JoshC1501

Osage Orange

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Wasn't sure if I should put this in power tools or wood, but here it is!

 

Where I live in Indiana Osage Orange or Hedge is extremely plentiful.  I have access to as much as I could want.  With that said I also have access to other types of woods too so I would like to use some of it.  Nothing crazy, really just for some small pieces for accents and pulls.  

 

I picked up a couple of long pieces of osage last night.  I figured I would try to saw them up on the bandsaw.  I know this wood is extremely hard and dense.  It dulls chainsaw blades very quickly.  Any idea what kind of blade I should run on my bandsaw.  I have the Rinkon 14" deluxe model, which is only 3/4 horsepower I think. Should I try to use a full 3/4" blade, which is the max for the saw or 1/2 blade.  I have seen some recommendations to spring for a carbide tip blade, those things are expense!  

 

Thought I might try it with the stock blade that came with the saw just to see how it does before taking the leap on a $150 bandsaw blade.  Are the carbide tipped blades sharpen-able?

 

  

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A wider blade isn't going to help 3/4hp is still 3/4hp no matter how wide the blade is. Carbides do cut better but the real advantage is they stay sharp longer. The down side is the wider kerf so you need the HP. Just get a good 1/2 or 3/8 standard blade and go at it. If the blade's sharp you will not have any problems cutting to the ability of your saw.

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I was wrong it is 1 1/2 hp, wasn't 100% sure so I looked it up.  I will give it a shot with a couple of the different blades I have.  Thanks for the input.

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Fewer teeth and a slow feedrate. Sometimes I rip a narrow kerf slot from top and bottom on the tablesaw first then finish on the bandsaw.

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3 tpi woodslicer blade from highland woodworking is what i switched to. cuts like a dream. Well under 50 bucks, even with shipping.

 

Or you could go hardcore and get a resaw king from laguna... but that costs 150+

 

Also, 3/4" blade on a 14" saw is actually a little too wide, as the mass of metal doesn't want to bend that severely.  1/2" blades flex more easily and have plenty of structure.  I think fine woodworking talked about this in a podcast a while ago. there is also a thread on LJ, purplelev had a good point on thickness. http://lumberjocks.com/topics/8228

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The width of the blade is just going to affect what kind of cut you're doing - thicker for straight/resawing, thinner for tighter curves.  I'm with wdwerker, fewer teeth is going to make a more aggressive cut & a slower feed rate is going to be easier on the teeth.  I've never worked with Osage before, but I work with Jatoba & Hard Maple quite a bit which are pretty hard.  I think Black Palm is probably the toughest stuff I've run through mine.  Creeping along at a nice slow rate did the trick just fine & that blade is still plenty sharp hundreds of cuts later.

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I'll be the fourth person to say it because I think it's the most important part...fewer teeth...3 TPI is what you want.  Every other detail is secondary.

 

And I'm jealous about the osage orange.  I love that stuff and can hardly find any around here.  I'd like to build a whole piece of furniture out of it.  I think it's beautiful.

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I'll be the fourth person to say it because I think it's the most important part...fewer teeth...3 TPI is what you want. Every other detail is secondary.

And I'm jealous about the osage orange. I love that stuff and can hardly find any around here. I'd like to build a whole piece of furniture out of it. I think it's beautiful.

Eric,

You are in St Louis? Should be plentiful across the border in Illinois. They planted them everywhere for fence rows. I am also down your way pretty often for work. I would be happy to share. This stuff is so heavy and gnarly it would be impossible to get anything more than large limb pieces. I am talking 12-14" and less. I don't have the equipment nor the back to get anything bigger. I am going to out and pick up a few more pieces this weekend.

If u are interested let me know and I would be happy to save you some pieces and I will let u know when I am headed your way.

Josh

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Thanks Josh.  I've been down the "large limb" road before and IMO it's more trouble than it's worth.  There's so much tension in that wood that it basically never gets stable enough to do anything with other than small pieces for turning or inlay like you mentioned.

 

The country boys in Missouri call them "hedge apples."  I'll see one occasionally, but not very often.  Lumber I almost never see.  I'm not sure why because it's beautiful wood.  Heavy, sure, but so is bubinga and you can find that everywhere even though it grows on the other side of the planet.  There has to be a reason there seems to be so little of it.

 

Do you see kiln-dried osage orange at your local hardwood dealers in Indiana?

