December 2010 Edition
Focus on Wood - Honey Locust
Honey locust is a heavy and dense wood native to many parts of North America. This wood works very well, despite its hardness, and has beautiful grain and color. It is uncommon to find this wood available commercially, as high quality logs are difficult to locate on a regular basis.
Honey locust, locust, sweet locust, clammy locust, thorny locust, three-thorned acacia
Sapwood is usually a light yellowish white color. Heartwood is a mixture of dark reddish-oranges, pinkish-oranges and reddish-browns.
47lbs/ft3 - Dense (Slightly heavier than red oak)
1548 lbft - Hard (Slightly harder than white oak)
Turns very easily while green. Dried wood is still relatively easy to turn, and has a moderate dulling effect on tools. Tearout is very uncommon in this wood.
Dries well, but slowly due to its density and high initial moisture content. Slight to moderate movement occurs during drying.
Sands very well. For removing tool marks, 80 grit sandpaper is recommended. Will sand to a high luster, usually requiring grits no higher than 600 to achieve excellent results.
Readily accepts nearly any type of finish. Stains are not necessary to bring out the grain of this wood, as it already has an attractive color.
There are no known toxicities associated with honey locust.
Turning Tutorials - Bandsaw Blade Selection
Bandsaw Blade Selection
Knowing what to look for when purchasing bandsaw blades can make a tremendous difference in the speed and quality of cutting. Here are a few tips for selecting the proper blade:
Blade Width -
The width of a bandsaw blade is measured from the back of the blade to the tip of the tooth on its opposite face. Different blade widths are designed for different applications. Wide blades (1" and up) are designed for straight cutting. The wider the blade, the better chance your cuts will stay straight and true. Narrow blades (3/4" and less) are designed for cutting curves. The narrower the blade, the better its ability to cut tight curves. In our shop, we prefer to use a 3/8" band for cutting circles from 4"-14" in diameter. For diameters greater than 14", we use a 1/2" blade. All of our straight line sawing is performed with blades ranging from 1" wide to 2" wide.
Number of Teeth Per Inch (TPI) -
A bandsaw blade's number of teeth per inch directly affects two things: the speed with which cutting can be performed and the smoothness of the cut. For wood turners, we usually find that speed of cutting is more important when cutting turning stock. A good general purpose blade for sawing materials over 1" thick should have around 3 teeth per inch.
Tooth Style -
There are three different types of teeth for bandsaw blades: regular, hook and skip teeth. Regular blades are used most frequently for metal cutting, where there is less waste material being produced and removed. Hook style teeth have deeper spaces (gullets) between the teeth than regular blades, allowing for faster removal of waste, especially in harder woods. Skip style teeth have specially designed spaces between the teeth which tend to break up the waste material into smaller pieces. This can be especially useful when cutting woods which tend to gum up saw blades. In our shop, we use the hook style tooth pattern for our blades. While some woods will gum up the blades, the hook style of tooth is better suited for cutting a wider variety of woods than the skip style or regular style of tooth.
Blade Type -
For most woodturning applications, a carbon steel blade is the best option. Carbon steel blades are both reliable and affordable. Use caution, however, in deciding where to purchase your blades. We highly recommend finding a reputable saw blade manufacturer or a high end woodworking supply store as your source for making your purchases. While the costs will be greater than what you might pay for when getting one from the local hardware store, the quality of the blade's material will usually provide for better cutting and extended blade life, which will save you money in the long run.
All archived monthly newsletters do not include the following:
- Business updates
- Recently added woods and schedule of upcoming woods
- Photo of the month contest results
- Discounts and upcoming sales information
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