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Moisture content in Indonesian furniture

The finest teak for the manufacture of furniture is Grade 'A' which is from the mature center of a tree. Grade 'A' is rich in oil content and makes
it virtually impervious to insect attack and highly resistant to fungus growth. The finest teak comes from Indonesia, Burma and Thailand.

But successful fine teak furniture manufacture requires more than Grade 'A'.

The moisture content of timber from the tropics will be higher than naturally produced timber in dryer climates so transporting furniture products from the humid tropics to drier climates may result in the wood drying out and the furniture shrinking or cracking as a result.

There are two methods of drying teak before export to reduce shrinking or cracking - in a kiln or in direct sunlight. Both systems are widespread but the target moisture content for export furniture is about 10% to 12% and this can be more easily controlled by kiln drying in what is. effectively, a very large oven. Kiln drying can take some time to be effective so be prepared for a delay up to 2 weeks while your timber is being dried.

Another alternative is to use recycled or old teak which has dried out naturally over a period of years. However, the demand for this type of teak exceeds the available supply and prices now exceed the prices for plantation teak.



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