The heartwood of Meranti can be grey with a pinkish look. It can appear light pink to red. The grain is normally interlocked or crossed, and has a moderately coarse texture. There can be some dark flecks. Meranti is often compared to Sapele due to similar appearance but Meranti is less dense and does not machine or finish as well is Sapele although Meranti is considered durable and is typically more economical that Sapele
The alternative Malaysian name for the wood of S. pauciflora is nemesu. Shorea pauciflora King. is the principal species producing dark red seraya from Sabah, locally known also as oba suluk
Meranti is poor to moderately durable and the sapwood is vulnerable to attack from the common furniture beetle. It can be treated but the heartwood can be resistant to preservative treatment. Often used for external joinery but it is recommended that it is decorated.
The drying and seasoning of Meranti is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Meranti - Generally dries easily with little impact on the grade and quality of the wood. Thin timber sections can, however, warp and thick material may suffer surface checking. There is only small movement in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.
Dark Red Meranti - medium crushing and bending strength. Low shock resistance and stiffness. It has a good steam-bending properties. The wood works well but a reduced cutting angle is recommended when machine-planing sections with interlocked grain. There is only a slight blunting effect on tooling. Dark red Meranti is usually easy to turn, drill and carve. It glues, paints, stains and oils well.
Furniture and cabinetmaking, joinery, kitchen cabinets, office furniture, domestic flooring, boat planking, rough construction, veneer and plywood.
Possible Health Risks:
Dermatitis and irritation to nose, throat and eyes (low risk)
Considered critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (this was last assessed in 1998 and considerable changes in awareness and more stringent forestry controls may have had an impact and the results of the latest assessment is due soon) for more information and latest updates please visit http://www.iucnredlist.org and type in the botanical name of the species into the search box. It should also be noted that one unintentional shortcoming of the Red List is that it only considers the risk of extinction; broader issues dealing with habitat destruction or deforestation are not considered. Also, it does not necessarily take into account the maturity of the trees (i.e., centuries-old trees are cut down, and subsequently replanted with saplings) Therefore we hope that further assessments will consider this long term commitment to re-growth.
Wood Worker's Thoughts:
Grain lifts slightly and can be challenging to get a good smooth finish. Beetle holes can often be present and although not live or detrimental to the timber, they can affect the appearance. Generally works well and a relatively inexpensive red coloured hardwood.