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MERANTI

Shorea spp.


Shorea spp. of the family Diptercarpaceae

Meranti is a common name applied commercially to four groups of species from the genus Shorea, grown most commonly in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. There are thousands of common names for the at least 135 various species from the genus Shorea that use this common name among others. The four groups are "light red", "dark red", "yellow", and "white". Then to compound the confusion, there are ANOTHER 25 or so species from at least 9 unrealted genera that ALSO use the common name meranti. SO ... this name is approximately equivalent to saying "yep, it sure is some kind of wood all right".

Also, "luan" / "Philippine mahogany" is another "wood" that is really a huge group of woods in the genus Shorea and I would be amazed if it were not the case that "luan" and "meranti" woods sometimes get mixed up by loggers and/or vendors.

When this page became a bit too crowded, I move all of the "dark red" meranti entries over to their own page.



my samples:


plank and end grain --- this piece was sent in by Wade Whitbeck for ID and I'm sure it's one of the shorea species that is sold as meranti, although I have not idea which meranti group it goes in.


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


plank and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above --- color on the closeup is a little too dark but the update is just right


an oiled piece from the same plank as the sample above


a plank section showing some ray flakes --- both levels of enlargement are present, but even on the 2nd enlargement the flakes do not show up as well as they actually appear in the wood.


plank and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above --- color is a little too dark on the closeup but the update really is that dark. Also, I see I got the closeup upside down.


plank and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above

The last sample has thin white threads that run through the pores in the wood, which is commented on in my research as follows: "All merantis have axial resin ducts aligned in long, continuous, tangential lines as seen on the end surface of the wood. These ducts sometimes contain white deposits that are visible to the naked eye but the wood is not resinous like some keruing (Dipterocarpus) species that resemble meranti."

Judging from what I've read, there is no way that this meranti is "white" meranti, BUT according to what I've read, all the meranti's turn well except for white meranti which has a high silicon content. This meranti may not be white and it may or may not have high silica content, but it most emphatically does NOT turn well. It dulls tools almost immediately, and that's turning WITH the grain.

The wood in these samples is very hard and stiff and tends to chip and splinter when cut. It is generally an unpleasant wood to work with and I regret having bought it. I purchased it from the BogusColorVendor, but BEFORE I realized how grossly they misrepresent their offerings on eBay. In their picture it was a pretty red but in reality it's a dull chocolate brown.





sample plank of light red meranti / Shorea spp.


end grain of the piece directly above, and since this piece is almost perfectly flat cut and one edge IS perfectly quartersawn, so I took this closeup of that edge to show the little ray flakes.


end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of light red meranti / Shorea spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of light red meranti / Shorea spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of light red meranti / Shorea spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of light red meranti / Shorea spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above


sample plank found in my misc box, apparently sent to me years ago for ID. Don't know who sent it but it clearly is meranti (probably dark red but since I'm not positive of that, I've put it here on the general meranti page)


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from the other end of the sample directly above



web pics:



picture from eBay. The first of my own samples was taken from the board in the foreground of this picture, so as you can see, the web picture misrepresents the amount of orange/red in the wood. This is the LEAST serious misrepresentation I have seen from the BogusColorVendor




planks, not identified by group


planks listed as red meranti


planks listed as meranti amarillo / selangan


planks listed as meranti rojo claro


planks listed as meranti rojo oscuro


planks listed as yellow meranti


plank listed as lauan / Shorea polysperma


plank listed as meranti / Shorea pauciflora


plywood just identified as meranti


flooring sold under the common name membatu


veneer, not identified by group


quartersawn veneer, not identified by group


listed as "bakau" meranti, whatever that is.


planks listed as light red meranti


plank listed as red meranti / Shorea curtisii


quartersawn veneer listed as red meranti


flat cut veneer listed as red shorea meranti, although the "shorea" is redundant


meranti as the bottom of a small laminated bowl. The pic on the left is fresh off the lathe and the one on the right is after one coat of natural stain.