This weekend a friend brought me a sample of wood that is used in
shipping platforms for a product from Asia. It appears to be very
tight grained and heavier than oak. I have access to all the 4 x 4 x
5' timbers I can haul. From what I see after cleaning up these blocks
that were nailed to the timbers I think I have a real gloat here. I
have posted a couple of pictures in the woodworking pictures group and
would be interested to know what I have here, but I guess not
necessary. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Keep in mind that wood for pallets and crates is not dried to the same specs
that furniture grade wood would be. Let it dry or check it with a moisture
meter to be sure of what you have. It was probably fumigated also so some
air time is good to dissipate any outgassing.
I've recovered some of the wood used for dunnage and had good results with
it but I did not use it for a year.
Friend of mine's dad was transferred to Vanuatu, and came back 2yrs later.
The locals packed everything in HUGE crates nearly 8 feet long. When they
arrived, his dad knew what he had, so he asked that the crates be delivered
to his house un-touched.
When he got home, he uncrated the stuff and stored the 4/4 ROSEWOOD planks
that they used - all 55 or 60 of them - in his garage. Let them dry for a
LONG time and to air out, and when I made a dresser out of it a year ago,
the results were speechlessly fantastic.
You're absolutely right, I was thinkin' of the run-of-the-mill stuff. I
miss cheap mahogany ply and expensive pine. Life was ruff. Also the
weekly fiestas. And the diving. And the hunting. Damn, I wish my Ex
Dave in Fairfax
reply-to doesn't work
daveldr at att dot net
I'm getting real happy now! I slabbed off a one inch board and I have
never seen anything so perfect. It almost looks like it's not real!
I'm going to make the 60 mile trip and pick up about 50 of them.
Hopefully they will dry out after I resaw them in about a year.
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 05:54:31 -0600, Rodger Pevehouse
Lauan is a common name that is applied to Asian wood from any
of four different genuses (red meranti is one) and about
200 species. The properties range from almost as hard and dense
as teak to almost as soft and light as balsa. Colors range from
pale tan though yellowish to dark red. The grain often resembles
mahogany. Some are so resinous that the surface is sticky after
being planed. Some have excellent rot resistant and are substituted
for teak for outdoor furniture.
Proabably the crating/pallet material is a mix of those lauans.
Out of curiosity, what is the product and where is it being received?
Once when driving from Balmore to Philladelphia I looked off the the
right of the highway (I think it was I-95) and saw the mother of all
pallet dumps in the middle of a big vacant lot. Probably these were
mostly imports. I wonder what sorts of wood might be found there.
+ + +
Basically this is right but it is an oversimplification.
"lauan" is the Philippine name for a type of wood that is found in a much
larger region, and has other names in other areas, such as "meranti" or
"seraya". Botanically there are two (three) genera ('genuses') involved:
Shorea and Parashorea (plus a bit of Hopea), and indeed 200 species is as
good a guess as any for the number of species in these two genera. There are
indeed four tradegroups in the "lauan" category of wood: (1) white, (2)
yellow, (3) red and (4) dark red. In addition Shorea yields three more trade
groups: (5) bangkirai, (6) red balau and (7) balau.
+ + +
soft and light as balsa.
+ + +
Just about. The hardest woods in Shorea are much harder than teak (teak not
being particularly hard), but the heavier grades of Shorea are not in the
+ + +
resembles mahogany. Some are so resinous that the surface is sticky after
being planed. Some have excellent rot resistant and are substituted for
teak for outdoor furniture.
+ + +
Well, going by the picture I would tend to vote against lauan
(the second from the right being the most likely candidate for lauan).
As far as anything can be told by the picture the three on the right may (or
may not) be the suggested apitong (Dipterocarpus: a nasty wood, but useful
in rugged work) as they have the same sheen and are more or less in that
color range. The three on the left could be any of a number of woods.
But the picture is such that any guess is just that: a guess
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