Common Name(s): Merbau

Botanical Name: Intsia biuga / Intsia palembanica

Woodworking Qualities: Carbide cutting tools are highly recommended because of Merbau's tendency to dull cutting-edge tools. Both species of Merbau sand and finish exceptionally. It must be noted that contact with iron or other ferrous metals can affect the coloration of Merbau, turning it black.

Janka Rating: Merbau's Janka rating of 1712 marks it as a particularly hard wood. It approaches the ratings of some of the exotic hardwoods and is elevated above other woods like Red Oak and Wenge.

Species Characteristics: Merbau is very resistant to termites, and compares with Hickory for durability, but is less dense. Structurally, Merbau is very stable.

Appearance: After being cut, Merbau's heartwood is a yellow-brown to orange-brown color, and darkens to more brown and reddish with time. The graining of this wood can be interlocked, wavy, or straight. Something particular about Merbau is the sometimes apparent yellow or goldish flecks that can make the appearance seemed speckled with gold.

Color Change: Merbau's coloring undergoes a darkening to a richer orangey brown color after installation, with a general muting of the variation of colors present when freshly milled.

Uses: Primary uses for Merbau are cabinetry, furniture, decorative woodwork, and musical instruments, in addition to flooring.

Merbau Origin:

Grown in Indonesia and the indo-malaysian regions near Sumatra and Borneo, and as far into the pacific islands as the Philippines.
Intsia biuga / Intsia palembanica