" " wisno wood furniture finishing: The trembesi wood for furniture

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The trembesi wood for furniture


trembesi wood panel

Trembesi tree (Albizia saman) is much cultivated throughout the tropical area. It is grows best in the lowlands from sea level to 500 m (1000 ft) with rainfall 600–3000 mm (24–120 in). The tree can fast grow and become big timber in the proper climate. It usually reaches 15–25 m height with a wide canopy leaf and big diameter log. In Indonesia the tree is lot planted at the road as shade tree for reforestation. The saman tree is chosen to green the land since it fast growing and good absorber for the C02 from the air. In Indonesia the action of planting the trembesi tree is encourage in many areas. The wood is lot available in Indonesia by many names such as: tamarind, munggur, ki hujan, trembesi, meh, etc.
Since its availability, some furniture manufacturers use the trembesi wood to make furniture. It is quite cheap and easy to be handled in the woodworking industry. It can be used to make indoor furniture in the combination with veneer or other wood species. The wood has strong grain character with shallow pores and grain texture, with the proper finishing it can produce an attractive appearance. This wood has a medium hardness make it relatively easily to be machined, drilled or sanded in the woodworking process. Some furniture manufacturers are also use the wood for outdoor furniture with a quite good result.
But, the wood is always unique, each type of wood has special character that different with the other. The trembesi as a product from tree also has special character that need to be well anticipated to get them maximum benefit.

trembesi solid wood and mindi veneer to make furniture

There are some things need to be considered in the process of tamarind wood.
  • The insect attacked.
The tamarind wood has a risk to get insect attacked. Although the risk of insect is not as high as the mahogany or mango wood, but since it needs to be chemically treated to prevent the insect attacked. The wet wood plank should be soaked in the anti insect chemical before dried in the kiln dry oven. (see  our previous articles : the insect attached problem at the wood).  
  • The volume shrinkage.
The trembesi wood has high volume shrinkage from the wet to the dry wood. It has high risk for rupture and curved. Therefore he must be dried properly; the drying process cannot be too fast since the risk of damaged and broken wood. After the wood is dry, then it need to be layered with the proper finishing layer to minimize the risk of wood movement.  The finishing layer will coat the wood and make it stable and minimize the wood movement.

trembesi finish panel
  • The finishing for trembesi.
The trembesi wood contains some oils inside. The oil is not as much as teak wood oil, but it could interfere the finishing looked resulted. To minimize the oil problem, then we need to dry the wood at the standard m.c. should be and choose the proper finishing color. The antique brown transparent finishing color is the best choice for this wood. The wood has nice grain pattern that can be maximized with the transparent color. It has the white color base at the sap wood and brown to the dark brown at the heart wood. The finishing with dark brown color is the most easiest to be achieved. If the light color  finish is needed, then we may need to bleach the dark wood.
The finishing with solid color is also can be generated, but we must be aware with the oil inside the wood. We need to apply the oil block (insulator) at the first step to prevent the oil comes true and ruin the finish looked. 

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