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Merbau (Intsia spp.) Common Name(s): Merbau, Kwila, IpilScientific Name: Intsia spp. (I. bijuga, I. palembanica)Distribution: From East Africa to Southeast Asia and Australia; (primarily New Guinea)Tree Size: 130-200 ft (40-60 m) tall, 4-5 ft (1.2-1.5 m) trunk diameterAverage Dried Weight: 51 lbs/ft3 (815 kg/m3)Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .68, .82Janka Hardness: 1,840 lbf (7,620 N)Modulus of Rupture: 21,060 lbf/in2 (145.2 MPa)Elastic Modulus: 2,310,000 lbf/in2 (15.93 GPa)Crushing Strength: 10,650 lbf/in2 (73.4 MPa)Shrinkage: Radial: 2.9%, Tangential: 4.8%, Volumetric: 8.0%, T/R Ratio: 1.7Color/Appearance: Has an orangish-brown color when freshly cut, which ages to a darker reddish-brown. Color between boards can be highly variable. There are also small yellow mineral deposits found throughout the wood, making it easier to separate from other lookalikes. (These yellow deposits are water-soluble and can cause staining.)Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to interlocked. Texture is coarse, with a moderate natural luster.Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large to very large pores, very few; solitary and radial multiples; mineral deposits occasionally present, including conspicuous yellow deposits; narrow rays, normal spacing; parenchyma banded (marginal), paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (winged or lozenge), and confluent.Rot Resistance: Merbau is reported to be very durable, and resists both rotting and insect attack.Workability: Glues and finishes well, though it can be difficult to saw [...]

Wood Identification Guide

ad by Eric Meier When attempting to identify a wood sample, it's important to keep in mind the limitations and obstacles that are present in our task. Before starting, please have a look at The Truth Behind Wood Identification to approach the task in a proper mindset; I consider the linked article to be required reading for all those visiting my site with the intent of identifying wood. 1. Confirm it is actually solid wood. Before proceeding too much farther into the remaining steps, it's first necessary to confirm that the material in question is actually a solid piece of wood, and not a man-made composite or piece of plastic made to imitate wood. A solid piece of Cocobolo: note how the grain naturally wraps around the sides and endgrain of the wood. Can you see the end-grain? Manufactured wood such as MDF, OSB, and particleboard all have a distinct look that is—in nearly all cases—easily distinguishable from the endgrain of real wood. Look for growth rings—formed by the yearly growth of a tree—which will be a dead-giveaway that the wood sample in question is a solid, genuine chunk of wood taken from a tree. [...]

The Periodic Table of Wood

Woods featured on the poster: [expand title="NORTH AMERICA (27 species)"] Alder, Red Ash, White Baldcypress Basswood Birch, Yellow Box Elder Butternut Cedar, Eastern Red Cedar, Western Red Cherry, Black Chestnut, American Elm, Red Fir, Douglas Hickory, Shagbark Locust, Black Maple, Hard Oak, Red Oak, White Osage Orange Pine, Southern Yellow Poplar, Yellow Redwood Sassafras Spruce, Sitka Sycamore Walnut, Black Walnut, Claro [/expand] [expand title="CENTRAL AMERICA (20 species)"] Balsa Bocote Cedar, Spanish Chakte Viga Chechen Cocobolo Goncalo Alves Jatoba Katalox Kingwood Leopardwood Lignum Vitae Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany, Santos Monkeypod Primavera Purpleheart Redheart Rosewood, Honduran Ziricote [/expand] [expand title="SOUTH AMERICA (18 species)"] Bloodwood Canarywood Cebil Cumaru Greenheart Imbuia Ipe Lacewood Macacauba Marblewood Mesquite, Black Pau Ferro Rosewood, Brazilian Snakewood Tulipwood Verawood Walnut, Peruvian Yellowheart [/expand] [expand title="EUROPE (13 species)"] Ash, European Beech, European Birch, Masur Boxwood Cedar of Lebanon Elm, Wych Oak, English Olive Plane, London Spruce, Norway Sycamore Maple Walnut, English Yew, English [/expand] [expand title="AFRICA (20 species)"] Afrormosia Afzelia Anigre Blackwood, African Bubinga Ebony, Gaboon Iroko Limba Mahogany, African Makore Mansonia Movingui Muninga Ovangkol Padauk Pink Ivory Sapele Walnut, [...]

