Mango wood

आम

Has a unique texture. Golden brown to yellow with streaks of pink or black.

Similar to Marandi, mango wood is robust and relatively easy workable with no need for special tools. Due to its good availability, mango wood is more affordable than other hardwoods like oak and teak.

Thanks to the many mango plantations in India, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Brazil and Australia, there’s no shortage of timber.

It is a hardwood with dense grains, and can hence stand the weight necessary for chairs and heavy tables. 

Mango wood can be left outside as it is water resistant but it is prone to bleaching from the sun and should be brought in during the cold season. ​

To avoid cracking from dehydration, the wood should be polished or hydrated from time to time. Apart from that it is maintenance free.

An interesting aspect about mango wood is its sustainability. As byproduct of the mango fruit industry, the wood was previously burnt or broken down (naturally). Nowadays when the trees get too tall to easily harvest the mangoes or don't even grow them anymore, they are brought down for timber and new trees are planted. Where other wood types require up to 100 years to grow to a sufficient height, mango trees reach 30m within 15 years.

Neem

नीम
Also known as nimtree or Indian lilac.

Belongs to the mahogany family.

Neem is a fast growing tree that can reach up to 40 meters but more often reaches up to 20 meters. It is ready to be cut for timber after only 5-7 years. It is native to the Indian subcontinent. 

​Neem wood is very durable thanks to its interlacing and rough grain structure. While it cannot be torn apart easily, it is rather easy to work with.

Typical applications of neem wood furniture are boats, cabinets and drawers as well as for ornamental elements, for example in small boxes or toys.

The wood is relatively heavy, and before it is dried prone to cracks and even twists. The white to red ratio in the wood is 60:40. As the wood is a natural pest repellant it is good to be used to store clothes.

Babul

बबूल
Also known as gum arabic tree, thorn mimosa, Egyptian acacia or thorny acacia.

Babul is native to Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. It is a popular Indian herb with a number of medicinal uses. Almost all parts of a babul tree come with medicinal properties; these include the leaves, the bark, the gum of babul tree and also the pods. Babul is mostly useful in Diarrheal and teeth disorders. 

It grows 5 – 20m high, preferring sandy or sterile regions, with the climate dry during the greater part of the year. 

The wood is strong, durable, hard, very shock resistant, and is used for construction, mine props, tool handles, carts and furniture. The color is pinkish, dark to reddish on exposure, mottled with dark streaks.

Babul requires careful seasoning of the timber up to 4 times. Otherwise the wood starts to crack when it looses moisture.

The wood has a high density and can hence carry a lot of weight

Teak

सागवान

The king of the woods. Also known as Sagwan.

Yellow to dark brown color.

Teak wood is native to south and southeast Asia, mainly India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh. It is usually also  named after its origin, e.g. teak wood from Burma is called Burma teak. It is very strong, durable and maintenance free.

It is used for boat building, exterior construction and considered the best in furniture building. Teak has a smooth surface and can be finished using paint, polishing or varnish. After polishing the wood looks very rich.

While painting is possible, given the quality of the wood, it is recommended to use it polished on the surface. For painted surfaces, less expensive woods can be used.

The timber logs require a seasoning of about one month before they are ready to be used.

Regular cleaning with a dry cloth and re-polishing after a couple of years will retain the shine and guarantee a long life time to the wood.

As Marandi and mango wood, teak is a hardwood type.

Marandi

मरांडी

Also known as white cedar wood or Mindi.

Brownish grey color.

Marandi is a very robust wood that is easy workable and well suited for chests, shoe racks, shelves, decorative items as well as door and mirror frames. Apart from being sturdy which requires minimal maintenance, this wood has an aesthetic appeal.

Dutch travelers and merchants brought it to Indonesia. The natives started growing the wood in plantations and named it “mindi.” The straight-grained lumber is native to and produced in the Solomon Islands, Australia, and tropical Asia with China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Papua New Guinea. 

The timber logs require a seasoning of about one month before they are ready to be used.

Marandi has a smooth surface and can be finished using paint, polishing or varnish.

It is a hardwood, durable and water resistant. Periodical painting and polishing is required as with any other wood according to the usage of the item.