Black Acacia...First time milling for me. #2: Saturday....The first day of milling

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Blog entry by Steffen posted 05-18-2008 06:07 AM 3169 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Black Acacia Available Part 2 of Black Acacia...First time milling for me. series no next part

I thought today was going to be the first and the only day for milling the Acacia Tree…However that’s not the way it worked out. Getting the right saw…the right bar…the right chain took a lot longer than I expected. However while he was gone I took a load of wood to my house at which point I realized what I was in for. I couldn’t lift them! I had to get my little 14” chain saw from my truck and cut them into movable chunks…this wood is really really heavy. Of course the slippery coat of Anchor Seal didn’t help either.

Side bar
My encyclopedia of wood states Acacia Melanoxylon weighs 41lb/cubic foot (Seasoned). Ebony is 61lb/cubic foot; cherry is 36lb/cubic foot; White oak is 47lb/cubic foot. All weights are seasoned. The slab included in this photo weighed about 400lbs. This only matters because the tree is at the back of the property DOWN HILL from the house and about 80 yards from the street…enough whining…after all…I did only pay $300.

Anyways back to the story. We only got the log cut so we could mount the Alaskan Mill. It took nearly an hour to cut the next slab and we were halted by a nail wich apparently got driven into the tree 30 or 40 years ago. It was 7:00 so we decided to give the neighbors a break and go home.

Below are the photos of todays progress. Buddy the tennis ball freak is included to give an idea of how big the slab is. It measures about 22 inches wide about 8 feet long and 5 inches thick…did I already say it weighs about 400lbs?...NO? Well…it weighs about 400lbs…

I hope you enjoy this blog. I can’t seem to get the photos to show up the way I want…just click on them to see the entire photo I guess.






Have a great day.

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

13 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14171 posts in 3946 days

#1 posted 05-18-2008 06:09 AM

good posting. nice photos

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3676 days

#2 posted 05-18-2008 06:24 AM

Hey, that wood looks heavy…:-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4200 days

#3 posted 05-18-2008 07:17 AM

try not to cut it too short

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4200 days

#4 posted 05-18-2008 07:20 AM

those first long cuts are absolutely beautiful…. Gonna make some outrageous funiture

And don’t forget to paint the ends so it doesnt dry too fast.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3838 days

#5 posted 05-18-2008 11:16 AM

Wow, it really has some fabulous figure to it.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3785 days

#6 posted 05-18-2008 11:57 AM

The wood is gorgeous. I am sure that it is going to make some beautiful furniture.

Thanks for the post Steffen.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3960 days

#7 posted 05-19-2008 07:33 AM

Ahhh – the chainsaw milling experience! You diggin it? Hard work!

From the photos in the last entry, I’d say you have a bit more work ahead of you!

How thick did you cut those slabs? 4” or so? What’s your plan for the wood? What will you build down the line? It’s not all turning stock, is it???

Are you going to cut other thicknesses?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 3999 days

#8 posted 05-19-2008 03:33 PM


Yeah…lots of work ahead. This first slab was 5” however we are going to cut them 16/4 in the batch. I am cutting them thicker to save time for the guy cutting them. Not sure what I’m going to build but tables of all sorts come to mind. I’ve thought about an entry or sofa table with cherry or walnut legs and frame with a top and drawer fronts made out of this material.

As for other thicknesses I’ll take that up later but not with the chain saw mill. You loose a lot of wood with that thing.

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View MattH's profile


27 posts in 3601 days

#9 posted 06-10-2008 12:48 AM

New user here – I’ve just finished milling a 13’ section of black acacia into 3/4” boards for flooring a ways south of Oakland. Wonderful stuff, but hard on tools. It’s 2 years down and has been at 1” for 18 months of that, so it’s pretty dry. If you cut it on the quarter, you’ll get ray-flake very much like cherry – it’s absolutely iridescent, and a light oil finish brings out all the depth.

I poached some of it to build a small bedfoot chest, along with some scrap walnut from a guy who was milling on Sunol Grade in South Fremont CA.

It also turns beautifully and polishes to a high luster. Be careful, though, when cutting it on a tablesaw – it has a lot of stress in the wood and tends to want to close up the cut. Make certain to have a splitter on the saw, or else you’ll burn wood and blade quite a bit.


-- Death before dishonour; nothing before coffee

View MattH's profile


27 posts in 3601 days

#10 posted 06-10-2008 12:48 AM

And evidently img src doesn’t work for posting photos.. Hmmm.

-- Death before dishonour; nothing before coffee

View WayneC's profile


13753 posts in 4061 days

#11 posted 06-10-2008 10:34 AM

Use the insert image button and paste in the link to the photo there.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View MattH's profile


27 posts in 3601 days

#12 posted 06-10-2008 06:53 PM

Here’s a link to the blanket chest w/ black acacia frame & scrap walnut panels.

-- Death before dishonour; nothing before coffee

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3685 days

#13 posted 04-09-2009 08:59 AM

Wow! There’s some intersting graining there. I think the cross section piece in the third photo has my name on it.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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