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Rubberwood is the wood from the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). It has always been used on a small scale, but has become much more common now, a relative new-comer on the market. There are extensive plantations with these trees in southeastern Asia: the older practice was to just burn the tree at the end of its latex-producing cycle, due to the poor properties of the wood. Now, industrial processing may serve to keep the deficiencies of inferior quality woods under control in the finished product, and this applies here: the wood from these trees is now put to use on a wide scale. The wood has become economically significant.

Rubberwood is now advertised as an "environmentally friendly" wood, as it makes use of plantation trees that have already served a useful function (however, in promoting the wood, sellers often go overboard and make false claims about its strength and durability). The wood is very susceptible to decay and should be used only indoors. It has a notable tendency to warp, which can be kept under control (mostly) by applying pressure during drying. However, it is fairly easy to work, and glues well: it is mostly used in the form of engineered lumber (finger-jointed) which eliminates some of its disadvantages. Also, as it is a byproduct and plentiful, it is cheap, which makes it a very popular material in the countries with plantations. Products made of rubberwood are a significant export for these countries; such products include toys, cutting boards, and the lower grades of furniture.

Rubberwood is sometimes also called parawood, or "Hevea" for the genus that the tree belongs to. An aggresive marketing ploy is to market it under the name "Malaysian Oak," which has trustworthy sound.  EASY TO MAKE BUT HARD TO ASSEMBLE. THE PARAWOOD CUBE…


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