Pencil Cedar


Pencil Cedar is a high quality hardwood. Due to its ease of working, uniform colour, fine texture and finishing characteristics, it is highly favoured in Japan for prestige cabinet work and custom-made furniture, where it has been marketed successfully as ‘royal cherry’.

The timber works well with both machine and hand tools and has excellent moulding characteristics, producing a smooth, high class surface. Timber with silica present is harder to work with and can cause moderate blunting of cutting edges, but a good smooth finish can always be obtained.

Pencil Cedar is highly regarded for quality furniture and cabinet work as well as for premium mouldings. It has been long recognised as a prime face material for plywood.

Ideally suitable for high quality joinery including window and door, frames, louver blades, shutters, interior wall linings, mouldings and turning; and as a domestic flooring material. Also suitable for a number of boat-building applications including masts, spars and interior fit-outs.

Botanical Name: Palaquium warburgianum spp.
Standard Trade Names: Pencil Cedar.
Other Names: Red silkwood, bauvudi, sacau (Fiji), faibaru, maliolo (Solomon Is.) nato, red nato (Philippines) pali, njatuh, balam, punti, nantu, siki, soko (Indonesia) kha-nunnok (Thailand) Bauvudi, saPalaquium Species, principally P.
Origin of Product:
Availability: Available ex-stock in kiln dried sizes 100 x 100, 75 x 50, 50 x 50, 75 x 75 and 100 x 25mm.
Species information for this product:
  • Pencil Cedar is represented by a number of species. Usually a large, well formed tree, it is scattered throughout the lowland rain forests of the region including Papua New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and North Queensland.

  • The colour is consistent in Pencil Cedar with the heartwood being pinkish-brown in colour, darkening upon exposure to the light. The sapwood is paler in colour and is, quiet often distinct from the heartwood.

  • The figure is not relatively pronounced; it has fine dark lines merging with the paler background, though back-sawn material produces a flame like appearance. The grain is usually straight but may be interlocked and wavy. Some silica (SiO2) is present but usually only in small quantities.

  • The timbers season readily and well with little degrade. 25mm boards can be kiln-dried from the green condition. Back-sawn material has a tendency to cup or twist and stacks should be well filleted at 450mm intervals and tops of stacks heavily weighted. Wood should be treated immediately after felling and sawing to prevent pinhole borer attack and blue stain.

Family: Sapotaceae.
Species: Palaquium warburgianum spp.
P. galactoxylum.
P. hexandrum.
P. ellipticum.
P. obovatatum.
P. rostratum.
P. hornei.
P. amboinese.


Density: 540-720 Kg/m3 @ 12% m.c
Durability: Class 4: Non-durable.
Colour: Pinkish-brown.
Texture: Moderately fine and even; lustrous sheen.
Grain: Straight; although can sometimes be interlocked and wavy.
Figure: Not relatively pronounced fine dark lines merging with paler background, back-sawn material may produce flame like figure.
Permeability: Class 4: Highly resistant; heartwood is untreatable and sapwood is comparatively narrow.
General: Dependant on silica present, no conversion problems if the timber is silica free.
Sawing: Readily sawn with little dulling effect, more difficult if silica present.
Planing: Excellent characteristics; produces a smooth surface.
Blunting: Moderate
Boring: Excellent characteristics.
Turning: Excellent characteristics producing sharp arrises.
Nailing: Easy to nail.
Gluing: Glues very well with all adhesives.
Finishing: Takes a high polish; sands well to a lustrous finish.


Mechanical Properties
Strength: SD6.
Structural Grade: F14(select grade).
Hardness (Janka): 4.0kN (seasoned), 3.2kN (unseasoned).
Max. Crushing Strength: 42MPa (seasoned), 27Mpa (unseasoned).
Modulus of Elasticity: 12GPa (seasoned), 10GPa (unseasoned).
Modulus of Rupture: 70MPa (seasoned), 56MPa (unseasoned).
General: Seasons readily and well with little degrade.
Movement: Very low.
Shrinkage: Low.