Physical Properties of Meranti:
Air Dry Density: 560 – 865 kg/m3
Shrinkage Radial: 1.1. – 2.1 %
Tangential: 2.9 – 4.4 %
Seasoning: Dries fairly fast and is free from seasoning defects.
Mechanical Properties of Meranti:
Strength Group: C
MOR: 74 – 92 N/mm2
Compression Strength Perpendicular to Grain: 2.97 – 5.03 N/mm2
Parallel to Grain: 38.80 – 52.90 N/mm2
Shear Strength: 8.00 – 11.40 N/mm2
Durability: Moderately Durable
Red Meranti – General Description
Meranti traditionally grows in well-drained soils at low altitudes. In ideal conditions, a meranti tree can reach a 200' height and a trunk diameter of 6'. A lumberman's dream, it will also be branch free for 90'. The bases of some trees feature the vanelike supports called buttresses. Light-red and dark-red meranti produce medium-to-coarse textured wood that ranges in color from pale pink to brown and reddish-brown. The grain may be slightly interlocked. At about 36 pounds per cubic foot air-dry, meranti is heavier than Honduras mahogany.
The five main groupings for Meranti (Lauan) are: Light Red Meranti, Dark Red Meranti, White Meranti, Yellow Meranti, and Balau. The strength and mechanical values listed at the top of this page represent the average of a handful of species within the corresponding group.
Red Meranti is moderately coarse and even. Red meranti rays are medium-sized and visible to the naked eye on the cross section, fairly conspicuous on the radial surface.
Source: Malaysian Timber Industry Board, 1994, ‘100 Malaysian Timbers’ 2nd Edition
Red Meranti - Machining Methods
Medium-to-coarse-grained Meranti rips easily, but unless you use a smooth-cutting planer blade, expect to find a rather rough sawn edge of tiny fibers that require sanding to remove.
Plane Meranti to thickness by taking shallow cuts to avoid chipping and tearing.
Not as hard as mahogany, and a bit brittle, Meranti tends to easily tear out or splinter in jointing. But unlike some types of pine and fir that yield long splinters, those of Meranti tend to be short.
Crosscutting with either hand or power tools require a fence or backing board on the exit side to prevent splintering, known as tear out. This also applies to routing across the grain. Always use sharp bits and blades for the least amount of aggravation.
On the scroll saw or with a jigsaw, avoid ragged cuts by sawing with a fine-toothed blade.
Meranti, unlike some tropical woods (teak, for instance), does not contain extractives or traces of silica, so all types of woodworking glues work well.
Screws (predrill for these) and nails hold well in meranti.
Although this tropical wood accepts all types of stains and finishes, you should fill its open grain to obtain the smoothest, most attractive surface. Meranti holds paint well, too, but either fill first or use a good primer coat over its open grain.
Makers of classical furniture loved genuine mahogany because it could be carved in intricate detail. Not so with Meranti. Chipping, occasional brittleness, and its open grain defeat attempts at fine detail that you might want to create.
To avoid chipping, power carvers should use the less aggressive bits when working Meranti.
Red Meranti - Uses / Applications:
• Interior Fittings
• Door & Window Frames
• Utility Flooring
• Fancy Doors
• Boat Construction
• Veneer & Plywood