Kempas

Kempas

Kempas

Colour

Durability

Density in kg/m3

The Tree
A 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 Timber
The 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.

Drying
Dries 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.

Strength
Similar to karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) in most strength categories but with greater resistance to crushing loads.

Working Qualities
Difficult - 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 Name
Koompassia malaccensis

Also known as
Kempas

Wood Type
Hardwood

Treatability
Difficult

Moisture
Medium

Texture
Coarse

Origin
Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo (East Kalimantan)