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Wood Hardness Testing

Often times the question of how to identify a hard wood or soft wood turns into a small debate. Especially when the discussion is in English. There are Hardwoods and Softwood terms that have different meanings with the hard wood and soft wood. Hardwood is wood from broad-leaf trees, while softwood is the wood of the needle-leafed trees. The both term is to distinguish the wood from the type of leaves. While hard wood (with spaces) is a hard wood in the real sense and soft wood is a soft wood. Timber that categorized hardwood does not mean hard and timber categorized softwood it does not mean the wood is soft. There is ‘soft hardwood’ and there is also ‘hard softwood’.

Hard wood or soft wood?

There is no specific method in the laboratory that identifies hard wood or soft wood. Practically we can use the thumb nail for testing by pressing the wood surface with thumb. The soft wood will leave scars on the wood. Deeper wrinkles were formed, meaning softer wood. The hard wood will not leave scars when pressed with your thumb nail. This practical way is recommended for that peoples that not familiar with wood or just enter to the timber field. Other physical characteristics is the most soft wood have a large pores and broken. Hard wood fiber is more oval-shaped or spiral, which means the bond between the pores is stronger. At the time of execution can also be seen the difference the hard wood and soft wood. Hard wood will look smooth and slippery after processed by crab machines although yet in sanding machine.

Between West Java Teak and East Java / Middle

Teak generally is the most durable wood and has a high selling value in the furniture business. Beside a smooth texture, teak wood has good durable class. The largest source teak is on the Java Island, precisely in the East Java area and the border between East Java and Central Java, precisely in Cepu town and the surrounding area. In the furniture industries that use teak as the main raw material, teak was known as West Java, East Java, or Central Java teak. In West Java, are concentrated in the teak forests around Ciamis town.

Why is there a term and how can we tell?

According to the source and the existing experience, west Java teak likely less costly than the teak that comes from forests in East Java / Central. And these differences can reach high values enough even significant.

West Java Teak

The wood pores larger and fat, the color of the wood is also more varied. In some parts there is wood sorrel, but if dried in direct sunlight, the color will disappear and turn golden brown. Axial line of the wood is more easily seen in the West Java teak wood. And more dark plot, although the plots are also found on the East Java / Central teak. About the density is slightly smaller and more prone to the hair fracture. However, this type has fewer knots on the same level of quality.

East Java /Central Teak

Known have good quality. With a diameter almost the same, the teak of East Java / Central smoother textured and more uniform color. When the MC has reached the level below 14%, the woods becomes very stable. In this case the teak of West Java are sometimes still be affected by outside air. Pig woods color differences and woods deck almost the same on both types of wood, but the composition of the pig on teak wood from East Java / central smaller. Some other differences are more detailed will be easy recognized at the time directly comparing the two types of wood. But generally teak retains better quality.

Background the Quality Difference

Some buyers experienced teak furniture can distinguish two types of wood and even specifically negotiated prices based on timber type. Then what kind of background that makes them different? There are no official reports from the authorities or the competent organizations of these differences, at least here are some indicators that we can review:

1. Soil Fertility

Forests in which the teak grown in West Java has a structure more fertile so that the tree growth slightly faster than the land on the border of Central Java and East Java which contains lime. Faster growth allows the pores larger.

2. Mountains

Mountainous land also helped grow the teak without interference in the formation of a tree trunk.

3. Tree age

With less fertile soil, the trees in the area of Central Java / East needs more time to get the same diameter with the type of West Java.

Currently the volume and capacity of teak in Java begins to decline, the government through officer reforestation has started to explore teak forests planted by people in the area of Sulawesi. But with the land structure differences, the quality of teak wood from Sulawesi are still far less well than that of the island of Java. The average small diameter (25-30 cm) and there are many wooden eyes/knots.

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