Blackwood (Australian) Hardwood

Blackwood (Australian)

Australian Blackwood is a highly versatile timber, with a range of applications including shop fitting, furniture, cabinetmaking and more. Its sapwood ranges from a straw to greyish-white colour, and is easily distinguished from the heartwood which is a golden to dark brown colour, with chocolate-brown zones marking the growth rings. The grain of the wood is typically straight, but can occasionally be wavy or interlocked, resulting in a beautiful fiddle back figure when quarter sawn. The wood has a glossy surface and a fine to medium texture. Blackwood (Australian), or Acacia melanoxylon, is a stunning wood species, with a range of features that make it an ideal choice for a variety of projects.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Tasmanian Blackwood, Black Wattle

Durability Notes:
Australian Blackwood is durable, but vulnerable to attack by common furniture beetle and termites. It is strongly resistant to preservative treatment.

The drying and seasoning of Blackwood (Australian) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Blackwood (Australian) - dries easily without impact on the grade and quality of the wood but wide boards can cup unless the stack is weighted down. There is a little movement in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Blackwood has a tolerable blunting effects on cutters and tools. The wood nails and screws well but has variable gluing properties. Australian blackwood works adequately with hand tools, stains well and the surface can be brought to a really good finish.

Typical Uses:
Furniture making, Joinery, Boat building, Exterior Joinery, Gunstocks, Musical Instruments, Turnery, Carving.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Australian Blackwood

Is Blackwood a hardwood or a softwood? Blackwood is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Australian Blackwood hardwood or softwood? - Australian Blackwood is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Blackwood family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Australian Blackwood ? Australian Blackwood can be described as black/very dark brown, dark brown

Is Australian Blackwood good for outdoor use? or is Australian Blackwood good for exterior use? Australian Blackwood is most suited for exterior/external use. Australian Blackwood can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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