Tonka

Botanical Name: Dipteryx odorata Coumarouna Odorata

Source location: South America

Stability: Very Stable

Durability in Ground: Tonka has an approximate minimum life expectancy of 25 years in contact with the ground, depending on the type and moisture content in the ground.

Durability above Ground: This timber has a reputation for being very durable. Laboratory tests also show the heartwood to be very durable in resistance to both brown-rot and white-rot fungi. This wood has an excellent weathering characteristic and is also resistant to termite and borer attack.

Density: Approx 1100 kg/m3 (approx at 15% MC)

Dimensions: The current size range available is 150x75, 150x100, 150x150, 200x75, 200x100, 200x200, 250x75, and 250x100 in wet form

Appearance: Sapwood is a distinct yellow brown colour. Heartwood is reddish-brown or purplish-brown when freshly cut with attractive paler streaks, turning to a uniform light brown on exposure. Texture is fine, lustre medium and grain irregular, often interlocked. Wood is characterised by prominent vessel and by narrow strikes on radial surfaces.

Uses: In New Zealand, Tonka is currently imported in larger sizes for structural uses both indoor and outdoor. In other countries it is also used for flooring, ship and boat building, vehicle body, cabinet work, handles and ladders, agricultural instruments, sleepers, poles and piles.

Tips: Stock is difficult to work because of its density and hardness. It is hard to saw and to bore, but clean edges and holes can be obtained. Planes and finishes to a smooth surface, it also takes a high polish and will glue adequately. Because of its high density and oily nature, the wood glues poorly.

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