Merbau is medium brown colored wood with reddish/orange highlights with a course graining. Many pieces exhibit yellow “flecking” in the pores.
|Intsia biuga, Intsia palembanica spp.|
Merbau grows in the Indo-Malayan region, as well as in the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, and many of the western Pacific islands.
Ipil, Kwila, Lumpha, Lumpho, Tat-talun, Vesi
Excellent – Change Coefficient .00158 – 57% more stable than Northern Red Oak.
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The heartwood of Merbau is yellowish to orange-brown when freshly cut, turning brown or dark red brown over time. The sapwood is whitish in color, and is well demarcated from the heartwood. Color variation between boards is reported to be moderate to high. The grain is straight to interlocked or wavy and the texture is coarse.
Merbau undergoes a medium to large degree of color change, with the muting of the color variation from when fresh milled and with darkening over time to deeper orangey brown color
Merbau is used not only for flooring but also for fine furniture making, cabinet making, musical instruments, paneling and boat building.
Merbau has excellent dimensional stability being 47 % more stable than Northern Red Oak. However, actual installations have shown significant movement in use. Merbau has a high resistance to termites.
Merbau is difficult to saw as the wood has a tendency to gum up saw blades and dull cutting edges. Carbide tools are recommended. Pre-boring of nail holes is recommended since the wood tends to split. Merbau sands satisfactorily and takes a finish well. Some difficulties have been noted in staining.