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Construction in Thailand Is building in Thailand as bad as it seems? Can properties really be built and fitted out to European standards? Would you like to Build your own house in Phuket, or a swimming pool in Bangkok? Solar water heating in Pattaya? Or maybe you want to build a resort or guesthouse on Koh Samui? If you want to build a luxury house in Thailand then this is the forum for you.


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Old 24-04-2008, 09:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Mai takien tong windows

Hi all, this is my first post. My wife and I are building a house near Khon Kaen and we are nearing the stage at which the windows will be installed. Our frames and windows are made of a wood called "takien tong" which seems to have a fairly good reputation for resistance to water damage, insects and rot. I'm wondering what sort of finish to use for the wood. I'd like to use something which penetrates into the wood and enhances the natural colour without changing its tint. Can anyone recommend a clear oil stain that will provide a tough finish or is some sort of varnish needed? I don't mind re-coating every 6 months or so. We've tried talking to sales people in various stores but they seem to be flogging whatever the manager tells them to flog and don't have any real info.
Also, I'd like to hear about any experiences people have had with takien tong.
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Old 24-04-2008, 10:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I went into a similar research as yours for my Teak house and could not find what my western brain and experience told me .Eventually I copied what the locals do and used a "shelac " with a tint the same colour as the timber .It looks good , is water resistant we have no problems from insect damage .3 to 4 years is the interval between re-coats .It does not ,however ,stop my puppies chewing the stair rungs .Good Luck to you .
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Old 24-04-2008, 10:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Use a good quality alkyd clear varnish, maybe a satin finish, will bring up the colour of the wood nicely, Leaves the same sort of finish as a polyurethane varnish but won't turn yellow in the sun, pretty slow drying stuff, needs 24 hours between coats.
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Old 24-04-2008, 10:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think shellac has any protective qualities at all, it is just an alchohol based stain.
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Old 24-04-2008, 10:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Best advice I can give is spend the extra money and get a high spec. marine grade varnish (mat, satin or gloss) that is tint-able.
Buy it yourself and supervise so that the contractor does not do a switch!!!

The joy of nice woodwork quickly turns into a nightmare one you have to strip and redo it after 3 months if the contractor uses a crappy product.

We are opting for A grade teak on all "show" windows and commercial grade aluminium for secondary areas - durability and security.
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Old 24-04-2008, 10:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 24-04-2008, 01:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Linseed Oil..toughens and protects the wood wont change the tint of the wood..easy to apply with a cloth...weathers well.. BUT I don't know if you can buy it in Thailand...How about showing photos of the house being built
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Old 24-04-2008, 02:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have never heard of Takien Tong before.
Can anyone translate that one please.

I have heard of Mai Sak Tong which is Golden Teak
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Old 24-04-2008, 03:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the quick replies and the welcome. I was not familiar with Takien Tong either and we just got what we could afford but when I researched it later I was pleased with what I found. The latin name is Hopea Odorata. It has various common names like Malabar Ironwood and Yacal. It's supposed to be very strong, good for boatbuilding, and termites don't like it.
Our house is nothing special but I will post some pics when I figure out how.

Cheers
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Old 24-04-2008, 03:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Species identity

TaxonomyCurrent name: Hopea odorataAuthority: Roxb.Family: Dipterocarpaceae

Synonym(s)Hopea eglandulosa Roxb.

Common names

(Burmese) : sauchi, thingan net
(English) : white thingan
(Malay) : merawan siput jantan
(Trade name) : thingan, white thingan
(Vietnamese) : koki mosau, sao den

Botanic description
Hopea odorata is a medium-sized to large evergreen tree with a large crown growing to 45 m tall, bole straight, cylindrical, branchless to 25 m, with diameter of up to 4.5 m or more and prominent buttresses, bark surface scaly, grey to dark brown, longitudinally furrowed, yellow or reddish inside. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, 7-14 by 3-7 cm, falcate, base broadly cuneate, venation scalariform, midrib applanate to slightly channeled above, glabrous on both surfaces, petiole 2 cm long, slender. Flowers small, sweet scented, yellowish-white, very shortly pedicelled, in one-sided racemes, stamens 15, anthers narrowly ellipsoid, ovary ovoid, punctate or glabrous. Fruit small, ovoid, wings oblanceolate, rounded, 3-4 cm long, finely veined lengthwise. The specific epithet means odour and refers to the sweet smell of the flowers.
Ecology and distribution

