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Kwila, Vitex, Pacific Maple, PNG Rosewood, Queen Ebony
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Kwila (Intsia bijuga - Leguminosae) also known locally as Merbau

The Australian and International outdoor furniture industries recognise this species as an extremely useful and versatile hardwood, having given Kwila a Rating One, which is the highest standard of suitability for outdoor furniture timber. If you require lumber that will endure in open sunshine, humid/damp or cold conditions -even snow- look no further. Itís appearance is brownish to dark-red (due to an abundance of oily tannins) and changes to a silver-grey when fully dry. Keeping the rich colour in the wood (some people prefer the silver-grey look) is as simple as applying a little decking oil to the finished surface every twelve months or so. Hard and durable, resistant to termites and decay, and all-weather stability are qualities that make Kwila an appealing choice.

Kwila has been in widespread use for more than 20 years. Although most commonly used in flooring, stair-treads and outdoor decking, many people now own either some form of Kwila product; be it an outdoor table, chair, or even their whole fence- itís popularity in Australia is growing all the time.

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PROPERTIES

Density 850 kg/m3 @ 12% m.c
Colour Yellow-brown or dark brown.
Texture Medium but even; lustrous.
Grain Straight or slightly interlocked, sometimes wavy.
Figure Ribbon figure evident on quarter-sawn faces when interlocked grain present. Cathedral-like figure on backsawn faces due to soft tissue.
Durability Durable out of the ground in exterior situations.
Permeability Heartwood, non-permeable to pressure impregnation.
Lyctid-borer Sapwood is susceptible.
   

WORKABILITY

General Very good working and finishing properties.
Sawing Saws well but saw blades may 'gum-up' after prolonged sawing.
Planing Excellent planing characteristics, cutter edges may ‘gum-up’ after prolonged planing.
Blunting Low.
Boring Additional power required; some burning may occur; clean exit hole.
Turning Good turning properties; smooth with sharp arrises.
Nailing Pre-drilling recommended to alleviate splitting on board-ends.
Gluing Care required to get satisfactory bonding due to the timber’s natural oiliness.
Finishing Takes a high polish; lustrous surface.
   

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES

Strength SD2
Structural Grade F27 (machined-select grade).

Grade F17 (rough-sawn visually-select grade).

Toughness (Izod) 14J (seasoned), 18J (unseasoned).
Hardness (Janka) 8.6kN (seasoned), 7.6kN (unseasoned).
Max. Crush 81MPa (seasoned), 55MPa (unseasoned).
Elasticity 18GPa (seasoned), 15GPa (unseasoned).
Rupture 147MPa (seasoned), 103MPa (unseasoned).
   

SEASONING

General Seasons well with little degrade.
Movement Very low.
Shrinkage Very low.