Milling the Black Acacia

milling acacia

I took advantage of a break in the storms to mill two black acacia logs with my friend Shawn Gavin. One of the logs had unusually wide sapwood and neither had many branches, so we boule cut them both at 5/4″, leaving live edges. The logs were still pretty green but had been sitting for long enough to loosen the bark, most of which peeled off easily as we rolled the logs into position on the mill.

I’ll sticker the stock under the weight of a giant sycamore slab for Shed, as the latest incarnation of my Demonstration Table. We recently harvested the pecan we had drying under the slab to make tabletops and serving boards for the Shed cafe, and I’m excited to load up a new batch of green wood before Shed opens to the public in early 2013.

We’ll have a year to decide how best to use the black acacia with the wide sap as it slowly cures. A relative of koa, the wood is prized for furniture and instrument making, and is believed to be the wood Noah used to build his ark. It’s Latin name, Acacia Melanoxylon, apparently translates roughly to ‘bad actor’, a reference to the tree’s behavior in the forest as opposed to the character of its wood.

acacia grain

2 replies on “Milling the Black Acacia”

  1. Melanoxylon is botanical Latin for ‘black wood’. Grows native to where I do! The sapwood is perfectly serviceable and almost as hard as the heart. Nice contrasts for the final piece!!

  2. That makes sense, Donald. Adam Reineck’s dad told me the bit about ‘bad actor’ when he was checking out one of my skate decks made of acacia. I wonder where that came from! I will email him and inquire..

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