Balau features heartwood that is of a yellow to brown colour and has a paler sapwood, which can be up to 50 mm wide. Its moderately fine and even texture presents an interlocked grain, which produces a stripe figure on the radial surface. Resin pockets may also be present. Balau is susceptible to pinhole borer damage.
Of high strength and durability, balau is mainly used for heavy construction. It is also used for wharfage, sleepers, ship building.
Although balau is a high-density hardwood, it is relatively easy to work. The main workability issue is due to the presence of resin pockets, which means resin can build up on cutting equipment. If balau is being nalled, the timber should be pre-drilled. Any machining and surface preparation should be done immediately before gluing. Balau is not suitable for streak bending.
Teak is the common name for the large, deciduous hardwood tree species Tectona grandis, found in the highlands of Southeast Asia, The Tectona grandis is a large, deciduous tree that is dominant in mixed hardwood forests. It can grow up to 130ft tall and has small, fragrant white flowers that grow upon the lower surface from June to August.
Teak is a yellowish brown timber with good grains and texture. It is one of the most in demand woods throughout the entire world, due to beauty and unique properties. Unlike other woods, teak will not wrap, crack, becoming brittle or turn colour when in contact with metal, making it an ideal choice for marine use. It is also one of a select few woods found throughout the world that has a naturally high oil content which makes it resistant to rotting when exposed to climactic extremes such as water damage.
In order to get the highest quality of teak wood possible, the retrieval process must be carefully carried out. Older teak trees are selected as they produce the best wood, and a cut is made at the under side of the tree. This cut allows the tree to drain its water content, which ensures that the best quality of wood is harvested. The entire draining process can take up to two years.