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Calantas

Scientific name

Toona calantas syn. Cedrela calantas. Family: Meliaceae

Other names

Surian (Indonesia, Malaysia); Kalantas; Limpaga; New Guinea cedar

Description

  • Medium to large hardwood.
  • Grows to 40m high.
  • Bark is grey to grey-brown bark, and sheds in thin patches.

Occurrence

  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Papua New Guinea

Appearance

Colour

  • Heartwood is light red to red-brown.
  • Sapwood is pink-grey.

Grain

  • Grain is straight or interlocked and wavy.
  • Texture moderately coarse.
  • Similar appearance and odour to red cedar, Toona ciliata.

Uses

Decorative

  • Panelling.
  • Doors.
  • Joinery.
  • Furniture.
  • Carving.
  • Piano cases.
  • Boat and ship interiors.
  • Veneers.
  • Turnery.

Properties

  • Density: 480kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 2.1m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: (<S7) unseasoned, (SD8) seasoned.
  • Stress grades: F4, F5, F7 (unseasoned); F4, F5, F7, F8 (seasoned) when visually stress-graded according to AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: J5 unseasoned, JD4 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: about 7.0% (tangential), 4.0% (radial).
  • Unit shrinkage: not available.
  • Durability above-ground: Class 1 (life expectancy more than 40 years).
  • Durability in-ground: Class 2 (life expectancy 15–25 years.
  • Lyctine susceptibility: sapwood is susceptible to lyctine borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: not resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood readily impregnates with preservative.
  • Seasoning: dries rapidly but be careful, due to the risk of internal checking and collapse.
  • Hardness: very soft (rated 6 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
  • Machining: easy to work with hand and machine tools if blades are kept sharp; inclined to be ´woolly´.
  • Fixing: no difficulty using standard fittings and fastenings.
  • Gluing: can occasionally be difficult if the wood exudes resin.
  • Finishing: stains, polishes and paints well, except occasionally, the wood may exude resin.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: grey-white or pink, sharply defined.
  • Heartwood: light red or red-brown.
  • Texture: moderately coarse and uneven, grain interlocked and wavy; soft to cut.

Wood structure

  • Vessels: range from large in the first formed part of the ring, to medium-small in the latter part of the ring; solitary, groups of 2–3 cells and an occasional cluster; sparse; occasional dark-red gum-like deposits; vessel lines very prominent on longitudinal surfaces.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue): scarce, visible only as fine terminal bands.
  • Rays: fine to medium, clearly visible.

Other features

  • Burning splinter test: wood burns to a full white ash.
  • Figure: prominent on back-sawn faces due to ring-porosity.

Research and resources

  • Ilic, J 1991, CSIRO atlas of hardwoods, Crawford House Press, Bathurst, Australia.
  • Queensland Government, DAF 2018, Construction timbers in Queensland: properties and specifications for satisfactory performance of construction timbers in Queensland. Class 1 and Class 10 buildings, Books 1 & 2, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  • Standards Australia, 2000, AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes, Standards Australia International, Strathfield, NSW.