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Osage Orange for Stock Wood???

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Old Ranger, Oct 29, 2008.

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  1. Old Ranger

    Old Ranger Member

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    I've got the change to pick up a piece or pieces of Osage Orange. Would it be any good for making stocks. I have access to several cut trunks of around 18" to 24" diameter.
     
  2. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

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    I don't know about making stocks with it but as for firewood use it is great. A chunk of it in stove or fireplace will burn like it is a piece of rock. That is, it burns for long time. A very heavy/dense wood for sure. Bill
     
  3. Old Ranger

    Old Ranger Member

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    Shootsandbagger,
    Actually, it was just cut three weeks ago. It brought sparks from the chainsaw !!! There are a couple of spots where the trunk forks, which might produce some interesting grain. But I really shouldn't make predictions, I'm a novice at wood types and cuts.
    Ranger
     
  4. Jim Porter

    Jim Porter Well-Known Member

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    We live in the midst of Bodock - osage orange- it makes a fence post that will outlast the hole. heck to drive a staple in though and none are straight. I doublt if you will find anybody who will tackle the project. It's a mean wood to work. It is excellent for small objects like duck calls because it's easy to lathe work. In fact if you can fine a really old fence post that has turned green with time you can literally name a price with the Arkansas call makers.
    Trivia: it was the very first sample that Lewis and Clark sent back for classification. It produces a 'ball' seed pod about as big as a grapefruit that if placed around your house, roaches move out. They produce thorns that will tear your arm off when you drive a tractor by and they will go through even big tractor tires and after the fifty dollar bill to fix the tire, it goes flat again because some of the thorn is still there.
    Wish you well, it would be beautiful!
     
  5. Old Texas Marine

    Old Texas Marine Member

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    Old Ranger,

    Bois d'arc (Osage Orange) is nasty stuff. It will dull tools to beat the band but once cut/formed will outlast the metal parts on your gun. It grows in low lying areas in all but the driest parts of Texas and is hated for everything but posts.

    Old Texas Marine
     
  6. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of bows being made with Osage Orange due to it's toughness. Native Indians built those with sharp knives and rocks? I can't see why it would be that tough for carbide cutters? I like a heavy dense stock/forearm for the added recoil benefits too. Hap
     
  7. turmite

    turmite Member

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    Hi Old Ranger,

    Yes you can make stock from it and it actually a beautiful wood. It will oxidize some and turn a golden brown instead of the bright yellow that it is when green, but still beautiful. It is going to be a little heavy but still a good wood.

    The wood tends to split quite a bit from the end when drying, so when you slab it out, treat the ends of the boards with wax or anchor seal to slow down the process in the ends.

    Tell me more about the crotchs (forks) of the tree? Did you cut the limbs off from above the crotch? How big are the limbs at the crotch?

    Mike
     
  8. Old Ranger

    Old Ranger Member

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    turmite,

    The trunks are around 8' in length, and the limbs were cut off around 6" to 12" above the crotch, and are around 8" to 12" in diameter as best as I remember. We save all of the bigger pieces down to about 4" in diameter. I'll be back at the construction site tomorrow and will take some digital photos which I'll post here.

    Willie
     
  9. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    We'un's in Kansas call it a hedge, or hedge apple tree.

    Tough stuff.
     
  10. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

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    I live in SE Kansas and many native Oklahoma Indians will make you a bow from this wood, they are beautiful. I build rotisserie industrial BBQ smokers and it's my favorite wood to smoke with. As sweet as wild cherry, pear or apple and burns alot longer. Can't imagine that it would not make an excellent gun stock...might be on the heavy side as it is denser than most if not all other hardwoods.

    milt
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I also lived in SE Kansas for some time. I have cut a lot of hedge apple fence posts. The trees were planted in nice straight rows to reduce wind erosion. A 1/2 mile long hedge row always had 2-4 coveys of quail, several squirrels and more rabbits than could be carried back to the car.

    Pat Ireland
     
  12. oldgahchamp

    oldgahchamp Active Member

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    Yes, the Indians did use Osage Orange for Bows. It is hard as steel and was grown in rows for "natural fences" but is one of the slowest growing trees. It is fairly common in W.NY and is usually found growing along highways. Around here, the "fruit" is about the size of a baseball and contains dozens of seeds. It is rated #1 for firewood but is hard to cut. Sparks will fly from your chainsaw just as with black locust. Hope you have good luck with your stock project. Larry
     
  13. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

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    Pat,

    Not so many quail or squirrels here anymore. I remember quail hunts ten years ago in Chautauqua county where we had so many coveys, we didn't hunt the singles after a flush and retrieve. Only squirrels anymore are reds and not many. Lots of big whitetails though, few turkeys, duck and geese on every pond and lake.

    Funny thing about the Osage Orange hedge tree. We have a section where a violent tornado went through. Everything from barns to farm equipment are destroyed and gone...but the hedge trees. A little twisted but still there and going strong!

    milt
     
  14. spclays1

    spclays1 TS Member

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    I've made a few Box Calls out of Osage. It will check or crack quickly. As soon as it's cut you need to split it and seal the ends with anchor seal and let it dry out for a peorid of time. I would stick with walnut for gun stocks. I love it but tend to stay away from making boc calls out of it unless thats what someone really wants.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. spclays1

    spclays1 TS Member

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    I guess that I better read the instructions on how to add a pic....
     
  16. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Milt- Things change. When I hunted quail in Crawford County, we also only shot at the covey rise. Shooting singles was thought to be to hard on the covey. I remember the report of someone first seeing a deer in the county. The story made the front page of the local paper. Never a hint of wild turkey or Canadian geese was seen. Bag limit on rabbits was 25 per day, 75 possession limit. No closed season and it was legal to sell them. As we get older, it is fun to remember the good parts of days gone by. The bad parts seem to just fade in our memories.

    Pat Ireland
     
  17. fletcher

    fletcher TS Member

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    When I was young old couple had a farm that was covered with Hedge apple tree's everytime you went squirrels he would tell the story of those tree's keep'n the farm for them in the great depression. Man his wife made me a mean hot chocolate with all the little marshmellows an over weight youngster could want.
     
  18. hammer-time

    hammer-time TS Member

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    lots of good info here. I have turned a bunch of it on a lathe. The area the tree is from is goign to depend on the amount of silica it picks up. If it is from a sandy area, you go through lots of tools cutting and working. If it is from a loamy soil, it won't be so bad.

    The biggest thing to remember about it is to dry slowly! Even more so if you get a piece with some figure. The wood is so strong that crokked grain will twist a 2" thick board as its drying like a pretzel! Crotch wood is very hard to keep from splitting. You really have to dry it super slow!
     
  19. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    It makes good fire wood, we burn about 8 cords a year in the Cabana, but you have to watch for slivers.

    It would make a beautiful stock, but it has a wild assed grain to it
     
  20. BrowningGal

    BrowningGal TS Member

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    Does Osage Orange dull tools? YES!

    Is it worth the extra work? You be the judge. This is a rocking chair my Dad made a few years ago using OO. Just keep in mind that no matter what finish you use, that bright yellow/orange wood will continually darken over time until it reaches a brown color.


    [​IMG]
     
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