Black Locust

For discussions related to the type of materials to build skis/snowboards and where to get them.

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gketcham
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Black Locust

Post by gketcham » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:52 am

Does anyone know of a dealer of Black Locust lumber that ships small quantities? I know SkiLogik uses it as sidewall, and it looks super cool. Also, does anyone know about Paulownia dealers?

MadRussian
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Post by MadRussian » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:16 pm

I want to restart this old thread to see if anybody can share their experience dealing with black Locust.
My current sidewall wood is IPE once it runs out I'm will be using black Locust also thinking to use it under screws instead of Maple.
Any idea how this change will affect the skis/core
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison

MadRussian
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Post by MadRussian » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:31 am

nobody using black Locust? I hoped somebody can share their results. Or at least give me an idea what to expect
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison

24Dave
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Post by 24Dave » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:06 am

I made a strip of Black locust to bond along the outside edges of a core that I am building and I really didn't like how the wood would be really stiff then shatter once you bent it a bit. It is very dense and of course handles moisture well, but the particular stock I have just seems too brittle to be flexed deeply on a regular basis. It might not be a problem and my testing is the opposite of scientific, but I wasn't impressed with the way it would rather break than bend a fair amount first.

MadRussian
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Post by MadRussian » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:39 am

I did not get the chance to cut my black Locust. My other option is IPE and it also breaks.
I think individual strips of wood will act differently when flexed if compared to glue up core
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison

24Dave
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Post by 24Dave » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:46 am

I stand corrected on the black locust. I've used so much poplar that I was used to how far you can bend it without it shattering. Black Locust is a really burly and easily available sidewall material. It is harder than ash and Maple, tighter grain than hickory, lighter than ipe and not oily so it glues well with titebond and probably better bonding with epoxy as well. I see why ski logic went with it.

You can't router it where the grain will lead into your finished piece and pull out strips of wood. if you are routering to a template, sand or cut the wood really close to the template first, then use the router backwards where the grain might pull out strips into your finished piece.

kab
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Post by kab » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:08 am

Last year I made a first test with black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). I got some 0.75mm veneers and made a multy ply stackup. I only tested to glue it with phenolic resin (Dynea Aerodux 185) and pressed it with arround 8 bar.

The idea was to create something like the phenolic hartpaper sold by a major supplier.

The result was to brittle and it still soaked up to much water. If I remember right it was over 10% per weight. I hoped to impregnate the wood during gluing, but the result where a fail.

To date I have used ABS and phenolic hart paper but I still search for a localy sourced natural material (Europe). Unfortunatly black locust is the only suitable candidate so far.

Black locust has also the disadvantage that you hear cracking noise when you bend it. This is one reason it was used for some structural builds. You hear it making noises long before it breaks. The second disadvantage is the smell > Not suitable for storing in a closed room.

Have somebody made water absorption tests to their samples? I am still concerned the water is getting to near to my core.

24Dave
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Post by 24Dave » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:55 am

hmm, no bad smell at all from my black locust, routering or sanding. maybe you were talking about the smell of the resin you put the layers together with?

I think Ipe stinks pretty bad (and the fine dust should be avoided with a mask), Paulownia has not the best smell and poplar and aspen smell delicious. Maybe my black locust was really dry and old, and yours was fairly fresh?

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SHIF
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Re: Black Locust

Post by SHIF » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:16 am

gketcham wrote:Does anyone know of a dealer of Black Locust lumber that ships small quantities? I know SkiLogik uses it as sidewall, and it looks super cool. Also, does anyone know about Paulownia dealers?
Our local dealer has over a hundred varieties of exotic hardwoods in stock but I don’t think they’ll ship small quantities. Call them and ask. They have many more types than shown on their website. Web link below..

