Teak – Burmese
Species Name: Teak
Botanical name(s): Tectona grandis. Family: Verbenaceae.
Size and location information: A medium to tall hardwood attaining 45 m on favourable sites but more usually producing a 15 m bole. The stem is irregularly shaped and grooved and the characteristic leaves are very large. Stem diameter averages 1.0 m but can attain up to 2.4 m according to locality and conditions of growth. One of the most well known world timbers, teak occurs naturally in the monsoon forests of India, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Plantations of the species have been established in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Africa, Solomon Islands, Fiji and the West Indies.
Description: Colour. The heartwood is generally golden brown but varies from grey-brown to red brown. Longitudinal streaks are often present due to the ring-porous structure of teak. Sapwood is well demarcated, being pale yellow in colour.
Grain. The grain is straight or occasionally interlocked. Texture is uneven varying from smooth to coarse due to its ring porosity.
Density: 670 kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; approximately 1.5 m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
Shrinkage: 1.2% Radial, 2.2% tangential
Durability: In ground: Class 2 Above ground: Class 1
Lyctids Susceptibility: Yes
Termite Resistance (AS3660): Yes
Strength Group: S6/D6
Machining. The timber is variable but generally works with moderate ease. Presence of silica in some stock causes severe blunting of cutting edges. It is recommended that planing angle be reduced to 20° and that tungsten-carbide tipped saws be used.
Fixing. Pre-boring is recommended when nailing. Holds nails and screws well.
Gluing. As with most timbers of an oily nature, machining and surface preparation should be done immediately prior to gluing.
Finishing. Varnishes, polishes and waxes well. Will readily accept paint and stains.
Construction. Flooring, decking, framing, boards, cladding, fascias and barge boards.
Decorative. Lining, panelling, turnery, carving, furniture (both indoor and garden), parquetry.
Others. Teak is perhaps best known for its long established use in the boat building industry. It has been extensively used for decking, deckhouses, rails, bulwarks, hatches, weather doors, and planking. Also used for cooperage, pipes and chemical vats.
Readily available, but cost causes limited stocks at times.