Merbau (Intsia palembanica)


Family - Leguminosae

Distribution - Malaysia and Indonesia

Other Names: Intsia bakeri / plurijuga, Aizella, Anglai, Borneo teak, Go nuoe, Hintsy, Ipil, Kwila, Lum-pho, Lumpha, Lumpho, Makhamong, Marbau, Miraboo, Miraboo laut, Mirabow, Tat talun, V'ula, Vesi

Characteristics: The narrow sapwood is whitish to pale yellow, the heartwood is orange-brown or dark red-brown. The wood is rather hard and heavy, weighing about 830 Kg / m3 when dried. The texture is course but even, and the grain is interlocked and often wavy. Sulphur-yellow and dark coloured deposits are characteristic. These can be extracted for dye. Merbau has good strength properties.

Working Qualities: There is a tendency for grain tear-out on quarter sawn surfaces during planing and moulding, and for gum to collect on blades. The wood can be stained and polishes to a good finish.

Uses: Merbau is used locally for heavy constructional work, sleepers, axe and tool handles and furniture. The wood has a moderate to high resistance to wear, and is therefore suitable for flooring. It is also used for joinery, furniture and panelling. If used for exterior joinery it will need to be sealed to avoid any stain leaching out.

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