Rubber Wood?

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Forum topic by AndyDuframe posted 06-28-2012 02:28 PM 9258 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 2534 days

06-28-2012 02:28 PM

I was looking at some imported furniture the other day at a store called “World Market” —and an employee there (who was assembling the furniture) told me it was all made from rubber wood. I don’t know much about the species, other than it’s supposed to be a more eco-friendly lumber that grows fast.

Anyone ever use it?


12 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 2688 days

#1 posted 06-28-2012 02:37 PM

I’ve never used it, but I believe that I read somewhere that it’s cut from the rubber trees that are no longer producing the sap, that is used to make rubber.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3837 posts in 2904 days

#2 posted 06-28-2012 02:52 PM

The good thing is that the furniture will bounce…................
Sorry. Just had to post that.
Yet. Made from rubber trees. Seems to be ok wood to work.


View jerkylips's profile


233 posts in 1514 days

#3 posted 06-28-2012 03:46 PM

I bought a coffee table & a couple end tables online years ago that were made of rubber wood. It was one of these places that sold unfinished, assemble yourself stuff, but all solid wood, no particle board, etc. It held up really well & still looks good, but it took stain kind of weird. It was quite a while ago, but I remember it being really blotchy the first coat, & that I had to let it sit a LONG time to soak in – the first attempts barely changed the color from raw wood..

View AndyDuframe's profile


48 posts in 2534 days

#4 posted 06-28-2012 04:37 PM

but it took stain kind of weird

The rubber wood furniture I saw in the store actually looked really nice. I’m not sure what kind stain or finish was used, but the grain looked super-dense, almost like bamboo. As far as blotching goes, I wonder if just a pre-stain conditioner would do the trick, same way it works with staining pine.


View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 1942 days

#5 posted 06-28-2012 06:11 PM

Just what I have seen and read about it. Apparently, they harvest it from the trees that are no longer producing latex. It gets really nasty sticky and weird black splotches and such from the sap.

For the most part it was just burnt before. A few years ago, someone came up with a process to cook the lumber in steam and remove the excess latex to make usable lumber. I have never seen it on sale anywhere but I believe it is all sold to big production facilities. By itself it is kind of blah looking light colored hardwood. It can be colored and it is a lot the wood that comes as furniture from Pier One and the like.

Other than it not being particularly attractive on its own, it seems to be well thought of a a secondary wood and for less expensive furniture and the like. I think I remember it as being heavier than poplar and cuts and machines well.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View AndyDuframe's profile


48 posts in 2534 days

#6 posted 06-28-2012 08:20 PM

I have never seen it on sale anywhere but I believe it is all sold to big production facilities

Yeah, that was my impression, too. Which immediately made me think, oh great—another rain forest gone. However, the guy at World Market insisted this is not the case, and that rubber trees are grown and harvested elsewhere.

@David Kirtley—I think “” is available :-)


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David Kirtley

1286 posts in 1942 days

#7 posted 06-28-2012 11:05 PM

Andy, yeah, as I have been doing 99.5% metalworking for the last few months I ought to think about it.

Of course I wouldn’t keep it up either, so it would be a waste of time. Blogging takes a lot more commitment than I seem to be able to muster for it. ;)

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View NiteWalker's profile


2725 posts in 1521 days

#8 posted 06-29-2012 08:19 AM

It’s a decent wood; similar to maple.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 1277 days

#9 posted 06-29-2012 08:43 AM

My mother’s Malaysian kitchen table is made out of Rubber Wood.
I’m not too much a fan of it, perhaps the table quality makes me think less of it. It has a very dark stain on it and on all the chairs, you can see the finish worn off and a nice bright patch of wood.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View toolchap's profile


149 posts in 1864 days

#10 posted 06-30-2012 05:01 PM

If it can stretch to the length I never have at hand, I am all for it.

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5675 posts in 2252 days

#11 posted 06-30-2012 06:42 PM

It also is called condom wood. Actually this is the first time i have ever heard of it. Apparently there are so many different wood types that go by so many different names for the same species that is hard to keep track.
I have always found it interesting that some woods are so outrageously beautiful while others are so bland and ugly.

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpieceā€¦ because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View pmayer's profile


660 posts in 2009 days

#12 posted 06-30-2012 10:45 PM

I bought a set of chairs made of rubberwood about 10 years ago, and stained it to match a natural cherry dining table using a custom tinted stain. It took stain beautifully and has held up great. I don’t know much about the wood itself other than it is quite solid and the chairs have served us quite well. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy them again.

-- PaulMayer,

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