Is Rubberwood Good Quality? Rubberwood is one of the finest furniture making timber. It is flexible and strong that makes it an ideal choice for making commercial cabinetry, trays, carvings, and more. As this tree is also responsible for harvesting rubber, it has become a commercial plantation in Asia and Africa.
Rubberwood is not as flexible as you think. It's quite a durable hardwood, belonging to the maple family, a true hardwood. It has a strength of about 9500 psi, stiffness of 1.3 million psi, and hardness of 500 pounds. In fact, rubberwood is one of the most durable wood used to manufacture furniture. It is strong, flexible andresistant to fungus, bacteria and mold.
Although it had been used on a small scale before, its use for furniture making has become much more common in the late 20th and early 21st century with the development of chemical treatments to protect the wood against fungal and insect attacks.
There are extensive rubber plantations with mature trees, especially in southeast Asia; the earlier practice was to burn the tree at the end of its latex-producing cycle. Currently, rubber plantation trees are generally harvested for wood after they complete the latex producing cycle, when they are 25 to 30 years old.
When the latex yields become extremely low, the trees are then felled, and new trees are usually planted. This makes rubberwood 'eco-friendly' in that the wood is harvested from a renewable source.
The wood from the trees is light in color and straight grained making it easy to stain and match in woodworking. Part of the industry adoption of rubberwood was an international campaign to avoid use of a previously used light straight grained wood which was harvested from South East Asia's endangered wetland ramin. In 2002, the Malaysian Ministry of Primary Industries marketed it under the name "Malaysian Oak".
Rubberwood is susceptible to fungal and insect attack that limited its use in the past. However, in the 1980s, the development of chemical treatment processes allowed the wood to be more widely used for furniture making and frames. Today, rubberwood is generally treated soon after sawing by pressurized immersion in boron preservatives, followed by kiln-drying to diffuse the chemicals and to control moisture content.
Rubberwood has a dense grain that is easily controlled in the kiln drying process. Rubberwood has very little shrinkage making it one of the more stable construction materials available for furniture, toys and kitchen accessories. It is easily worked, and takes on stains uniformly.
Is Malaysian rubberwood good?
Malaysian rubberwood has received very good reviews internationally, because its price is more affordable than other woods. With its hard and durable characteristics, it is most suitable for making solid wood furniture such as TV cabinets, coffee tables and dining chairs.
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