The TreeA large tree with large buttresses, reaching a height of about 54m and a diameter of 1.2m although larger specimens are found occasionally. Clear boles 24m to the first branch are common.
The TimberThe sapwood is well defined, white to pale yellow in colour, and about 50mm wide in large trees. The heartwood is brick-red when freshly sawn, weathering to orange-red speckled by veins of hard, stone-like tissue, usually about 6mm wide, and may extend for one metre or more in the direction of the grain. They represent a source of mechanical weakness which can lead to splitting in drying, and they limit the strength of the wood.
DryingDries reasonably well, but with some tendency to warp and check. Where hard zones of abnormal tissue are present the tendency to split is much greater.
StrengthSimilar to karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) in most strength categories but with greater resistance to crushing loads.
Working QualitiesDifficult - Rather difficult to work because of its density and hardness, the blunting effect on tool edges often being severe. Straight grained material can be planed and moulded to a good finish, but quarter-sawn stock generally tends to tear unless a cutting angle no greater than 200 is employed. Kempas takes a good finish but may require filling before polishing. Takes nails and screws fairly well but pre-boring assists this operation.
Latin NameKoompassia malaccensis
Also known asKempas
OriginMalaysia, Sumatra, Borneo (East Kalimantan)