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Ron Altier

The hardest wood in North America

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Wow, you are a leader in copy/paste:lol:    I have turned a lot of woods and some that appear on the hardest on the list didn't seem that hard. I am sure that a lot depends on the age and where the tree grows. 

 Thanks for the info Stick...........that was interesting.

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5 hours ago, John Hechel said:

I still maintain that petrified wood is the hardest.

uranium turns into lead... (U236 turns into Lead 206)

so is it still uranium???

a tree that petrifies has turned into basically rock...

so how can it still be wood???..

 

Uranium is radioactive. Which means its nucleus will emitt an alpha particle (two protons and two neutrons) spontaneously. Because the nucleus lost two protons it becomes the element Thorium. Thorium also emitts alpha's and changes to Radium. This process continues; Radium into Radon into Polonium and finally into lead. The final Lead is not radioactive and the process ends. The actual process is a little more complicated because some of these intermediate elements can change by converting a neutron into a proton and emitting an electron (beta radiation), but the basic process is one radioactive element changes into another radioactive element by emitting radiation (alpha's or beta's). The Uranium to Lead Process has a half-life of about 4.5 billion years. Meaning that in 4.5 billion years 1 kilogram of Uranium will have changed to a half kilogram lead and a half kilogram Uranium is still left. This is approximate because there will also be some of those intermediate elements waiting to change.

 

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17 minutes ago, Ron Altier said:

 Thanks for the info Stick...........that was interesting.

no problem...

this was a topic in the now dead wood forum and I retained it...

figured it would come in handy at another time...

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Ron - The Janka hardness of Black Locust is 1700...I read the article (which was informative) and it is titled "The Hardest Tree in North America", but...just sayin".

 

Keith - The Janka hardness of hop hornbeam is 1860.

 

Dave.

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1 hour ago, RustyFN said:

I'm going to go with petrified. 

 

that's not wood...

it's stone..

http://www.hardwoodinfo.com/specifying-professionals/advantages/types-of-wood-2/

 

Tropical Hardwoods, including mahogany, rosewood, teak and wenge - are not native to North America. They grow in the tropical forests of the world and must be imported for domestic use. While some tropical hardwoods can be used for interior applications, including flooring, the color, grain pattern, hardness and luster of many imported woods differ from those of American hardwoods. For more information on non-native species, refer to the “Don’t be fooled” article.

Hardwoods of N America.pdf

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"Ironwood" covers it.

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Black Ironwood - South Florida - Janka 3660 

Desert Ironwood - SW United States - Janka 3260 

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Desert iron wood is a protected species in the US. But, there are so many woods so named, that its difficult to know exactly which is which. I know a fella down around Yuma, AZ who harvests and sells literally tons of what he calls "iron wood". So, apparently he knows which trees are protected. 

He bulldozes it out as part of land clearing operations. Some of those roots are stunning.

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On 7/15/2017 at 6:48 PM, Kralon said:

Doesn't Lignum Vitae win (4500 lbf) since it is found in Florida? I believe it is native, perhaps I'm wrong?

KRA, I USTA LIVE IN/ON COASTAL FL.  GOT SOME ''AUSTRALIAN PINE''(LOCAL NAME USED FOR WIND BREAKS).  I AINT NO PRO, BUT PUT A PIECE IN LATHE, IT WAS LIKE IRON/STEEL.  TOOK IT OUT TRIED ANOTHER, THEY WERE BOUT 4 - 5' DIA.  NO WAY, OFTEN WONDERED WHAT THE ACTUALLY NAME FOR THE STUFF IS.

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On 12/28/2016 at 6:41 PM, John Hechel said:

I still maintain that petrified wood is the hardest.

Ron I challenge you to take a chainsaw to each and tell us which was easier to cut.

 

petrified wood is not wood at all. It is fossilized wood where minerals have replaced the wood.

 

On that note, brazilian mahogany, pecan and hickory are hardest i've worked with.

Edited by DRAGON1

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around the eastern midwest, hop hornbeam is known as "iron wood"    Ironwood is not a very specific name as it tends to be used for the hardest wood in region.

Janka Hardness: 1,860 lbf (8,270 N).  Dogwood is pretty tough, too Janka Hardness: 2,150 lbf (9,560 N)

 

A friend from Kansas calls osage orange (aka bois d'ark, bodark) as "harder than the hubs of Hades" Janka Hardness: 2,620 lbf (11,640 N)

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Keith, I'll agree with your friend from Kansas about Hedge.....another name for oasge orange, boise d' arc...etc.... it is HARD and dense. Makes great fire wood. I turned a lamp from a 3' log when I was in HS. It flew off the lathe and bounced through a window. When I recovered it, there wasn't a mark on it.

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