The TreeA medium-sized tree, attaining a height of about 24m with a straight, clear, unbuttressed bole about 18m long and 0.6m in diameter.
The TimberThe sapwood is not differentiated from the heartwood by colour, but is usually from 38mm to 50mm wide. The heartwood is a uniform pale straw colour; planed surfaces are practically without lustre or figure. The grain is straight to shallowly interlocked, and the texture is moderately fine and even. The wood weighs about 670 kg/m3 when dried. Note: melawis is the product of three species of Gonystylus in Malaysia, G. macrophyllum, G. affinis, and G. confusus. The timber has been exported from Malaysia under this trade name, but essentially, there is little difference between ramin and melawis, since the dominant species making up the latter is G. macrophyllum. The other two species however, are a little heavier, averaging 705 kg/m3.
DryingThe timber dries reasonably well, but with a tendency for end splitting and surface checking to occur. The wood is prone to staining, and must therefore be dipped immediately following conversion. Good, clean, air dry stock is easily kiln dried, without undue degrade.
StrengthRamin is very similar to beech (Fagus sylvatica) in its general strength properties, but it is less tough and hard, and is weaker in shear, and unlike beech is unsatisfactory for bent work. It is however, much stronger in compression than beech.
Working QualitiesMedium - The timber works fairly easily with both hand and machine tools, but in planing and moulding there is a tendency for the grain to tear occasionally in quarter-sawn material, and it is sometimes advisable to reduce the cutting angle to 200. The timber turns reasonably well, and it can be glued, painted, stained and polished satisfactorily. It is liable to split if nailed near the edges.
Latin NameGonystylus macrophyllum, Gonystylus affinis, Gonystylus confusus
Also known asmelawis (Malaysia), ramin telur (Sarawak)