Shorea Spp, Parashorea Spp, Pentacme Spp
“Philippine Mahogany” or “Luan” refers commercially to Philippine woods belonging to the genera Shorea, Parashorea and Pentacme. Meranti is generally applied to Southeast Asian woods of the genus Shorea, which contains almost 200 species.
The various species of the three genera are separated into five groups based on their heartwood color and weight. These are: Balau, Dark Red Meranti (Tangaile), Light Red Meranti (White Luan), White Meranti, and Yellow Meranti. The Light Red and Dark Red groups are the primary commercial groups used in the United States.
The wood has been used over the centuries as an inexpensive substitute for other Mahoganies, but its properties are much worse. It is used for everything from furniture to light structural work. It is extensively used in plywood manufacturing.
Harvested from many of the Asian countries, it is most commonly thought of as being from Indonesia or the Philippines.
The heartwood color ranges from pale pink to a dark reddish-brown depending on whether the light red or dark red species are specified. The wood has interlocking grain with a wavy but coarse texture. The wood has a low natural durability and does not take preservation treatments well.
Works well with both hand and machine tools, but nails and screws in a satisfactory manner.
Fair availability with both plain and quartered sawn available in 4/4” through 8/4”.