Okume plywood: high density hardwood core with natural pinkish brown face.

Okoume plywood, what can it do?

In the last few blog posts, we’ve discussed interior design and a couple of plywood you can use for such applications. This week, we would like to introduce another type of plywood, Okoume plywood. Okoume is a species of tree often found in the central parts of Africa. With distinctive color and texture, Okoume wood provides excellent veneers for plywood manufacturing. In this post, we’ll see how Okoume plywood performs in its various applications and if it’s something worth getting.

Okoume trees largely grow in the Congo, Gabon, and Africa’s equatorial Guinea. It’s known for its beautiful color scheme, usually a reddish hue or pinkish brown; coupled with its unique wavy wood grain, you have on your hands one of the best looking wood out there. Okoume’s good looks translate directly to its wood veneers, as Okoume plywood retains its distinctive appearances after being sliced. This makes it perfect for furniture building purposes, as the beautiful wood color scheme can fit into most designs, while also extremely easy to paint or stain.

Okoume is not the strongest plywood on the market; but it’s not the weakest either. In terms of strength to weight ratio, pure Okoume plywood is by far the best plywood, making it ideal to use in builds where weight is a big factor, like building boats. However, if you fancy the beautiful Okoume surface but still need something more hardy, Okoume can still be made to withstand more weight. Depending on manufacturing specifications, Okoume plywood can be produced with a high density hardwood core to rival top tier hardwoods in terms of strength. Creating a heavy board with hardwood core and Okoume red face veneer.

Frequently used to manufacture Marine plywood (which does exactly what it says, plywood used in water environments), Okoume plywood is often manufactured with special waterproof glue; which is rather expensive, not to mention potentially toxic. Although, sustainability wise, that’s the only thing you’d have to worry about with Okoume wood. As a species, Okoume is recorded to grow very fast in its natural habitat, dominant trees can grow at a speed of 1m per year; so patches of harvested Okoume forest can be replenished in a (rather) short period of time.

All in all, of the different plywood types we’ve looked at so far, Okoume must be the most unique and stand out wood out of all. Okoume plywood usually can’t compare to other plywood in most conventional aspects; but what it does have allows Okoume plywood to specialize in aspects no other wood can (and the fact that it looks stunning doesn’t hurt either). If you’re currently wondering about how Okoume would square up against other plywood, like Birch, check out this article here: https://amcvietnam.com.vn/what-is-birch-plywood/

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