Merbau

lpil, kwila, Intsia spp.

Appearance

Merbau

Shown with water-based finish (top), and oil-based finish (bottom)

Color: Heartwood is yellowish to orange-brown when freshly cut, turning brown or dark red-brown upon exposure.

Grain: Straight to interlocked or wavy; coarse texture.

Species & Grade Variations: Moderate to high variation in color.

Properties

Hardness (Janka): 1925; 49% harder than Northern Red Oak.

Dimensional Stability: Excellent (change coefficient .00158; 57% more stable than Red Oak). However, actual installations have demonstrated significant movement in use.

Durability: Strength is comparable to Hickory, but density is somewhat lower.

Workability

Sawing/Machining: Sawing is difficult; wood gums saw teech and dulls cutting edges; carbide tooling recommended.

Sanding: Sands satisfactorily.

Nailing: Good holding ability.

Finishing: Wood stains black in contact with ferrous metals or moisture.

Comments: High resistance to termites.

Cost

(Relative to plain sawn select Red Oak)
Multiplier: 1.25

Availability

Limited.