be best to download the individual chapters as separate files.

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