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I've made a number out of Bois d'Arc or Osage Orange. I've wanted to keep them but always ended up sending them as gifts. Now I'm nearing completion of one that I have promised myself I'll keep.

The wood, as you've discovered, is very dense and hard. Should you try to lighten it up with a draw knife, be careful. Be sure that the knife is oriented with the bevel downward, so there will be less tendency to gouge deeply into the wood. Also, this wood can shave off unpredictably.

I've saved buckets of the shavings, and use them as kindling for the fireplace on the back porch.
 
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