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Author Topic: Black locust fence posts  (Read 3183 times)

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Offline BigBurOak

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Black locust fence posts
« on: October 12, 2017, 12:45:40 PM »
Hello all,
I am getting ready to cut a heck of a lot of clear, straight, tall forest grown black locust ranging from 4"-12" in diameter and am wondering the best price to ask for a 8' fence post. I will be debarking and charring 3' of the ends. also are there any better things to use this wood for?
Who needs a gym if you got a woodpile?

Offline Don P

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 01:19:07 PM »
Top use for me is as a timber, if I can get a nice 6x6x8' or more out of it, it is a construction timber, next is fencepost, next is landscape timber, then firewood.
USFPL did some testing on charring, best I can remember they said it didn't do anything.

Offline BigBurOak

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 05:31:29 PM »
Thanks Don P,
also I forgot to mention that I am still undecided on whether to leave them round or to square them w/ my Broadaxe. I do not own a sawmill but would consider hauling them to someone who has.
Who needs a gym if you got a woodpile?

Offline John Mc

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 09:14:44 PM »
It makes a great alternative to pressure treated lumber for outdoor construction projects. we used it for the corner posts and railings on a shade pavilion near our pond. Makes stron, rot resistant decking as well.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Blue Noser

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 05:33:04 AM »
What is the going rate for black locust timber in your area?

Offline BigBurOak

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 09:05:18 AM »
about 1.50 a foot is what I heard, Blue Noser.
Who needs a gym if you got a woodpile?

Offline Cedarman

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2017, 04:42:50 AM »
If you want to debark, lay the fence posts out about 2 layers deep. Then drive over them with a tractor.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Do this the day you cut them.  If you let them set a day or two, the sap will turn to glue and make it hard to debark.  Once you drive over them you can pull the bark off in long strips.  Works very well on 3 to 6 or 7" posts.  The posts will be extremely slick until they dry.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2017, 04:46:48 PM »
The posts will be extremely slick until they dry.

I'll say! We made a shade/shelter pavilion near our pond and used some Black Locust for the posts. They were incredibly slick until they dried - slipperier than if someone had greased them.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Online WV Sawmiller

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2017, 07:56:04 PM »
    I'm pretty much in agreement with DonP. I'd save any long straight locusts for pole barn usage then 7' sections for fence posts then firewood. I can't comment on the landscape timbers as I don't do that.
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Offline moosehunter

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2017, 12:20:58 PM »
I attended a Black Locust seminar this past Friday.  Very  interesting.  Pricing for lumber should start about  $1.50 bdft, there was talk of $8.00 a bdft for premium / specialty,  for instance a 8x8x12 priced at $7.54 a bdft. Cornell University and others are doing a lot of research trying to grow a sraighter, more vigorous BL.
If it is true that we learn from our mistakes, I must be Brilliant!

Offline BigBurOak

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 02:09:55 PM »
Hey Guys,
Unlike I have been told, my black locust is extremely easy to debark even after three weeks. I have been using a flat nosed shovel with an edge I put on it and it works great. I know you are prob'ly thinking like "Its been 3 weeks since he cut it and he still debarking?" but I am in school so I can only peel when I get done with homework. I will post some pics once I'm done skinning all of them.
Who needs a gym if you got a woodpile?

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 08:38:27 AM »
I use a garden spade shovel .. The long narrow ones for small deep holes... With the point and sides sharpened and its excellent.
Ive not done BL but most other hardwoods.  Red and white oak, hickory, poplar, red maple, sweetgum.  If you ever missed the window and your bark glues itself back on, set it in the dirt for a few weeks and the worms will unbond it and leave you some character trails. 

The bark composts real well if you chip it first then layer with grass and manure.
Revelation 3:20

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 08:45:03 AM »
Hey Guys,
Unlike I have been told, my black locust is extremely easy to debark even after three weeks. I have been using a flat nosed shovel with an edge I put on it and it works great. I know you are prob'ly thinking like "Its been 3 weeks since he cut it and he still debarking?" but I am in school so I can only peel when I get done with homework. I will post some pics once I'm done skinning all of them.

Well Done!  Black locust is the best fence post bar none.
Liking Walnut

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 08:45:57 AM »
I attended a Black Locust seminar this past Friday.  Very  interesting.  Pricing for lumber should start about  $1.50 bdft, there was talk of $8.00 a bdft for premium / specialty,  for instance a 8x8x12 priced at $7.54 a bdft. Cornell University and others are doing a lot of research trying to grow a sraighter, more vigorous BL.

I'd love to know more.  Huge advocate and I'm working on TSI and in many cases the BL seems a great route to pay for the TSI. 
Liking Walnut

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 01:18:25 PM »
I'm with mike on the spade. That is all I use for planting stuff. Most stuff I plant is small and does not need a big hole.
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Offline BigBurOak

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2017, 07:22:55 PM »
Thanks for the coms guys.
Who needs a gym if you got a woodpile?

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2017, 07:04:46 PM »
All the locust I can get is sawed 2x6 and 2x8 for trail board walks. It brings $ 1.80 bd. ft.  I have never seen forest grown locust. Also charring fence posts is un herd of today and said not to do anything. The old timers , of course new better. Those old burnt stumps last a long time.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2017, 04:31:09 AM »
They used black locust for the pins on post and beam barns . Black locust,osage orange and believe it or not catalpa all make good long lasting posts .

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2017, 06:47:59 AM »
I do not deal with locust, but recently cut some for various posts I need. How should they be treated for direct ground contact? Should they dry first or go in green?

Wanna use for road sign posts, gates, etc.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Black locust fence posts
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2017, 07:04:58 AM »
PA, no need to treat them at all.  If you can knock the bark off the bottom (in ground portion) that's helpful.  Don't worry about bark above ground.  Solid post, split, etc.  All very strong.  You split larger poles when green, otherwise...well it is a chore and a half.

Dry standing locust is fine too, don't have to be too picky.  Whatever you put in the ground is going to be the next generations issue to deal with...well at least for me :D.
Liking Walnut


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