Lauan: the Philippine mahogany that is no more.
At one time, the most often exported wood from the Philippines was lauan, a hardwood also known as Philippine mahogany. But today, if you write about lauan, you are writing an obituary of sort. For although it was once a dominant species, lauan has virtually disappeared from the market.
Philippine mahogany is the general name given to a wide variety of related woods imported from the Philippine Islands, Malaysia and Indonesia. Of all the hardwoods, Philippine lauan was once the most plentiful. However, Holden Clarke, president of the Clarke Veneers and Plywood, said the situation concerning lauan supplies has changed -- true lauan from the Philippines is no longer available. As Clarke explained, the supplies of lauan have been dwindling dwin·dle
v. dwin·dled, dwin·dling, dwin·dles
To become gradually less until little remains.
To cause to dwindle. See Synonyms at decrease. for the last 10 to 15 years. "The Philippines now export 1 percent of what they exported 15 years ago. Next year, that number will probably be 0.5 percent."
Clarke said he believes that the country depleted de·plete
tr.v. de·plet·ed, de·plet·ing, de·pletes
To decrease the fullness of; use up or empty out.
[Latin d its plentiful supplies of lauan by clearcutting with no regard to conservation or forestry management. "The country is filled with huge, modern mills that have no log supplies." Clarke said his son Stuart has been active in developing supplies that will substitute for lauan. Substitutes now come from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and Africa.
Rob Gross, vice president of Gross Veneer veneer (vənēr`), thin leaf of wood applied with glue to a panel or frame of solid wood. The art of veneer developed with early civilization. Sales, agreed that lauan is virtually non-existent on the market. "The name 'lauan group' still gets used for wood from Indonesia and Malaysia even though it is not a commercially viable species. I have heard people talk about lauan drawer sides, but it is probably meranti meranti, any of several species of Shorea, the most important timber genus in tropical Asia, of the family Dipterocarpaceae. Meranti is an important emergent tree of the tropical forests of Asia. in the drawer sides," said Gross.
"Our specialty was in veneer and some plywood. We bought our supplies from the Philippines, but the forests have been logged out," said Gross. "Also, the political situation made it very difficult to log what was left because of the guerrilla fighting in that country. Some logging mills were even under attack. The political situation coupled with the dwindling natural resources have made it hard to do business with the$Philippines. The bulk of demand for supplies was shifted to Malaysia and Indonesia."
Philippine mahogany a misnomer misnomer n. the wrong name.
MISNOMER. The act of using a wrong name.
2. Misnomers, may be considered with regard to contracts, to devises and bequests, and to suits or actions.
The term Philippine mahogany is technically a misnomer since lauan and the related species are not so-called "true" mahoganies of Swietenia species.
Supplies that are now marketed as Philippine mahogany come from Malaysia and Indonesia and some from Singapore. These woods go by a long list of names including meranti or dark red meranti from West Malaysia West Malaysia: see Malaysia. , Sarawak and Brunei and seraya which grows primarily in Indonesia.
Larry Frye, executive director of the Fine Hardwoods/American Walnut Assn., notes that the woods classified and sold as Philippine mahogany "are quite varied in color and texture. They include the softer species of Shorea that are light colored to reddish brown in color and the species of Parashorea and Penacme."
That wide group is often further grouped according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. color and weight into two broad categories. The dark red group includes red lauan Noun 1. red lauan - hard heavy red wood of the red lauan tree; often sold as Philippine mahogany
red lauan tree, Shorea teysmanniana, red lauan - valuable Philippine timber tree
wood - the hard fibrous lignified substance under the bark of trees
2. , tanguile, tianong, dark red seraya and dark red meranti. The other main group of lauan includes light red meranti, light red seraya, white lauan, almon, bagtikan and mayapis.
Gross said there is more range in the color and density of meranti than there used to be with lauan. "Meranti can be very white or red. The white meranti is the lighter weight wood. Red is heavier. There is so much range that some veneer mills will split the two into two groups--red meranti and white meranti and they are often specified that way."
Gross added that some of the more recent substitutes for lauan include sumauma and white virola from Brazil and fuma, an African wood.
Dark vs. light
There are many similarities between the many species, but in general the dark red group is considered to be stronger than the light group, which averages 34 pounds per cubic foot as opposed to 42 pounds per cubic foot for the dark red.
However, the heartwood heartwood, the central, woody core of a tree, no longer serving for the conduction of water and dissolved minerals; heartwood is usually denser and darker in color than the outer sapwood. of the dark red group is considered moderately durable and therefore is not recommended for applications where durability is important. The sapwood sapwood, relatively thin, youngest, outer part of the woody stem of a tree, the part that conducts water and dissolved materials. In the cross section of a tree, the sapwood is recognizable by its texture and color; it is softer and lighter than the inner heartwood. is susceptible to powderpost beetles and marine borers. General uses include: exterior and interior joinery joinery, craft of assembling exposed woodwork in the interiors of buildings. Where carpentry refers to the rougher, simpler, and primarily structural elements of wood assembling, joinery has to do with difficult surfaces and curvatures, such as those of spiral , shopfitting, boatbuilding, and flooring. Treated material can be used for exterior cladding The plastic or glass sheath that is fused to and surrounds the core of an optical fiber. The cladding's mirror-like coating keeps the light waves reflected inside the core. The cladding is covered with a protective outer jacket. See fiber optics glossary. or other uses where exposure is a factor. Light red lauan is used frequently for light structural work, carpentry, panelling, low cost furniture, and drawer sides and backs. Its biggest single use is in plywood. Some logs are selected for slicing as veneer, too.
Care must be taken during seasoning since distortion is a problem. Drying will be moderately slow. A kiln schedule of T6-D4 for 4/4 stock and T3-D3 for 8/4 stock is recommended by the Forest Products Laboratory.
Shorea species: Shorea pauciflora Shorea pauciflora (also called Dark Red Meranti or Red Lauan) is a species of plant in the Dipterocarpaceae family. It is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is threatened by habitat loss. Source
dilleniid dicot family - family of more or less advanced dicotyledonous trees and shrubs and herbs .
Red lauan, white lauan, red meranti, dark red meranti, light red seraya, dark red seraya, tanguile, tangile, bataan, mayapis, tiaong, obar suluk, saya, meranti ketuko, nemesu, almon, mayapis and alan.
Weight ranges from 36 to 48 pounds per cubic foot with an average weight of 42 pounds per cubic foot. Heights to 200 feet or taller with straight cylindrical boles and trunk diameters of 5 to 6 feet over large, high buttresses. Specific gravity specific gravity, ratio of the weight of a given volume of a substance to the weight of an equal volume of some reference substance, or, equivalently, the ratio of the masses of equal volumes of the two substances. is 0.67.
Easy to work with hand and machine tools. Finishes well but some tearing is possible when interlocked grain is present. Medium bending and crushing strengths. Low stiffness factor; low resistance to shock loads. Wood buckles severely during steam bending.