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The hardwood dealer I use in Indianapolis does carry Osage. It is listed as an exotic, so I bet it is the S. American variety $14 bf, other than that no.

Nobody with a sawmill will cut it usually has people used it for fence rows and it usually has metal in the main part of the tree. People her call it Hedge Apple and it is typically used for burning in wood stoves, mix a log or two with other wood. Burns unbelievably hot and can be burned green.

I am going to try to make some mallets out of it, save some for turning, and maybe make some accents parts.

Josh.

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People here use it mainly to reproduce native style long bows. I am growing my own. Currently two feet tall. Postal lady stuck herself on a thorn yesterday.

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people planted it as barb wire before barb wire (that's why its called hedge since it was planted on the edge of land.) and when it got too big it was cut down for fence post, tool handles, etc because it resisted pests/ decomposition/ weather fantastically. its natural range is down in texas but it has been moved all over the country specifically in the mid west for the wood and the barb wire strength. it was also used for clubs and bows. for its strength and flexibility.  it was prized for its Olympic quality bows. I also know you can make a greenish orange dye out of the tree.  usually the tree is knotted and twists so it is a pain to get good straight boards out of it. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maclura_pomifera#Cultivation

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And I'm jealous about the osage orange. I love that stuff and can hardly find any around here. I'd like to build a whole piece of furniture out of it. I think it's beautiful.

DNC Resources outside Alton has slabs of the stuff.

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Josh, what part of indiana are you from? I've helped dad cut several Osage orange trees down for fire wood, splitting it was no fun at all!

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Josh, what part of indiana are you from? I've helped dad cut several Osage orange trees down for fire wood, splitting it was no fun at all!

West central Indiana, south of Lafayette, right along the Wabash River. That stuff is so hard! Really it is an amazing wood.

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Josh - I've noticed osage making appearances in some of the more "haute wood furniture" stores I have been in...(yes there is such a thing, just look at the prices)

 

 

Here's a couple of interesting pieces in osage orange:

 

http://www.bddw.com/furniture/storage/lake_midcred.html

 

http://www.bddw.com/furniture/table/lake_wallt7.html

 

Should be interesting what you can turn out...good luck. 

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I used Osage Orange on my bench and did a lot of the cuts on my bandsaw, which I believe is the same as yours.  10-325 Deluxe Rikon.  12" resaw cap, right?  While I now have a 3/4" Resaw King, I still use my Timberwolf blades most of the time.  The one I used had no problem.  

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I used Osage Orange on my bench and did a lot of the cuts on my bandsaw, which I believe is the same as yours.  10-325 Deluxe Rikon.  12" resaw cap, right?  While I now have a 3/4" Resaw King, I still use my Timberwolf blades most of the time.  The one I used had no problem.  

 

 

That is the one I have, thanks for the info.  I have a few different timberwolf blades, so I will try them.  Curious how that 3/4" blade runs on this saw?  

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Are you asking about the Resaw or Timberwolf?  The first Resaw King I had was defective.  It had a drift that I was incapable of correcting.  My replacement has no drift once I got it set up correctly.  I use extremely low tension on the Timberwolf type blades, but the Resaw King is cranked down when in use.

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I guess either.  I had just heard that 3/4 blades are a bit big for this saw even though it is listed as the maximum size in the manual.

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I haven't had any problem with 3/4" blades on this.  I rarely actually put a smaller blade on.  I'd like to get a bigger table, but will probably continue to resaw with this, since the depth of cut is perfect and not necessary to me for a larger table.  I want the larger table for more diversity with curves and I'd put a smaller blade on a saw that was mostly for curves.  I get really good cut quality and rarely need to do much, if anything, on my drum sander to clean up the cut.

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Just FYI! If you are cutting Hedge (Osage Orange) for firewood, be forewarned. That stuff is loaded with kerosote an can easily cause chimney fires. So if you are burning this stuff make sure you do regular cleaning of your chimney.

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Woodbutcher, your post contains some inaccuracy. Osage spits and pops at a high level. The danger is with chimneys that are already creosote lined. The explosive popping can ignite creosote deposits. Osage is not anywhere close to high in creosote content nor is any wood that is properly seasoned. The resultant plan is however the same. Keep your chimney clean to avoid flue fires. There is a secondary plan that works well for some. They burn Osage in planned structures that include a log a week or every three days to keep their lower flue clean. The theory is that the popping will care for the creosote before the deposit gets thick. I have never heard of a flue fire for this reason but usually for an Osage log after lots of softwood fires.

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