Sponsored by: Columbia Forest Products: North America’s largest manufacturer of hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer.
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Dracontomelum dao and other species of the Family Anacardiaceae
Paldao, dao, New Guinea walnut, lamio, damoni, dorea, loup, New Guineawood, sengkuang.
The tree grows to heights of 120 feet with clear, straight boles of 65 to 80 feet long and trunk diameters of 7 to 8 feet. The average weight is 46 pounds per cubic foot with a specific gravity of 0.74.
• The heartwood is moderately durable and moderately strong. The wood has medium movement in service.
• Experts recommend a slow drying schedule to avoid warping and checking. Thin material is especially vulnerable to drying problems.
•It works well with hand tools or machinery, except for a slight blunting effect on cutting surfaces if there is an interlocked grain. The wood finishes and glues well. An attractive wood and a good choice for furniture, cabinetry and flooring, paldao is not only popular in its native countries, but has attracted attention far from its range.
Rick Banas, vice president of Interwood Forest Products Veneer Inc., noted, “Paldao is becoming more available than ever before, and the same can be said for its uses. With the high international demand and popularity for American, European and Australian walnut, paldao is filling in some voids. Its wide range of growth from Southeast Asia, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and into Papua New Guinea allow this species to be increasingly exploited.”
In addition to furniture and cabinetry, paldao is used for architectural projects, yachts, aircraft interiors, interior joinery and musical instruments. “It definitely is a species on the rise,” Banas said.
“In the past, these large logs were cut into small cants and carried out of the forests. Today logs are harvested in their entirety, which allows for large dimensioned veneers as well as lumber, making it ideal for architectural projects and many other uses. The color and grain can vary from tree to tree, but the material coming from each tree is fairly consistent as far as grain, color and figure type are concerned,” he added.
Doug Newhouse, owner of Newhouse Wood & Veneer, described paldao as brown, sometimes with irregular dark brown to black streaks. The logs, which can range in length from 8 feet to 10 feet, can yield from 2,000 to 20,000 board feet.