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Kwila, Vitex, Pacific Maple, PNG Rosewood, Queen Ebony
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Vitex (Vitex cofassus - Verbenaceae) also known locally as Vasa or New Guinea Teak

Very durable; it is used for sills, stair-treads, piling, decking, bridging or fences. Typically a little greasy or oily to touch it is dark yellowish-brown to dark olive-brown with slight lustre or sheen due to the oils present. Vitex finishes better than Kwila and is a little easier to work with. It is a stable and strong timber that has been used throughout the Pacific region for generations. It is often compared with Teak, and thus the potential for Vitex in marine applications are obvious.

A comparison to true Teak (Tectona grandis) is not unwarranted: Teak screws and nails extremely well, turns well, and has earned an excellent reputation in cabinets, furniture, joinery and boat-building. In recent times Teak has become expensive. The lower comparative price of Vitex will see it used much more readily in the future for purposes normally reserved for Teak.

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PROPERTIES

Density 700 800kg/m3 @12% m.c
Colour Pale yellowish-brown to greyish, olive-brown.
Texture Fine and even; slightly lustrous.
Grain Sometimes straight but usually interlocked.
Figure Distinct striped or ribbon figure on quarter sawn faces.
Durability Durable.
Permeability Heartwood, impermeable to pressure impregnation.
Lyctid-borer Resistant.
   

WORKABILITY

General Good working and finishing properties, where there are no grain irregularities.
Sawing Readily sawn.
Planing Good planing characteristics with the grain.
Blunting Low.
Boring Excellent characteristics.
Turning Very good characteristics finishing with sharp arrises.
Nailing Nails well, pre-drilling advisable to prevent splitting on board ends.
Gluing Care required due to natural greasiness of wood.
Finishing Works and sands to a smooth finish; takes an excellent polish.
   

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES

Strength SD3 (seasoned).
Structural Grade F27 (select grade).
Toughness (Izod) 7.3J (seasoned), 15J (unseasoned).
Hardness (Janka) 5.6kN (seasoned), 5.1kN (unseasoned).
Max. Crush 64 MPa (seasoned), 42 MPa (unseasoned).
Elasticity 14 GPa (seasoned), 12 GPa (unseasoned).
Rupture 133 MPa (seasoned), 80 MPa (unseasoned).
   

SEASONING

General Seasons slowly, but well, with little degrade. Preferable to preliminary air dry prior to kiln drying. A high humidity equalizing treatment should be applied at end of drying cycle.
Movement Medium.
Shrinkage Medium.