Black Locust

However, that noted, Black Locust makes an excellent turning wood, due to its hardness and density.  Black Locust also responds quite well to steam bending procedures.

And finally, once you have the shape or form of Black Locust that you desire, it does glue and finish well.

Black Locust Reverse

Black Locust Reverse

Pricing and Availability

As Black Locust isn’t necessarily high on the list of commercially harvested and marketed woods, pricing will depend heavily on location.  For those living and working within the boundaries of the natural range of Black Locust, prices should be in the moderate range, for example, similar to the prices commanded by White Oak.  In those areas where the Black Locust wood is imported, prices will be higher and availability far more limited.

In this blog, I almost always recommend several vendors with whom I have done considerable business and in whom I have great confidence.  These vendors are: West Penn Hardwoods, Bell Forest Products, NC Wood, Got Wood?, and WoodTurningz of Indiana.

However, of these fine vendors only NC Wood currently sells Black Locust turning stock, in one size of spindle format measuring 2”x2”x18”.  This wood is noted to be “wormy” which some feel lends a unique appeal and which others consider consigns it to the firewood pile.  Regardless of your feelings about that, this clearly indicates limited availability even within the natural range of the wood (I am located in northwestern Georgia).

I did do a quick search to see what I could find in terms of Black Locust turning blanks and that did produce retailers of bowl blank sizes, but as I have to experience of these vendors I don’t feel that I can recommend them.  If you are interested in working with this potentially challenging wood, I suppose you simply have to take your chances with unknown, or at least unknown to me, vendors.  And you might establish some great relationships in the process as even I had to order for a first time from any of the vendors I am most comfortable with.

To be honest, I purchased my Black Locust blanks through Ebay, and while I am reluctant to use this site for most purchases, for otherwise rare hobby woods, it may be your best/worst source.

Woodfinder is an excellent website that is dedicated to advertising wood dealers.  In your search for Black Locust, this can be an invaluable resource provided you use multiple search terms to capture all the possible listings.  I can’t speak to the quality of any of the listed dealers, but Woodfinder does have the advantage of allowing searches to be performed based on location which might allow an interested buyer to visit a listed wood dealer in person to hand pick pieces at a comfortable price.

A significant problem with using Woodfinder is that many vendors are listed for woods that, upon further investigation, they do not offer.  I don’t know if perhaps once they did and they didn’t update their listings or if some vendors use a standardized list of woods that include most everything conceivable with the idea that once you land on their page you will find something you want to buy even if you didn’t know it beforehand.  It happens to me all the time!


The primary uses of Black Locust are dictated by its hardness and its outdoor durability.  As such, Black Locust finds use in fence posts, boatbuilding, flooring, outdoor furniture, mine timbers, and railroad ties.  In addition to such hearty and heavy-duty applications, Black Locust is also prized for the making of turned objects and in cases of strong color, as a veneer.


Black Locust is not listed as being in any way threatened or endangered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendices and it is reported by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a species of least concern.