The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Build and Repair

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 06-04-2018, 11:51 AM
Jcamp Jcamp is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 265
Default Locust for back and sides?

Has anyone ever built or played a guitar or mandolin that was built with black or honey locust back and sides?
Iíve been wanting to try my hand at building a mandolin or a ukulele and I hav a few trees on my property that are standing but have died some years ago. I thought about cutting them down and resawing them for use in a future build.
Itís my assumption that since itís got a reputation that it would b a very hard wood that would project well but I hav no personal experience other than using them for fence posts and firewood
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-04-2018, 12:10 PM
Otterhound Otterhound is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,005
Default

Have no doubt that either will work , albeit a bit fought to carve 9 black locust ) .
The problem here is that the trees died some years ago . Black locust is tough , but that tree may be filled with rot from insects and/or checks from remaining in log form for so long . Black locust like to check when treated improperly .
Checking is of little concern with fence posts . I know because I have been installing fencing for over 40 years . I still tap Black locust posts if/when you can find them .
Bottom line is that you can't know what you have until you begin cutting and I wouldn't be waiting another day get started .
Assuming that you get some viable product , you will want to immediately seal endgrain and treat it like a freshly felled tree .
Good luck .
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-04-2018, 12:56 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,473
Default

Said to be similar to Rosewood, it taps like hardwoods on that side of the spectrum. I had some splitting when bending a flat sawn portion of my sides but otherwise nothing unusual working with it. As soon as I get a neck carved for it I'll get back to finishing the guitar.
__________________
Fred
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-04-2018, 04:22 PM
Jcamp Jcamp is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 265
Default

Ok. Thanks for the info. I got 70 acres in Ohio that I can cut a little of everything thatís native to the area (havenít found and cedar tho ). I already have some 5/4 ash and soft maple I guess I could give them a go.
If Iíd use locust for back and sides could I also use it for the neck? Or would I be better sucking to maple for that?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-04-2018, 06:44 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,473
Default

It would be a heavy neck. The maple you might need to wait a few years to get the moisture content down. Any wood you use would have to dry for a year or more depending on thickness.
__________________
Fred
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-04-2018, 08:21 PM
Jcamp Jcamp is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 265
Default

Th maple and ash that I have was cut probably 3-4 yeas ago so itís plenty dry
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-04-2018, 09:39 PM
Otterhound Otterhound is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,005
Default

There really are no rules .
Black locust certainly will be heaver than any maple .
The interesting thing about locust is that you could easily do a 1 piece neck if you care to . Black locust certainly is hard and stable enough for a fretboard . Of course , so is hard maple . If you do a typical A style headstock , that will shave some of the weight off .
Do you have any Persimmon ? It is in the ebony family .....
There are a myriad of possibilities with domestic woods and smaller instruments .
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-04-2018, 09:50 PM
M Hayden M Hayden is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: The Glorious East SF Bay, CA
Posts: 556
Default

Just be careful of the dust - it can cause unpleasant GI side effects.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-05-2018, 08:30 AM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,705
Default

The Black locust that I've used has been an 'improved' Indian rosewood in terms of it's mechanical and acoustic properties. It has tended to be a bit lower in density than the average IRW, about the same in Young's modulus, and much lower in damping; more like BRW in that regard. It makes a very nice guitar.


I have not heard that locust is notably sensitizing. All wood dust in problematic, and you should limit exposure if possible, but compared with any of the rosewoods, especially cocobolo, it's probably pretty tame. My violin making teacher eventually became sensitive to booth spruce and maple, so anything's possible.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-06-2018, 02:55 PM
gr81dorn gr81dorn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 493
Default

Drew Heinonen built one that he unveiled at Fretboard Summit a couple years ago with black locust back and sides. It was a spectactular build. Sounded very good the little I played it.

Caleb Smith from Balsam Range is also a luthier and has built some with it. Here's an article/interview with him.

https://www.fretboardjournal.com/col...s-caleb-smith/
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-06-2018, 10:47 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,583
Default

I have built two black locust guitars, and I think they are among my best. IMHO honey locust is not on a par with black locust, though I like its color better. Honey locust seems to be less like rosewood and more like oak.
I have used black locust for bridgeplates and braces since the late-1980's. IMHO, it is the ideal material....hard and stiff, but not as dense as other woods of similar hardness and stiffness.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Build and Repair

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=