Hardwood Anatomy

by Eric Meier ©OutlineVessel elements: porosity, arrangement, size, frequency, contentsParenchyma: apotracheal, paratrachealRays: width, spacing, aggregate, noded, storiedWood fibersMonocots: palm, bamboo In sharp contrast to the simple anatomy of softwoods, the hardwoods of the world exhibit a dazzling array of endgrain patterns and intricate motifs; and it’s in this complexity that the challenge (and joy) of wood identification really comes alive. An unknown hardwood sample could be just about anything under the sun, yet as each anatomical feature is considered, anything is narrowed down to something.That is to say, throughout the identification process, the more observations that can be made and classified about a hardwood sample, the more and more the field of possible candidates narrows. Ultimately, the point is reached where no further refinements can be recorded, and either a clear identification emerges, or a handful of possibilities remain.As discussed on the page The Truth Behind Wood Identification, a positive identification down to the species level isn’t always possible, but generally, anything can be narrowed down to a more descriptive something, and in many cases, the genus or family of the wood can usually be ascertained. To begin this process, the largest and most conspicuous anatomical elements are examined first. [...]

Wood Allergies and Toxicity

by Eric Meier "Not to omit any one of them, the yew is similar to these other trees in general appearance . . . It is an ascertained fact that travellers' vessels, made in Gaul of this wood, for the purpose of holding wine, have caused the death of those who used them." –Pliny the Elder, from Naturalis Historia, ca. 77 AD Looking at the above quotation, (taken from a writing nearly two thousand years old), ought to bring—at the very least—a small bit of respect and attention to the matter of safety as it pertains to wood toxicity. If this subject has been known and reported as "ascertained fact" since ancient history, how much more ought we to take heed in modern times, considering that we have so many more well-developed means of communication and testing? Wood Toxicity and Allergen Chart Below you'll find a chart of various wood species, along with their reported effects and properties. The information on this chart has been compiled from many sources, with references given at the bottom. When viewing the chart, please keep the follow in mind: Just because any given wood is not listed on the chart, does not mean that [...]

Worldwide Woods, a new poster Temporarily unavailable! Please use the email signup list below to be notified as soon as the poster becomes available for sale. Over 500 worldwide woods pictured 24" wide (61 cm) x 36" tall (91 cm) Divided into 8 geographical regions $30 (shipped by Alder, Red (Alnus rubra) Ash, Black (Fraxinus nigra) Ash, Green (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) Ash, White (Fraxinus americana) Aspen, Bigtooth (Populus grandidentata) Aspen, Quaking (Populus tremuloides) Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) Basswood (Tilia americana) Beech, American (Fagus grandifolia) Birch, Paper (Betula papyrifera) Birch, Yellow (Betula alleghaniensis) Box Elder (Acer negundo) Buckeye, Yellow (Aesculus flava) Buckthorn, Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana) Butternut (Juglans cinerea) Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) Cedar, Atlantic White (Chamaecyparis thyoides) Cedar, Eastern Red (Juniperus virginiana) Cedar, Incense (Calocedrus decurrens) Cedar, Northern White (Thuja occidentalis) Cedar, Port Orford (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) Cedar, Western Red (Thuja plicata) Cedar, Yellow (Cupressus nootkatensis) Cherry, Black (Prunus serotina) Chestnut, American (Castanea dentata) Chinkapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla) Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) [...]

Fluorescence: A Secret Weapon in Wood Identification

by Eric Meier While certain woods can appear basically identical to one another under normal lighting conditions, when exposed to certain wavelengths—such as those found in blacklights, (which are mostly invisible to the naked eye)—the wood will absorb and emit light in a different (visible) wavelength. This phenomenon is known as fluorescence, and certain woods can be distinguished by the presence or absence of their fluorescent qualities. One of the best examples of fluorescence is found in Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), which is very similar to Mulberry (Morus spp.) in both appearance and weight. But one way to easily distinguish the two is by observing them under a blacklight; Black Locust will emit a strong yellow-green glow, while Mulberry will be non-reactive. The process of detecting fluorescence in wood samples need not be intimidating or limited to the scientific community—blacklight bulbs are available in many hardware stores for only a few dollars and can be used in standard lamp sockets. (These bulbs should never be confused with germicidal ultraviolet bulbs such as those used in UV sterilizers, which emit UVB or UVC  light, which can pose serious health hazards.) ebay Even though the process of detecting fluorescence is very simple, [...]

