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Machining methods

Machining methods

  • Medium-to-coarse-grained meranti rips easily, but unless you use a smooth-cutting planer blade, expect to find a rather rough sawn edge of tiny fibers that require sanding to remove.
  • Plane meranti to thickness by taking shallow cuts to avoid chipping and tearing.
  • Not as hard as mahogany, and a bit brittle, meranti tends to easily tear out or splinter in jointing. But unlike some types of pine and fir that yield long splinters, those of meranti tend to be short.
  • Crosscutting with either hand or power tools requires a fence or backing board on the exit side to prevent splintering, known as tearout. This also applies to routing across the grain. Always use sharp bits and blades for the least amount of aggravation.
  • On the scrollsaw or with a jigsaw, avoid ragged cuts by sawing with a fine-toothed blade.
  • Meranti, unlike some tropical woods (teak, for instance), does not contain extractives or traces of silica, so all types of woodworking glues work well.
  • Screws (predrill for these) and nails hold well in meranti.
  • Although this tropical wood accepts all types of stains and finishes, you should fill its open grain to obtain the smoothest, most attractive surface. Meranti holds paint well, too, but either fill first or use a good primer coat over its open grain.

Continued on page 6:  Carving cautions


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