Acacia wood or koa is a kind of hardwood, extracted from the Acacia genus of shrubs and trees, found extensively in Australia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and parts of North and South America. There are believed to be 1300 varieties of the Acacia tree. The tree grows to 100 feet and its wood has several applications, but chiefly it is used to make musical instruments and cabinetry.
Features of acacia wood
Acacia wood scores highly on several parameters that make up its distinctive look and make it the ultimate choice of homeowners. These are:
The color of acacia wood can vary but usually ranges between golden and rust, almost like Mahogany. Its growth rings have contrasting color bands and you can also see boards bearing streaks of color. Other varieties may have curly grain or grain in waves.
Sometimes, the grain is wavy or interlocked to some extent, but the texture remains medium to coarse.
Acacia wood’s end grain varies between large and very large pores in no definite pattern. It may also have few or isolated radial multiples not exceeding two or three. Its growth rings are unclear and rays are indistinct to the naked eye. It can be a shade of red with a vasicentric parenchyma.
Resistance to pests and rot:
It is very susceptible to attack by pest and termite and decays easily.
Ease of working:
Acacia wood is a woodworker’s dream wood to work with as it cuts easily and he can fashion objects out of it easily. It also sands, turns, stains and finishes well.
It has no distinctive taste but it has a flavour of its own when added to food.
Due to differences in density, acacia wood can be brittle, rendering it very difficult to sand or plane manually. However, it lends itself very well to carving and can be lustrous after polishing.
Acacia wood is of medium heaviness and its weight is equal to that of teak wood.
The moisture content of air-dried acacia wood is around 12%. Well-seasoned acacia wood can last longer without shrinking or warping.
It is more durable than other kinds of wood but its furniture is not as long-lasting as teak wood.
It is reasonably strong and is best used for making furniture and in construction.
Is wood dust may make it risky to use, but apart from this, no serious health reactions have been found from using acacia wood. However, some species of this wood, such as Australian Blackwood are known to cause breathing difficulties, and skin and eye irritation.
Koa or acacia wood tends to be inexpensive.
Acacia wood is used largely to make furniture such as cabinetry, gunstocks, musical instruments, carvings, canoes, bowls, gunstocks and other specialty items in wood. Since it is highly durable, it is best suited to making wooden dowels to tie lumber pieces. Being strong, it can be used to make beams as building supports. Industries use it to make essential oils and fragrances, and it is also used to make medicines. It’s also a popular choice for homeowners looking to buy hardwood flooring.