Dark Red Meranti
Dark Red Meranti is a tropical hardwood species native to Southeast Asia. It is often referred to by its botanical name Shorea pauciflora. The heartwood of this species is typically a greyish-pink color, sometimes appearing light pink to red. The grain is usually interlocked or crossed, with a moderately coarse texture and occasional dark flecks. Meranti is generally considered to be a durable wood species, but is less dense than Sapele and may not machine or finish as well. Dark Red Meranti is typically more economical than 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.
Commonly asked questions about Meranti Wood
Is Meranti a hardwood or a softwood? Meranti is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Meranti hardwood or softwood? - Meranti is a hardwood.
Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Meranti family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.
What colour is Meranti? Meranti can be described as brown, pink/pale red, red
Is Meranti good for outdoor use? or is Meranti good for exterior use? Meranti is most suited for exterior/external use. Meranti can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).
Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood