BOTANICAL NAME: Intsia bijuga, Intsia palembanica, Intsia amboinensis of the family Fabaceae (syn Leguminosae) the legume, pea, or bean family. Synonyms include Intsia bakeri and Intsia plurijuga
COMMON NAMES: aizella, anglai, bafn ooi, bendora, borneo teak, choyo, dedira, dort, dowora, eh, finuki-ukaba, ghughole, go nuoe, go nvoe, go-nuoe, gox nuwowse, hintsy, hintzy, ifet, ifil, ihili, ipi, ipil, ipil (philippines), isere, ivili, kaboing, kajoe besi, kayu besi, kebuk, kelo, kivili, krakas prek, kubok, kubuk, kuren, kwila, kwila (new guinea), lehase, lum-pho, lumpha, lumpho, lumpho (thailand), lumpho-thale, makhamong, makhar, marbau, maroeasi, melila, mer, merbau, merbau (malaya), merbau changkat, merbaue, miraboo, miraboo laut, mirabow, moluccan ijzerhout, moluccan ironwood, nityanmis, ombong, pas, pradu-thale, sabol, sekka, show, sira, tariti, tashiro-mame, tat talun, tat-talun, tat-talun (burma), telat, thort, tos, tuamis, u'ula, v'ula, vesi, vesi (fiji islands), vuvuta, wantal, waroeasi, wesele, zolt, zort
COLOR: The heartwood is yellowish to orange-brown initially, but it matures into brown or dark red-brown. Color variation between boards is moderate to high. Sapwood pale yellow to light buff, sharply demarcated from the heartwood and typically 1.5" to 2" wide. Vessels are often filled with yellowish or whitish deposits, conspicuous on the surface. Wood in contact with ferrous metal and moisture may be stained black.
GRAIN / TEXTURE / FILLER / FINISH / LUSTER: The grain is straight to interlocked or wavy, producing an attractive, ribbon figure on radial surfaces. Texture is coarse sometimes with an oily feel, sometimes lustrous. General finishing qualities are rated as good. Takes stains, varnish, and paint well and is reported to have good polishing characteristics, but occasional surface preparation may be required because of oily patches.
Pores usually contain water soluble yellowish deposits which are conspicuous on wood surface. A dark brown gummy substance which may stain textiles is also reported to leach out steadily with water.
PROPERTIES / WORKABILITY: A moderately heavy, hard, and dense wood, with strength properties that are similar to those of Hickory. Splits easily, especially during nailing, so pre-boring is recommended when nailing or screwing. Holds nails and screws well (when it doesn't split). It responds well to hand tools, but cutting edges are gummed up easily and dulled quickly. Carbide tipped tools are recommended. It is reported to have good boring, routing, turning, and mortising properties, except for the severe dulling effect on cutting edges. When molding quartersawn surfaces, it is recommended that a 20 degree cutting angle be used to minimize tear and pick up. Reports say it is easily carved and sands and glues well (except with casein glues) but requires considerable filling and oily surfaces may cause difficulties with both operations. Veneering Qualities are poor.
DURABILITY: Generally reputed to have good durability; heartwood highly resistant to termite attack but susceptible to marine borers. Sapwood prone to powder-post beetle attack. Heartwood is impermeable to preservatives, but the sapwood is treatable.
STABILITY: Seasoned lumber is reported to exhibit small movement, but there are reports of significant movement in actual installations.
BENDING: Steam bending characteristics are rated as poor because of oil exudations.
ODOR / TASTE: Dry material is reported to have a distinct odor which is easily detectable when it is being worked. The wood also has an astringent taste.
SOURCES: Africa, Oceania and S.E. Asia, Indo-Malayan region, Indonesia, Philippines, and many of the western Pacific islands as well as Australia. May be locally common in lowland forests, transition zones behind mangroves.
Specific countries mentioned include: American Samoa, Australia, Burma, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kampuchea, Madagascar (at low altitudes in the west), Madagascar, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Caledonia Island [France], New Caledonia, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Thailand, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.
USES: agricultural implements, bedroom suites, boat building, boxes and crates, bridge construction, building construction, building materials, cabin construction, cabinetmaking, canoes, carvings, chairs, chests, concealed parts (furniture), construction, crossties, decks, decorative turnery, desks, dining-room furniture, domestic flooring, dowell pins, dowels, drawer sides, drum sticks, electronics cabinets, excelsior, factory construction, factory flooring, fine furniture, fine joinery, floor lamps, flooring, flooring: commercial heavy traffic, flooring: industrial heavy traffic, food containers, furniture components, furniture squares or stock, furniture, handles, handles: general, hatracks, heavy construction, joinery (external with ground contact), joinery (external): ground contact, joinery, kitchen cabinets, ladders, lifeboats, light construction, living-room suites, marine construction, mathematical instruments, mine timbers, musical instruments, office furniture, organ pipes, paneling, parquet flooring, piano keys, pianos, piling, plywood, poles, posts, pulp/paper products, railroad ties, rustic furniture, shafts and handles, shipbuilding, sounding boards, specialty items, specialty items., sporting goods, stools, sub-flooring, tables, tool handles, toys, turnery, utility furniture, vats, vehicle parts, veneer: decorative, violin bows, violin, wardrobes, wharf construction, wheel spokes, xylophones
The wood is also a dye source.
TREE: A large tree often with a rather short, thick bole, sometimes to 50 feet in height, often fluted; trunk diameters to 5 ft above large spreading buttresses.
WEIGHT: 46 to 52 lbs/cu ft
DRYING: The wood is reported to season well with little degrade although it may distort slightly and split or check. Some reports say case hardening can occur. It should be end-sealed to prevent end-checking. Air drying to 30% moisture content has been recommended before kiln drying to minimize degrade.
AVAILABILITY: infrequently available in the USA
TOXICITY: some reports say respiratory and dermtitic effects are possible
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The two very closely related species are widely distributed throughout Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Solomons, Vanuatu). The resource is not large, but international demand for the timber is high.