There is no question that Acacia wood is among the most common varieties of wood used for making furniture. The reason? Acacia wood is beautiful, durable, and long-lasting. It is also ideal for making outdoor furniture, thanks to its capability to deal with extreme weather conditions, freezing winters included.
Unfortunately, Acacia wood is not all about the good things. In fact, there are disadvantages of Acacia wood that you need to take into consideration. There are a number of weaknesses that make Acacia quite challenging to handle. Before that, let us consider some background information about this type of wood.
Acacia Wood Properties
The name of this tree originated from a Greek word meaning ‘thorny Egyptian tree’. While they are native to many parts of Australia, they can also be seen growing in parts of Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and some areas of the Americas.
They also come in different names, such as being called as the Asian walnut. Statistics wise, there are more than 1350 species of Acacia all over the world, with different names. They can grow up to 20 to 30 feet. They are primarily utilized for hardwood lumber projects.
As a hardwood, it comes with a Janka scale hardness rate of 2,300 PSI. It features a wide range of colors and irregular grain pattern. The most common one is a wavy grain structure, while there are also some curly grain patterns.
Disadvantages of Acacia Wood
Now, let us take into consideration the disadvantages of Acacia wood. Here are some of them:
1. Acacia Wood is Pricey
One of the reasons why woodworkers shy away from using Acacia wood is that they are pricier than other types of wood. While it may be cheaper than woods such as rosewood and mahogany, it is significantly pricier than other hardwoods, such as oak and maple.
The average cost of Australian Blackwood Acacia (4×4) per foot is at $7.90, even reaching up to $10.50 per foot for the general prices. The price may even differ depending on the location. As such, it makes sense at times to choose other more affordable options, instead of spending more money on Acacia wood.
2. Acacia Wood Requires Maintenance
Furniture items that are made out of Acacia wood requires a good level of maintenance just to maintain their physical and appearance features. For one, you need to wipe the furniture periodically using a moistened cloth. This will help in removing dust and prevent dirt accumulation.
Still, you cannot just clean Acacia wood furniture with a rag that is soaked with just anything. Ammonia, and silicon-based cleaning products should not even be used because they have properties which may result to the wood being extremely dry, and end up cracking.
To effectively maintain Acacia wood furniture, it is best to wipe the surface with a warm water and mild soap solution. Oil the furniture using select preservatives, and avoid the possibility of warping. One solution you can consider is pigmented finishing oil on top of transparent oil, thus giving the wood UV protection. The entire process can be time consuming.
3. Acacia Wood is Temperature Sensitive
Even though Acacia is a hardwood, it is not that good when it comes to dealing with variations in temperature. In fact, it cracks easily in warm to hot temperatures. This happens because high temperature damages Acacia fibers, resulting to cracks. This is even worse in locations with more temperature fluctuations.
Acacia wood furniture also easily swells in snowy/rainy or overly humid conditions. As such, they may not be well suited to outdoor weather conditions. If you are planning to use Acacia wood for making outdoor furniture, rotate the furniture from time to time to avoid overexposure to heat sources.
4. Acacia Wood is Very Hard and Heavy
Even though being a hard wood is good, especially in terms of durability, being too hard makes it challenging to work with. For example, you require using power tools just to cut Acacia wood, thus affecting its workability.
Also, it is very heavy. This can also pose some challenges since you need to carry pieces of wood quite frequently while cutting, sawing, joining, smoothing and others. Transporting alone of Acacia wood can be quite tricky, and you can also imagine the same hassle transporting the finished furniture items.
The disadvantage happens when the furniture is scratched. Due to the density and durability of Acacia wood, it would be challenging to remove the scratches. Also, moving your furniture could be very difficult.
5. Acacia Wood Has Unpredictable and Irregular Grain Pattern
While many people appreciate the irregularity of the grain pattern of Acacia wood, some find it challenging and complex to fit into the currently existing décor. Some prefer predictable, straight grain pattern. Acacia wood, on the other hand, features many knots.
These knots also come in different forms, including encased, sound, unsound knots. Regardless of the type, these wood knots create an impact on the continuity of the fibers, even resulting to fiber damage.
Knots are known to weaken hard wood, making the area weak. The pieces of knotted wood are thus not ideal for certain applications that expose the wood to loads, like in bed frames. These irregularities in grain patterns also make it challenging to fir the furniture into the existing décor, disrupting harmony.
In general, Acacia wood is an amazing option for making furniture, both indoors and outdoors. Just like everything, however, there are also some disadvantages of Acacia wood that needs to be taken into consideration. You need to be careful of overexposure to heat and sunlight sources.
You also need to think about the status of this wood type, making it relatively pricier than other hardwoods. Note that you are also dealing with dense and heavy wood, posing some other challenges as well.
These are the common disadvantages of Acacia wood. While you may still end up deciding using one for your next furniture project, it always works well to be informed.