Osage Orange Turning

Forum: Woodturning


I have a disc of Osage that I have had for about 15 years and never haveing turned this wood thought I would have a go. I swear if I had a piece of steel handy I could have turned it easier. This bit of wood is rock hard, so is this what Osage is like or is it just my bit, it also seems to have grain running all over the place and no matter which way I cut there is two areas on the disc which are opposite each other where I’m cutting against the grain.


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Madts ...

Osage orange will kill you.


Whitacrebespoke ...

Dependant on how it’s sawn you potentially will have areas where your cutting against the grain with all timbers.

I’ve never turned Ossage Orange as it’s not something widely available here in U.K. but I find long air dried timber often is hard as iron and or very brittle. It’s alot to do with how the moisture content finishes in the timber and what is effectively left. Nice plump fresh dawn cells cut nice and easily as they are flexible and nice and soft just like fleshy soft young skin that can be cut but does not break or crack easy. But the cells in timber that’s been dried for a long time are generally very low moisture content so are like dry old brittle skin that is tough to cut but cracks easy. Only the hard parts of the cell are left. You will also find the remaining fibres has little flexibility so it breaks out rather than cutting.

Your answer is very sharp tools sharpened little and often, high speed and a very light cut. With a cut as opposed to a shear scrape your should be able to leave a near polish finish straight off the tool.