History of cultivation
Thingan is cultivated as a shade tree in parts of west Bengal and the west coast of the Andaman Islands.
Natural Habitat
H. odorata is a riparian species usually occurring on deep rich soils, most commonly along the banks of streams and in damp situations up to 600-m altitude. It is chiefly found in the Andamans, in moist tropical evergreen forests and occurs sporadically in pure groups, but is not gregarious over large areas. In Myanmar, it occurs in moist tropical forests.
Geographic distribution
Native : Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam

Biophysical limits
Altitude: 0-600 m Mean annual temperature: 36-40 deg. C Mean annual rainfall: 2 200-5 000 mm Soil type: It is found typically on deep rich soil, usually along the banks of streams and in damp situations.

Reproductive Biology
Hopea flowers and fruits almost regularly every two years. It is pollinated by thrips (Thysanoptera). The period between anthesis and maturity of the fruit is about three months. The small white and fragrant flowers appear between February and April and the fruits ripen at the beginning of the rainy season in May and June. The fruits are dispersed by wind and seeds germinate readily on falling to the ground.

Propagation and management

Propagation methods
Natural regeneration springs up profusely round the mother trees. To encourage natural reproduction, the overhead canopy should be thinned or removed. In Indonesia, bare root transplanting results in almost 100 % survival if seedlings are root pruned first. Germination takes place in 1-4 weeks. The seeds are collected from the ground under the seed bearers and they can also be collected by lopping small branches. Direct sowing, entire transplanting and stump planting are all successful. For regeneration operations very light seeds should be rejected.

Tree Management
Germination rate has been found to be 73% in unshaded beds, 83% in shaded beds and 40% in direct field sowings. Generally, a shade crop is grown to protect the young seedlings from the first hot weather and to keep weeds down. The young plants need full overhead light and the shade crop should be cut back periodically to ensure it does not overtop the tree. Weeding, occasional watering and loosening of the soil around the plants is recommended in the nursery. Dibbling is done at an espacement of 7.5 by 7.5 cm. About 70g of seed is enough for a sq. m of nursery bed.

Germplasm Management
There are about 3 000-4 600 seeds/kg. Seeds are recalcitrant and die within five days due to dehydration. If dried at 35 deg. C to 33 % moisture content, seeds could stay viable for 1-2 months at 15 deg. C, maintaining a germination rate of over 60 %. If stored at 4 deg. C, the seeds can stay viable for about three months.

Functional uses

Products
Timber: The sapwood is pale yellow or greyish yellow turning pale brown on exposure, heartwood yellowish-brown to brownish red sometimes with dark streaks, turning purplish on exposure, with lustrous white resin canals at irregular intervals, becoming dull with age. The wood is very hard and heavy weighing 755-kg/cu m, difficult to saw but finishes well. It is chiefly used for boat-building, dug-out canoes and for construction purposes, where durability and strength are of primary importance. It is also used for carts, presses flooring, roofing, piles, fence-posts, ploughs, furniture, etc. It is a first class sleeper wood. Gum or resin: The tree yields a resin known as rock dammar in commerce, which the Burmese use to caulk boats, in painting pictures and in preparation of varnishes. A composition prepared by mixing the resin with bees-wax and red ochre is used for fastening spear and arrowheads. Tannin or dyestuff: The leaves, bark and wood contain 11, 13-15, and 10% tannin respectively, and are used for tanning. Medicine: The dammar is applied on sores and wounds. In Indo-China, the bark is used as a masticatory. Other products: The bark yields a supple pale leather. Leaves have a softening effect and are used for finishing mangrove-tanned leathers.

Services
Shade or shelter: The tree is sometimes used to provide shade. Reclamation: The species is used for reforestation in Southeast Asia.

Pests and diseases
Attacks by defoliators have frequently been noticed in plantations towards the close of the rains and continue until the end of the hot weather when new and healthy leaves appear. Stem borers attack saplings in the natural forest. The weevil Nanophyes shorea attacks seeds. Several beetles and larvae of insects of the orders Coleoptera and Isoptera bore in the dead wood and fallen wood.

Species Information
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Old 24-04-2008, 04:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Blimey, have you turned into a solicitor
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Old 24-04-2008, 07:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 24-04-2008, 09:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Always good to read an in depth report of native trees, their habbitat and growing conditions. Good information, thanks for sharing.
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