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KEMPAS

Koompassia spp.

Includes at least Koompassia grandiflora, Koompassia beccarianna, Koompassia borneensis, Koompassia excelsa, and Koompassia malaccensis of the family Fabaceae (syn Leguminosae) the legume, pea, or bean family

also widely spelled "kampas", this is a heavy, coarse-grained wood that is primarily used for construction and flooring. I have never encountered this wood as a veneer



my samples:


both sides of a sample plank of kempas / Koompassia malaccensis


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of kempas / Koompassia malaccensis --- note that most of this piece is sapwood. The one directly above has only a small edge of sapwood


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of quartersawn kempas / Koompassia malaccensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The slightly darker color of the labeled side is correct


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of quartersawn kempas / Koompassia malaccensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


flooring sample kindly donated by Dale Romain. This piece has been only rough sanded and you can easily see the belt-sanding scratch marks across the grain. The 2nd pic is moistened with water. Well, OK, if you want to get picky, the pic isn't moistened with water, the wood is. The moistened pic shows up an effect that I did not see at all in the dry wood and that is the apparent presence of ray flakes. I say "apparent" because their direction relative to the grain makes them suspiciously unlike normal ray flakes but I don't know what else they could be. Below are a set of pics taken much later and after the wood was sandeded again, and the flakes are gone.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


another set of pics (the last one moistened) taken many years after the first set above. I note two things. First, the wood has darkened substantially even though it was in a closed box with no direct or indirect sunlight, and second, all traces of the flakes mentioned above disappeared after the extra sanding.


two planks contributed to the site by Mike Stafford, who sent them to me in the hopes that I could ID them. They sat on the Mystery Wood page (#169) for a couple of years and might have stayed there forever except that when I started doing the END GRAIN UPDATE process, I noticed that the end grain is clearly kempas and then realized that so is the face grain. Interestingly, Mike had heard when he got the wood that it might be "Borneo ironwood", which I could not confirm, but kempas is from Borneo, which is a nice tie-in. Also, these pieces are about 60lb/cu.ft. which is right at the reported upper end of the range for kempas.


various end grain shots


end grain closeups


end grain closeup and the corresponding END GRAIN UPDATE, which is what convinced me that this is kempas.


side grain closeups which emphasize nicely has grainy kempas is.



web pics:


plank listed as kempas / Koompassia malaccensis


planks


plank with unlikely color, even if it has been moistened


flooring. This species is heavily used for flooring and there are many sites on the Internet that show it in that use.