September 5, 2016
Facts You Didn’t Know About Merbau Timber Decking
Here are a few fun facts about Merbau timber decking that you may not know.
- Merbau timber is imported from Southeast Asia. The species Intsia bijuga grows naturally in much of the Pacific Rim region, particularly the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea.
- Merbau is a hardwood. Literally. It is one of the hardest and most durable timber species available. It is so tough and durable that special machinery — and a lot of saw blades — are needed to harvest, process and manufacture the timber.
- Merbau is so tough even termites hate it and want nothing to do with it whatsoever.
- The secret to Merbau timbers strength, durability and good looks is the abundance of natural oils within the wood. This natural oil also protects the timber from shrinking, cracking and splitting. However, the oil contains a water soluble compound called tannin that “bleeds” out and can stain surrounding areas for a period after it is cut. This bleeding out will continue for as long as tannin is present in the timber. That is why it pays to be wary of the surface over which you build and whether tannin bleed will stain it. If this is the case it makes sense to wash your timber extensively in an area that will not stain (ie over lawn) before you build
- As tough as it is, Merbau timber is relatively easy to bend and turn. That is why it is used extensively in applications such as boat-building and furniture-making.
- Some people have been known to be allergic to Merbau, especially when cutting and its sawdust flies freely in the air. Always wear protective gear when working with it and have allergy medication on hand.
- When properly treated, Merbau timber decking will serve you for as long as half a century.
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