Categories
imported-hardwood

Pau Marfim (Balfourodendron riedelianum)

Pau Marfim is an imported hardwood

Location

The range of pau marfim (Balfourodendron riedelianum) is rather limited, extending from the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, into Paraguay and the provinces of Corrientes and Missiones of northern Argentina. In Brazil, it is generally known as pau marfim and in Argentina and Paraguay, as guatambu.

Characteristics

In color and general appearance, pau marfim wood is very similar to birch (Betula) or sugar maple (Acer saccharum) sapwood. Although growth rings are present, they do not show as distinctly as those in birch and maple. There is no apparent difference in color between heartwood and sapwood. The wood is straight grained and easy to work and finish, but it is not considered resistant to decay. In Brazil, average specific gravity of pau marfim is about 0.73 based on volume of green wood and ovendry weight. Average density of airdried wood is about 802 kg/m3 (50 lb/ft3). On the basis of specific gravity, strength values are higher than those of sugar maple, which has an average specific gravity of 0.56.

Primary Uses

In its areas of growth, pau marfim is used for much the same purposes as are sugar maple and birch in the United States. Introduced to the U.S. market in the late 1960s, pau marfim has been very well received and is especially esteemed for turnery.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
imported-hardwood

Opepe (Nauclea diderrichii)

Opepe is an imported hardwood

Location

Opepe (Nauclea diderrichii) is widely distributed in Africa from Sierra Leone to the Congo region and eastward to Uganda. It is often found in pure stands.

Characteristics

The orange or golden yellow heartwood darkens on exposure to air and is clearly defined from the whitish or pale yellow sapwood. The texture is rather coarse, and the grain is usually interlocked or irregular. The density of air-dried wood (752 kg/m3 (47 lb/ft3)) is about the same as that of true hickory (Carya), but strength properties are somewhat lower. Quartersawn stock dries rapidly with little checking or warp, but flat-sawn lumber may develop considerable degrade. The wood works moderately well with hand and machine tools. It also glues and finishes satisfactorily. The heartwood is rated as very resistant to decay and moderately resistant to termite attacks. The sapwood is permeable to preservatives, but the heartwood is moderately resistant to preservative treatment.

Primary Uses

Opepe is a general construction wood that is used in dock and marine work, boat building, railroad crossties, flooring, and furniture.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
imported-hardwood

Okoume (Aucoumea klaineana)

Okoume is an imported hardwood

Location

The natural distribution of okoume (Aucoumea klaineana) is rather restricted; the species is found only in west-central Africa and Guinea. However, okoume is extensively planted throughout its natural range.

Characteristics

The heartwood is salmon-pink in color, and the narrow sapwood is whitish or pale gray. The wood has a high luster and uniform texture. The texture is slightly coarser than that of birch (Betula). The nondurable heartwood dries readily with little degrade. Sawn lumber is somewhat difficult to machine because of the silica content, but the wood glues, nails, and peels into veneer easily. Okoume offers unusual flexibility in finishing because the color, which is of medium intensity, permits toning to either lighter or darker shades

Primary Uses

In the United States, okoume is generally used for decorative plywood paneling, general utility plywood, and doors. Other uses include furniture components, joinery, and light construction.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
imported-hardwood

Obeche (Triplochiton scleroxylon)

Obeche is an imported hardwood

Location

Obeche (Triplochiton scleroxylon) trees of west-central Africa reach a height of 50 m (150 ft) or more and a diameter of up to 2 m (5 ft). The trunk is usually free of branches for a considerable height so that clear lumber of considerable size can be obtained.

Characteristics

The wood is creamy white to pale yellow with little or no difference between sapwood and heartwood. The wood is fairly soft, of uniform medium to coarse texture, and the grain is usually interlocked but sometimes straight. Air-dry wood weighs about 385 kg/m3 (24 lb/ft3). Obeche dries readily with little degrade. It is not resistant to decay, and green sapwood is subject to blue stain. The wood is easy to work and machine, veneers and glues well, and takes nails and screws without splitting.

