black locust wood

The Complete Guide to Black Locust Wood

If you’re looking for durable and long-lasting wood that will add a touch of color to your project, black locust (false acacia) is a great choice. The wood is abundant, eco-friendly, and relatively affordable, making it a popular option for many construction projects. So if you’re looking for something different for your next project, give black locust wood a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Where is Black Locust Wood Grown?

While black locust wood can be found all over the world, it’s most often sourced from China. The climate there is perfect for producing strong and durable wood.

Black locust wood is also grown in the United States, but it’s not as common as the Chinese variety. This is largely due to the fact that many people are wary of planting trees in regions where they might spread quickly.

This fear isn’t without merit, as black locust can be an invasive species. But with proper care, it can be grown and managed without causing too much damage to the environment.

Common Black Locust Wood Uses

There are many reasons to love and use black locust wood. For one, it’s incredibly strong and durable. In fact, it’s often used as a construction material for buildings.

It’s also resistant to rot, insects, and decay. This makes it ideal as an outdoor building material since it won’t rot in the rain or succumb to insects.

Black locust wood is also a great choice for furniture. It has a beautiful, golden color that darkens over time. And because it’s incredibly tough, it can be sanded and refinished multiple times without losing its luster.

Black Locust Wood for Buildings

Black locust wood is an incredibly versatile building material that’s impervious to decay, insects, and rot. One of the most important uses for black locust wood? It can last up to 100 years without rotting.

And that’s not the only reason black locust wood is so popular in construction. It also repels termites, which makes it a great choice for outdoor structures. The tough fibers of this type of wood are almost impossible to break or tear by hand.

Also, Black locust posts are so strong, it’s often used in buildings. For example, fences and posts are a popular use. And for decking, black locust is also a great option. People choose the black locust deck because of its longevity and slip resistivity.

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It can be especially useful for houses that have already been built since you won’t need to replace the fence every few years as you might with other materials. This saves homeowners both time and money.

And if they move away or sell their house, they don’t have to worry about removing the fence before listing their home on the market, either.

Another common use of black locust wood is siding walls. Since this type of material doesn’t rot easily, it lasts much longer than traditional wooden boards do when exposed to rain or sunlight over an extended period of time.

black locust furniture treeBlack Locust Wood Furniture

Black locust wood is often used in the construction of fine furniture. The wood’s natural color and beauty make it a popular choice for high-end pieces.

In addition, black locust is one of the hardest woods and stiffest domestic timber available. This makes it perfect for furniture that will be used outdoors or in areas where there’s a lot of traffic.

Due to its strength and durability, black locust wood furniture can last for generations with proper care. It’s also easy to clean and maintain, making it a good option for busy families.

You can use thin slats of black locust wood to create furniture pieces like tables and chairs. This type of design is known as the “slat” or “shaker” style because it was popularized by the Shakers, a religious group that believed in simple living.

Black locust wood is also often used to make guitars and other stringed instruments. The wood is strong and resonant, making it the perfect material for these delicate instruments.

Fuel

As a strong, durable wood, Black Locust is an extremely good source of fuel for homeowners. Because Black Locus is rot-resistant and grows abundantly, it’s an excellent tree for firewood.

Black Locust Wood Appearance

As we mentioned before, black locust wood has a beautiful golden color. Over time, this color will deepen to a rich brown or black.

It’s also important to note that black locust wood is as strong as it is beautiful. The grain of the wood has a unique swirl that’s beautiful to look at.

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black locustThe beautiful wood grain of black locust is what often attracts people to use it in furniture and cabinetry. The color can range from a light honey brown to a darker chocolate brown, and the texture is usually quite smooth.

Black locust lumber is also free of knots, which means there are fewer blemishes in the wood. This results in a higher-quality finished product.

When it comes to black locust trees, sometimes people confuse the black locust tree with the honey locust tree. However, both are different types of trees and wood. Black locust trees have coarse bark that appears to be curly with a pattern of furrows interwoven like ropes. In contrast, honey locust trees, with gray bark, and their branches are covered with red-brown thorns.

Black Locust Wood Strength

Black locust wood is often chosen for projects that require a high degree of strength and toughness. This type of wood is very resistant to decay and termites, but it is also relatively easy to work with. It has a beautiful grain and is often used in furniture and cabinetry.

black locust grainThe Janka hardness of the black locust is 1700 lbf (7600 N). The wood is heavy and strong, with a density of approximately 44 lb/ft3 (700 kg/m3). It is used for applications such as boatbuilding, fence posts, and foundation piles. 

Black Locust Wood Durability

Another reason black locust wood is often used in construction projects is that it is highly durable. It can withstand the outdoor elements very well and has a high resistance to moisture, fire damage, and insect infestations.

Black Locust Wood Sustainability

The sustainability of black locust wood is a hot topic among forestry professionals. This is due in part to the black locust tree’s rapid growth rate, as well as its resistance to pests and diseases. Black locust also has a long lifespan, making it an attractive option for sustainable forestry initiatives.

Sustainable forestry is the management of forests in a way that ensures their long-term viability. This can be done through practices like selective logging, which allows trees to mature and regenerate. Sustainable forestry also takes into account the needs of local communities and the environment.

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Black locust is an excellent choice for sustainable forestry initiatives. It grows quickly and can be harvested without damaging the tree’s deep root system. 

Further, the shade provided by black locust trees helps to slow soil erosion and preserve soil moisture. This means that black locusts can grow in infertile soils, helping to maintain biodiversity in an area. Black locust also provides habitat for wildlife while protecting the topsoil from erosion.

Black locust is resistant to most pests and diseases. It also tolerates drought very well, meaning little irrigation is needed after it has been planted. This reduces the cost of management for foresters.

Black locusts’ wood is extremely dense, making it an excellent choice for many applications. The wood does not warp easily and stands up well to weathering. It is also easy to work with, making it a popular choice for flooring, furniture, and other construction projects.

FSC Certified 

The best part is that black locust is a sustainable, FSC certified material. You can trust that the wood you’re buying comes from an environmentally friendly source with this certification.

Is There Any Downside of Black Locust Wood?

One downside to black locust wood is that it can be difficult to work with. The wood is prone to splitting, so care must be taken when cutting or shaping it. However, the benefits of this sturdy hardwood outweigh the few drawbacks compared to any other wood species. 

Conclusion

Black locust wood is an excellent choice for many construction projects because it is strong, durable, and sustainable. It has a beautiful grain that will add elegance to any project. Plus, this type of lumber does not require replanting after harvesting, making it a more sustainable choice.

About Peter Jacobs

Peter Jacobs is the Senior Director of Marketing at CNC Masters, a leading supplier of CNC mills, milling machines, and CNC lathes. He is actively involved in manufacturing processes and regularly contributes his insights for various blogs in CNC machining, 3D printing, rapid tooling, injection molding, metal casting, and manufacturing in general. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn.

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