Camphor wood is one of the most popular wood types in the market mostly because of its aromatic smell and other characteristics such as durability, stability, and beauty. This wood and related ingredients are widely used for scents not only in fragrances but in cosmetics as well.
Many cultures use the wood of camphor and burn them a little, just to spread its beautiful smell in the room. Though everything looks fine, is camphor wood good for furniture? The short answer is Yes, but keep reading to learn about different aspects and characteristics of the wood. We will also go through tips and tricks to identify and protect this wood efficiently.
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Camphor tree is also known as Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J. Presl (Lauraceae) is grown in many Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Taiwan.
These are the major producers but the tree is not bound to just these areas as camphor wood comes from Australia and many other parts of the world as well.
Camphor is a hardwood extracted from an evergreen tree also known as Camphor Laurel and Camphor Tree. With its moderate density, it is relatively less tough than many other hardwoods in the market.
The wood can be cut with simple working tools without requiring any major machines and unique techniques. Also, because of the grain patterns and texture, cutting it doesn’t have many risks of splitting or cracking.
|Scientific name of the wood/tree
|Height of the tree
|20 – 30 meters (60 – 65 feet)
|Truck diameter of the tree
|0.6 – 1.2 meters (2 – 4 feet)
|Wood’s Janka hardness rating
|950 lbf, 4440N
|Type or category of wood and tree
|Hardwood, Evergreen Tree
|Commonly used for
|Furniture, Cabinetry, Chests, turning items.
Camphor is a vertical wood and is used for a wide range of applications mainly including:
- Turned items
Camphor wood is also used in medical fields and for fragrances by extracting aromatic oils from the wood or its bark.
Camphor wood is naturally proven to be resistant to insects, pests, and termites attacks which directly makes it a highly rated durable wood for furniture. Though the exact durability will depend on various factors such as the finishing, polishing, external conditions, and maintenance, if taken care of properly, camphor wood furniture can last for decades.
Camphor wood has a moderate density which means it is easy to cut and design in any shape you want. That’s the reason that you can find camphor wood furniture ranging from minimal design to very complex structures as well.
The wood is also resistant to cracking, splitting, or breaking apart in the middle of the cutting process. The grain structure is suitable for better finishing, polishing, and glues very well.
Camphor wood has a unique smell that can repel insects, moths, pests, and termites. This makes it an efficient choice for furniture and especially cabinetry.
The wood smells a little herbal, woody, spicy, and cool. Apart from this, its durability, stability, strength, and ease of working, make it a good choice to be used for furniture.
Camphor has an attractive appearance because of its grain patterns, texture, and color variation. The color will mainly depend on the condition in which the tree was cultivated. The most common shades include:
- Olive Green
- Light Brown
The wood looks almost like heartwood but it has irregular darker streaks at varying spots.
First, you can sand camphor wood but it’s not compulsory to do it. However, many woodworkers prefer sanding in the furniture as it can bring up the smoothness and shine before you put up the polish for finishing.
Here are the advantages that come with buying camphor wood furniture:
- Great in repelling insects, pests, moths, mosquitos, and termites.
- Can last for decades.
- Have good stability and can withstand pressure.
- Straight to wavy grains give an attractive look.
- Does not have any health negatives.
- Emits a pleasant aroma that feels refreshing.
Here are some drawbacks that you may face when working or buying furniture from camphor wood:
- Some people may not like its scent.
- Not-so-hard as compared to other hardwoods.
- Varying colors of wood.
- Relatively high cost.
- Highly flammable.
Identifying the wood is essential to prevent yourself from any scams or buying furniture of low quality.
- The scent could be a great identifier as it is just the same as camphor oil.
- The wood has darker streaks and wavy grain patterns.
- Can have slight shades of red and gray.
- The wood is dense and has moderate weight which means that it feels solid yet quite easy to move.
- The furniture should have a shiny and smooth finish with an even or fine texture.
There are many things you can do to maintain your camphor wood furniture. Doing so will not only make it look good but will increase its longevity to a great extent. Some tips and tricks include the following:
- Use blotting paper, tissue, or towel to remove water or any liquid spilled on the furniture.
- Clean for dust and debris on a regular basis.
- Use curtains, sheets, or shade to protect furniture from direct sunlight.
- Camphor wood doesn’t like dry environments, so use a humidifier if you are in such an area.
- Don’t use harsh products or chemicals for cleaning as they can affect the texture and finish in the long run.
- Always ask for a layer of protective finish on the furniture.