Primary Uses

The characteristics of obeche make it especially suitable for veneer and corestock. Other uses include furniture, components, millwork, blockboard, boxes and crates, particleboard and fiberboard, patterns, and artificial limbs.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
imported-hardwood

Oak, Tropical (Quercus)

Oak, Tropical is an imported hardwood

Location

The oaks (Quercus) are abundantly represented in Mexico and Central America with about 150 species, which are nearly equally divided between the red and white oak groups. More than 100 species occur in Mexico and about 25 in Guatemala; the number diminishes southward to Colombia, which has two species. The usual Spanish name applied to the oaks is encino or roble, and both names are used interchangeably irrespective of species or use of the wood.

Characteristics

In heartwood color, texture, and grain characteristics, tropical oaks are similar to the oaks in the United States, especially live oak (Quercus virginiana). In most cases, tropical oaks are heavier (density of air-dried wood is 704 to 993 kg/m3 (44 to 62 lb/ft3)) than the U.S. species. Strength data are available for only four species, and the values fall between those of white oak (Q. alba) and live oak (Q. virginiana) or are equal to those of live oak. Average specific gravity for the tropical oaks is 0.72 based on volume when green and ovendry weight, with an observed maximum average of 0.86 for one species from Guatemala. The heartwood is rated as very resistant to decay fungi and difficult to treat with preservatives.

Primary Uses

Utilization of the tropical oaks is very limited at present because of difficulties encountered in the drying of the wood. The major volume is used in the form of charcoal, but the wood is used for flooring, railroad crossties, mine timbers, tight cooperage, boat and ship construction, and decorative veneers.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
imported-hardwood

Mora (Mora excelsa and M. gonggrijpii)

Mora is an imported hardwood

Location

Mora (Mora excelsa and M. gonggrijpii) is widely distributed in the Guianas and also occurs in the Orinoco Delta of Venezuela.

Characteristics

The yellowish red-brown, reddish brown, or dark red heartwood with pale streaks is distinct from the yellowish to pale brown sapwood. The texture is moderately fine to rather coarse, and the grain is straight to interlocked. Mora is a strong and heavy wood (density of air-dried wood is 945 to 1,040 kg/m3 (59 to 65 lb/ft3)); this wood is moderately difficult to work but yields smooth surfaces in sawing, planing, turning, and boring. The wood is generally rated as moderately difficult to dry. Mora is rated as durable to very durable in resistance to brown- and white-rot fungi. Mora gonggrijpii is rated very resistant to dry-wood termites, but M. excelsa is considerably less resistant. The sapwood responds readily to preservative treatments, but the heartwood resists treatment.

Primary Uses

Mora is used for industrial flooring, railroad crossties, shipbuilding, and heavy construction.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
imported-hardwood

Mersawa (Anisoptera)

Mersawa is an imported hardwood

Location

Mersawa is one of the common names applied to the genus Anisoptera, which has about 15 species distributed from the Philippine Islands and Malaysia to east Pakistan. Names applied to this wood vary with the source, and three names are generally used in the lumber trade: krabak (Thailand), mersawa (Malaysia), and palosapis (Philippines).

Characteristics

Mersawa wood is light in color and has a moderately coarse texture. Freshly sawn heartwood is pale yellow or yellowish brown and darkens on exposure to air. Some wood may show a pinkish cast or pink streaks, but these eventually disappear on exposure to air. The wood weighs between 544 and 752 kg/m3 (34 and 47 lb/ft3) at 12% moisture content and about 945 kg/m3 (59 lb/ft3) when green. The sapwood is susceptible to attack by powderpost beetles, and the heartwood is not resistant to termites. The heartwood is rated as moderately resistant to fungal decay and should not be used under conditions that favor decay. The heartwood does not absorb preservative solutions readily. The wood machines easily, but because of the presence of silica, the wood severely dulls the cutting edges of ordinary tools and is very hard on saws.