Restricted and Endangered Wood Species

by Eric Meier The issue and ethics surrounding the utilization of trees for lumber is oftentimes both expansive and ambiguous. Not only are there questions of sustainability (i.e., given the current rate of harvesting, can a particular species continue to reproduce at a sustainable rate so that demand will not outstrip supply?), but there's also the matter of habitat destruction (i.e., even if a tree species can be sustainably harvested from the wild, would doing so destroy or endanger other species in the same habitat?). Further mixed into this murky cocktail is the fact that for some countries—especially poorer third-world countries—lumber is big business, and placing a restriction on such a lucrative sector of their commerce would be seen as counter-productive, and consequently actual or potential levels of exploitation may not be easily or readily discovered. However, despite the complexity of the issue, and the incomplete or even possibly faulty data, some information is better than no information. With these shortcomings in mind, there are two international entities that will be used and cited on this website, CITES and the IUCN. CITES An international agreement between governments was formed in 1973, called the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, or CITES for short. CITES has [...]

Wood Trading

by Eric Meier (IWCS #9701)Are you interested in getting or using new and unusual wood species? Are you a wood collector? If so, maybe we can trade. If you are a member of the International Wood Collectors Society (IWCS), then you probably already know that the standard size for wood samples is 6" (long) x 3" (wide) x 1/2" (thick). What I've got for tradePlease note that this is not a for-sale list—I'm only looking to extend my diversity of wood species and therefore multiply the reach of the site. For purchasing wood samples, I'd direct you to other sources such as Gary Green, Carlton McLendon Inc, or the man who quite literally wrote the book on wood collecting, Alan Curtis. # Common Name Scientific Name Notes 001Pacific silver firAbies amabilisknot002Pacific silver firAbies amabilisapproximately 2.4" wide006Box elderAcer negundodefects007Red mapleAcer rubrumslight defects008Hard mapleAcer saccharum009Mountain mapleAcer spicatumglued up (two piece), defects010Ambrosia mapleAcer sp.011Ambrosia mapleAcer sp.streaked, but without bug holes012Yellow buckeyeAesculus flava (= A. octandra)191ChamfutaAfzelia quanzensis013KauriAgathis australisswamp-recovered Kauri015LebbeckAlbizia lebbeck158LebbeckAlbizia lebbeck2 7/8" wide016Black sirisAlbizia odoratissima017BoonareeAlectryon oleifoliusglued up (two piece), 7/16" thick, 5 3/4" long018BoonareeAlectryon oleifoliusmostly sapwood019BulokeAllocasuarina luehmanniiminor defects020BulokeAllocasuarina luehmanniidefects021BulokeAllocasuarina luehmannii022Red alderAlnus rubraknot one side259Emien Alstonia congensis2 7/8" [...]

WOOD! book: Identifying and Using Hundreds of Woods Worldwide

AN AMAZON BEST-SELLER   BE BACK IN A JIFFY... The book is temporarily out of stock! I've got more books on the way, but sometimes trucks can be slow... So use the form below to be notified just as soon as the book is back in stock. (5/31/2019) EMAIL ADDRESS 272 Pages 8.5" x 11" page size (22 cm x 28 cm). Full color throughout; Hundreds of images. Hardcover With a sewn binding and jacket-less design to stand up to the rigors of nearly any wood shop. $35 Price Robust, trusted ordering through Amazon. Free domestic shipping; reasonable int’l rates.* Over 350 woods covered Over 100 full-page wood profiles Over 100 half-page wood profiles Data on over 150 related species * Shipping currently not available to Canada or Australia. WOOD SPECIES COVERED IN THE BOOK Full-page profile [...]