Apitong comes in many species, from the endangered Dipterocarpus grandiflorus to the more common Dipterocarpus spp that originates in Malaysia. Apitong wood is commonly used as structural timber. It is one of the most essential types of framework wood used in construction in Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and other Southeast Asian countries where these species are native. Being plentiful in these source countries, apitong is comparatively affordable among wood species that are considered exotic in the U.S. Apitong wood, also known as keruing, is not as widely known as domestic hardwood species or other exotics with the exception of its use for flooring for trucks and trailers. For truckers and carpenters in Alameda, Pasadena, Long Beach, Glendale, Downey, or anywhere in Los Angeles and Southern California, Apitong could be familiar to you as trucking lumber or fence material. As a preferred material for such tough applications, apitong has several qualities that make it an excellent wood choice.
Before the 1980s, the preferred choice of wood for truck flooring was limited to douglas fir, red oak, and assorted types of softwoods. Today, apitong is a popular choice for truck flooring. When apitong was first introduced, truckers were surprised by its excellent qualities, such as how long it lasted and how well it resisted rot as compared to domestic softwoods. Apitong wood is also comparatively inexpensive, especially compared to red oak. However, apitong has a wide range of applications that are common in their countries of origin but are mostly unexplored by woodworkers in the U.S. By learning more about this wood’s excellent qualities, you may be able to find a wide range of use for this versatile lumber that has seen exemplary performance in tropical environments for centuries.
10 Qualities That Make Apitong an Excellent Wood Choice
Apitong Wood Has a Higher Density Than Red Oak
At 20% denser than red oak, apitong wood can take on tasks with a requirement for higher shock resistance than its domestic hardwood counterpart. Once dried and processed for truck decking material, apitong wood will retain less moisture, making it less prone to fungi growth.
Apitong Wood Is Stronger and Stiffer Than Oak
Because of its density, the strength and stiffness of apitong wood are both very high. With an ultimate strength of 19,000 psi and stiffness of 2.07 million psi, these numbers compare favorably against typical oak strength and stiffness values, which are 14,300 psi and 1.82 million psi, respectively.
Aside From Being Strong and Stiff, Apitong Wood Is As Hard As Oak
Apitong is a tough hardwood for a species classified as moderate hardwood. Its hardness numbers are almost identical to oak, making them as hard to dent as oak. The hardness of apitong wood varies depending on the species. However, the average numbers are at or near oak values. The highest Janka score for hardness achieved for an apitong species comes from Malaysian apitong, which comes in at a Janka hardness value of 1390. This is higher than oak! You can find Malaysian apitong in stock in our lumber yard.
Apitong Wood Has Comparatively Good Rot Resistance
Though rot resistance varies depending on species, the stocks available in the U.S. from imported sources are the varieties that have better rot resistance, not just compared to other keruing or apitong species but to most domestic wood species.
Apitong Wood Has Easy Workability
Despite having high hardness and stiffness, apitong is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. If you are accustomed to working with oak, you will find the workability similar.
Apitong Wood Has Excellent Nail and Screw Holding Power
Because of its density, strength, and generally straight and interlocking grain structure, apitong has excellent nail and screw holding power. Because it doesn’t dent easily, it can take bores well and won’t distort when using screws and nails. Suppose you are looking for an affordable wood alternative for outdoor applications requiring substantial nailings, such as picket fences and park benches. In that case, apitong is an excellent choice.
Apitong Wood Takes Paints, Wood Oils, and Stains Very Well
Once dried and processed, apitong wood has natural pores that can take in paint, oils, and stains, which can enhance the durability and beauty of this wood.
Apitong Wood Is Sustainable
All of the apitong stocked in our Los Angeles lumber yard is sustainably sourced. Sustainable logging practices in some Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia, particularly in the islands of Padang and the East Borneo region, have provided abundant supplies of high-quality apitong for the U.S. market. Apitong trees grow at an average of 30 to 40 inches annually, reaching 200 feet. It has a growth rate of twice that of North American oak.
Apitong Wood Is Affordable
Apitong wood is much more affordable than most hardwood species because of its intrinsic qualities and versatility. Because of the sustainable way apitong is supplied from its sources, apitong wood is abundant. Moreover, its durability and dependability mean that it will not have to be replaced as often and will last longer than most other wood alternatives.
Apitong Wood Is Beautiful
Apitong provides a beautiful matte finish with low luster also making it a less slippery option for truck flooring material even when it is wet. Apitong is usually available in lighter shades of red or red-brown color with a subtle hint of purple.
Conclusion: Apitong Is an Excellent Wood Choice for Outdoor Applications
Apitong Wood has many endearing traits that make it ideally suited for outdoor applications, such as truck flooring material. Its hardness, stiffness, toughness, and workability make it superior in outdoor performance to most domestic wood species available on the market. If you need to consider fence material in Monterey Park or Santa Clarita, or bench material in your yard in Burbank and Torrance, or anywhere in Southern California, Apitong is an excellent choice you need to take a second look at. Its qualities allow woodworkers to use apitong for other purposes, such as furniture frames or other woodworking applications that require stability. Apitong has been finding regular use as a material for picket fences, Flemming stakes, truck runners, and park benches. Moreover, apitong can be sourced from sustainable wood species. Sources imported to the U.S. must pass strict standards to ensure responsible and environmentally-friendly production. Having an excellent growth rate for hardwood and bountiful sources, this choice of hardwood is comparatively affordable. Taking into account its price, toughness, and beauty, apitong provides a considerable value for the money you spend on it.
Apitong Wood Can Be Processed Easily Using In Our Los Angeles Lumber Milling Services
If you require different cuts and sizes from those needed for truck flooring, we have milling services available for you. Though we have a broad range of apitong cuts and sizes, we have planing services as well as sanding jointing, and sawing services that can help you get the perfect size of apitong wood to suit your needs.
For stock, sizes, cuts, and availability call us at (323) 263-9795 or visit us in our lumber yard, where we let our clients hand-pick the lumber they need.