Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is apitong?
A: “Apitong” has its origin as the local Philippine name used to reference the genus dipterocarpus. While this genus includes over 70 species, in the trucking industry the term most frequently is used interchangeably for the single medium hardwood species D. grandiflorus, also called keruing. Today D. grandiflorus is indigenous to most Southeast Asian countries around the equator, but it is most abundant in Malaysia and Indonesia. The Malaysians in particular, under the direction of the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC), are to be commended for pursuing a path of sustainable harvesting.
Q: What are the general characteristics of apitong?
A: The appearance of heartwood apitong varies from light to dark red brown or brown to dark brown, sometimes with a purple tint; usually is well defined from the gray or buff colored sapwood. The grain is straight or shallowly interlocked and has a low luster.
Q: What are the mechanical properties of apitong?
A: As illustrated in the table below apitong compares quite favorably to other well know hardwoods.
Q: What does a shiplap pattern look like?
A: A shiplap profile has wooden siding rabbets so that when installed the edge of each board will overlap the next one to it, forming a flush joint.
Q: What does a tng pattern look like?
A: A tongue and groove (tng) profile is a joint made by fitting the tongue edge of a board in to the matching groove of the adjacent board.
Q: What does a S4SE4E pattern look like?
A: S4S means surfaced four sides and E4E means eased four edges. All four sides of this profile have a smooth surface and all four edges are rounded to eliminate the sharp corners.
Q: What does a bullnose pattern look like?
A: A bullnose pattern will have two sides with smooth surfaces and two sides with rounded edge/surfaces.
Q: What is the difference between kiln dried (AD) and air dried (KD) products?
A: The two most common methods of drying or seasoning wood are air-drying (AD) and kiln-drying (KD). While kiln-drying uses heat and humidity to speed up the process of drying the lumber, air-dried lumber is created through a completely natural process, allowing the wood to cure on its own, gradually, in contact with air. Air-dried lumber therefore takes longer to cure, because of the slower process.
Q: What is meant by the term “rough sawn” lumber?
A: Rough sawn lumber is sawn timber that is cut into a specific size but the sides are not surfaced smoothly. Accordingly the surface of this lumber will be slightly rougher than one that has had the S4S machining operation performed.
Q: What are finger-jointed products?
A: The finger joint is the most common joint used to form long pieces of lumber from shorter solid boards. The finger joint is made by machining a set of identical cuts in two pieces of wood, which are then glued together. The strength of a finger joint comes from the long-grain to long-grain contact between the fingers. The contact points provide a solid gluing surface and the number of contact points also allows for more gluing surface.
Q: Do you recommend application of any finishing products?
A: In order to prevent surface checking, cupping and discoloration, we recommend apitong products be finished on all four sides either prior to or just after installation. Especially in dry and sunny conditions finishing should be done prior to being exposed to weather. Generally you may wish to apply two coats during installation, with additional coats applied as necessary to maintain the seal and appearance. Many in the industry select linseed oil as the finishing material, but there are many other good options, some with UV inhibitors to help maintain the natural color of the wood.
Q: Are there other uses for apitong?
A: Apitong/keruing is well suited for general construction work, framework and flooring for boats, industrial flooring, pallets, chemical processing equipment, and the veneer is used for plywood. Many shipping containers and railroad cars utilize apitong/keruing for flooring. The agricultural community uses apitong/keruing for grape stakes and also to construct the vboard assemblies used to secure and protect cargo when in transit after harvest. Finally, in many cases the lateral members on overhead electrical poles are apitong/keruing.