Mengkulang Hardwood


Mengkulang wood, scientifically known as Heritiera javanica, is a versatile timber with a wide range of uses in furniture, joinery, and cabinetmaking. The heartwood of this species ranges from almost white when freshly cut to pale orange-brown, bluish-pink, red, red-brown, or a deep golden-brown. It can also feature dark streaks on longitudinal surfaces and red flecks from large rays on quartered surfaces. The grain of Mengkulang can vary from straight to very interlocked, which can give it a fiddleback or ray figure. The surface of the wood is typically glossy and has a coarse and even texture with a greasy feel. The sapwood is pale and not always clearly differentiated from the heartwood.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Kembang, Huynh, Choboch, Chopwoch, Dongtchem

Durability Notes:
Mengkulang wood has some durability but is considered non durable and not suited for exterior applications

The drying and seasoning of Mengkulang 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; Mengkulang - dries well and quickly with little impact on the grade and quality of the wood, but can be subject to surface checking and sometimes to warping and twisting. 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.

Mengkulang is a dense, heavy wood has medium stiffness, bending strength and resistance to shock loads. Mengkulang has high crushing strength but is not suitable for steam bending. Sawing and planing, turning, morticing and moulding are all challenging. Mengkulang is challenging to work with hand tools and needs pre-drilling for nails and screws. The wood glues adequately and stains, paints, oils and polishes well with some effort.

Typical Uses:
furniture, boatbuilding, flooring, paneling, joinery, carving, turnery, veneer, decorative trim.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Mengkulang Wood

Is Mengkulang a hardwood or a softwood? Mengkulang is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Mengkulang hardwood or softwood? - Mengkulang 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 Mengkulang 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 Mengkulang? Mengkulang can be described as brown, dark brown, red

Is Mengkulang good for outdoor use? or is Mengkulang good for exterior use? Mengkulang is most suited for internal/interior use. Mengkulang should not 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

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