Black Locust has a Janka hardness of 1700. Ipe is about 3700 and therefore much better suited for sidewalls. The key to using Ipe is to wipe it down with solvent just prior to gluing. I also solvent wipe the entire core assembly just prior to ski building.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test

http://www.macbeath.com/products/108228-imported-lumber

Cheers,
-S

Prak
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Post by Prak » Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:48 am

I intended on using Black Locust for sidewalls, and if there's one thing I learned, it's that Black Locust is very difficult to locate in northern North America.
A logging service informed me that they had Honey Locust available, but as it's softer and much less water resistant, IPE was chosen instead. Wish I could get my hands on some BL, it would likely be at least half the price of the chosen IPE (5/4"x6"x15' = $107.55).

MadRussian
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Post by MadRussian » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:27 am

Prak wrote:I intended on using Black Locust for sidewalls, and if there's one thing I learned, it's that Black Locust is very difficult to locate in northern North America.
A logging service informed me that they had Honey Locust available, but as it's softer and much less water resistant, IPE was chosen instead. Wish I could get my hands on some BL, it would likely be at least half the price of the chosen IPE (5/4"x6"x15' = $107.55).
sounds like you are asking in the right places but if it doesn't group in your area you out of luck. Try different small lumber mills which received wood deliveries from multiple logging companies.
Some times ago I offered free black Locust enough for one pair of skis nobody wanted it lol.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison

Prak
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Post by Prak » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:34 am

Thanks, MadRussian. My local hardwood kiln/sawmill company (Kettle Moraine Hardwoods) doesn't typically deal with BL, but they gave me the name and phone numbers of several other businesses to check out, one being a logging service that also rough saws lumber on the side, who had Honey Locust available. Independent logging companies opens up a whole new world of options, but it doesn't really help if the species desired doesn't readily grow locally.

BL is listed as growing under USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9, but I'm unsure of how well it will survive winters up here in the "frozen tundra." Perhaps I'll order a dozen seedlings or so to test this myself. (Apparently, it will grow in southern Canada, so it's worth a shot.)

Another option the guys at KM Hardwoods suggested was to contact a "Luthier" (a person who makes/repairs stringed instruments), as they'd have exotic hardwoods and veneers on hand (Grizzly[dotCOM] was mentioned by name).

The search goes on...

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SHIF
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Post by SHIF » Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:12 pm

Prak wrote:... it would likely be at least half the price of the chosen IPE (5/4"x6"x15' = $107.55).
Ouch! That's the going price for Ipe, about $14 per bd. ft.

We have another local vendor selling 5/4 Ipe for much less:
http://www.highmountainforest.com/
Perhaps they ship small quantities?

-S

MadRussian
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Post by MadRussian » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:10 pm

I didn't think IPE difficult to find.... after all it premium decking material. Black Locust not so easy. I can sell some from my stash.
BTW BL grain very twisted compared to IPE.because of that I think more waste.

mahogany another wood for decking it should be easier to find and cheaper.
Not as hard as other woods


why would one need 5/4? standard decking boards 3/4x4" or 6".... 10' to 16' long
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison

Prak
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Post by Prak » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:45 pm

SHIF, Thanks for posting that hardwood source for all to view.

The IPE I purchased ran $7.17 per linear foot. If ripped carefully, the 15 foot board is enough sidewall/pseudo-tipspacer material for 13 snowboards (mileage may vary). Running the numbers: that's less than $9 per snowboard, making the cost quite reasonable compared to P-Tex, actually, especially since tipspacer material wont have to be purchased.
No consideration was given to the minimization of materials used in these initial builds. Future builds will be planned around minimizing waste, thus driving costs lower.

MadRussion, Thanks for the BL offer. I may take you up on that someday.
IPE wasn't that difficult to "find" as several places could special order it for me, but I can only image what condition a single piece of wood would arrive in, especially if ordered from a high volume supplier such as Menards, Home Depot, etc....
I was able to find a single, 15' board at a local store by the name of Bliffert Lumber. I prefer the piece of mind in being able to inspect the board before handing over $100 for it.
The reasons for choosing 5/4" (1" actual) material will be addressed in my upcoming build journal, this thread has already gotten far enough off topic (sorry about that).

I've been curious about using Black Locust or IPE in the binding insert areas. I wonder how well it would resist binding/insert suck. Also, would the large increase in density underfoot increase the transmission of vibrations, or help to isolate them? This summer will be spent testing various laminations, will report back.

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