Meranti is one of the easier hardwoods with which to work. It easily machines, cuts, mills and sands. Because of a certain amount of silica in the wood, meranti has a dulling effect on woodworking equipment. Steel blades, bits and knives cut meranti with ease, but carbide-tipped blades and tools are recommended for projects on a production level. Meranti has a coarse, fibrous texture with open pores. The straight-grain composition of meranti means it's friendly to planers and surfacers, but a certain amount of interlocking grain can cause meranti to blow out or splinter. Interlocking grain patterns result when parallel grain patterns turn at 90 degrees. When knives or cutters cut across perpendicular grain, it can cause the grain to lift or chip out.
Meranti has little or no resistance to insects or decay. The wood is dimensionally stable and resistant to warping or twisting. Sanding with 100-grit sandpaper is typically all that's required before finishing. Subsequent sanding with progressively finer grits yields smoother finishes. Sanding or woodworking dust can cause irritation; eye and breathing protection is recommended when working with meranti. After milling and sanding, meranti readily accepts stain and subsequent top coats.
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