Primary Uses

The major volume of mersawa will probably be used as plywood because conversion in this form presents considerably less difficulty than does the production of lumber.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
imported-hardwood

Merbau (Intsia)

Merbau is an imported hardwood

Location

Merbau (Malaysia), ipil (Philippines), and kwila (New Guinea) are names applied to species of the genus Intsia, most commonly I. bijuga. Intsia is distributed throughout the Indo-Malaysian region, Indonesia, Philippines, and many western Pacific islands, as well as Australia.

Characteristics

Freshly cut yellowish to orange-brown heartwood turns brown or dark red-brown on exposure to air. The texture is rather coarse, and the grain is straight to interlocked or wavy. The strength of air-dried merbau is comparable with that of hickory (Carya), but density is somewhat lower (800 kg/m3 (50 lb/ft3) at 12% moisture content). The wood dries well with little degrade but stains black in the presence of iron and moisture. Merbau is rather difficult to saw because it sticks to saw teeth and dulls cutting edges. However, the wood dresses smoothly in most operations and finishes well. Merbau has good durability and high resistance to termite attack. The heartwood resists treatment, but the sapwood can be treated with preservatives.

Primary Uses

Merbau is used in furniture, fine joinery, turnery, cabinets, flooring, musical instruments, and specialty items.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
imported-hardwood

Meranti Groups (Shorea)

Meranti Groups is an imported hardwood

Location

Meranti is a common name applied commercially to four groups of species of Shorea from southeast Asia, most commonly Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. There are thousands of common names for the various species of Shorea, but the names Philippine mahogany and lauan are often substituted for meranti. The four groups of meranti are separated on the basis of heartwood color and weight. About 70 species of Shorea belong to the light and dark red meranti groups, 22 species to the white meranti group, and 33 species to the yellow meranti group.

Characteristics

Meranti species as a whole have a coarser texture than that of mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and do not have darkcolored deposits in pores. The grain is usually interlocked. All merantis have axial resin ducts aligned in long, continuous, tangential lines as seen on the end surface of the wood. These ducts sometimes contain white deposits that are visible to the naked eye, but the wood is not resinous like some keruing (Dipterocarpus) species that resemble meranti. All the meranti groups are machined easily except white meranti, which dulls cutters as a result of high silica content in the wood. The light red and white merantis dry easily without degrade, but dark red and yellow merantis dry more slowly with a tendency to warp. The strength and shrinkage properties of the meranti groups compare favorably with that of northern red oak (Quercus rubra). The light red, white, and yellow merantis are not durable in exposed conditions or in ground contact, whereas dark red meranti is moderately durable. Generally, heartwood is extremely resistant to moderately resistant to preservative treatments.

Primary Uses

Species of meranti constitute a large percentage of the total hardwood plywood imported into the United States. Other uses include joinery, furniture and cabinetwork, moulding and millwork, flooring, and general construction. Some dark red meranti is used for decking.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.

Categories
imported-hardwood

Marishballi (Licania)

Marishballi is an imported hardwood

Location

Marishballi is the common name applied to species of the genus Licania. Other names include kauta and anaura. Species of Licania are widely distributed in tropical America but most abundant in the Guianas and the lower Amazon region of Brazil.

Characteristics

The heartwood is generally a yellowish to dark brown, sometimes with a reddish tinge. The texture is fine and close, and the grain is usually straight. Marishballi is strong and very heavy; density of air-dried wood is 833 to 1,153 kg/m3 (52 to 72 lb/ft3). The wood is rated as easy to moderately difficult to air dry. Because of its high density and silica content, marishballi is difficult to work. The use of hardened cutters is suggested to obtain smooth surfaces. Durability varies with species, but marishballi is generally considered to have low to moderately low resistance to attack by decay fungi. However, it is known for its high resistance to attack by marine borers. Permeability also varies, but the heartwood is generally moderately responsive to treatment.

Primary Uses

Marishballi is ideal for underwater marine construction, heavy construction above ground, and railroad crossties (treated).

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.