Milling Osage Orange?

I’m curious if anyone has ever milled Osage Orange with their Nomad? I’ve got some of it and wanted to make some jewelry out of the stuff. After looking at the hardness compared to woods that I’m more familiar with (such as Red Oak), it has me a little scared to put it in the machine. I’ve read instances of the stuff burning when milling as well.

Any ideas of a good starting point? I’m using a 1/16 Onsrud single flute bit meant for cutting wood.

I milled Ipê on my Shapeoko 1 — it’s even harder. Notes on it here:

My suggestion would be to use the technique I cited: to workup suitable speed. I’ve got some mulberry drying on my back deck and am looking forward to cutting it — just be careful to not break the bit (do you have a similar, inexpensive one to sacrifice in testing?)

All I have at this point are Onsrud cutters (love them!) but unfortunately I don’t have one that is getting dull yet that I could sacrifice. Not sure I want to break one since they are ~$25-$35 a pop which was more than the wood itself. :yum:

Seems like it will be a precise balancing act that I have to get right from the start given the burning qualities I’ve read about and the hardness of the wood.

Maybe I just need to carve the stuff up by hand. :laughing:

Alternately, if you’re inclined, try G-Wizard?

Uses Adobe Air, but it’s supposed to be quite good. A single year’s license will get one a perpetual 1HP limited license which is good enough for hobbyist use.

I’m not familiar with Osage Orange (Horse Apple… gotta love the common names), but I’ve generally found that with longer-grained (and usually softer) woods you have to pay a lot of attention to cut direction to minimize tear-out, and you want to be climb milling as much as possible.

On the other hand, my experience has been that harder woods with much smaller grain structure benefit from conventional cutting because it’s working up the shaving rather than biting the largest part up-front—which leads to vibration on a machine like the Nomad or the So3.

Your mileage may vary, I haven’t cut stuff quite that hard yet.

To do properly loaded passes, I highly recommend using adaptive clearing methods (available in Fusion360, & wherever HSMworks is integrated…) to reduce the chance of a stall or skip due to hitting a knot or something.

Post pics of how it turns out!

Don’t use the onsrud 1 flute, that’s for plastic and soft woods. The single tip on that cutter will snap in hard wood.
A 2 flute ballend cutter will be much more forgiving.

This is lignum vitae, similarly expensive but harder wood.