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Working with Kiri timber

KIRI is a clear, dimensionally stable, knot-free, durable, low density, easily worked, non-structural timber. In this respect it is not sold with a Stress Grading. Its uses are in indoor and outdoor situations where it is required for its unique characters such as grain, colour, workability, lightness and durability.

This information gives users the benefits of our workshop experience with KIRI.


KIRI can be nailed by hand or air-actuated tool. Bearing in mind KIRI is a relatively soft timber and therefore requires lower pressures to effect the desired penetration. KIRI has a low tendency to split and is best used in conjunction with an adhesive.


Hand and power driven screws are suitable for use with KIRI provided that adequate attention is given to tool settings, so as not to overdrive the screw and reduce the holding ability of the thread. Good results are obtained by observing these constraints particularly when using pozi-drive screws.

The uniformity of grain in KIRI gives more consistent results with minimal splitting.


KIRI has been tested with five different brands of PVA, Cross-linked PVA and Urea Formaldehyde adhesives. Samples were prepared with each type of adhesive and Standard Separation tests conducted. ManufacturerS' recommendations were observed for each adhesive. 100% of the tested samples passed i.e. they did not separate along the glue line.

All gave excellent results with minimal clamping time. Comparative tests between KIRI and other hardwoods all showed the superiority of KIRI timber with respect to fast cure time and uniform glue time. In all cases, using PVA adhesives on KIRI halved the average time required for clamping. The time and cost saving in a board jointing production run is obvious.


KIRI is easy to sand. A smooth finish can be achieved using minimal effort. Sanding materials generally last much longer with KIRI than other hardwoods. A fine finish is achieved in much less time. There is a very low resin content in KIRI which results in longer sandpaper life and less clogging of belts and pad sanders.


KIRI is easy to saw, plane, mould, turn and carve. Low silica content results in longer life of all tool edges when working with KIRI. All facets of power machining of this timber should give good results.


KIRI accepts paints and stains well. Oil and spirit stains are easily applied and give excellent results. A suitable sanding sealer is recommended before the application of clear finishes. Opaque finishes adhere readily. Light sanding between coats is recommended.


KIRI boards are suitable for lining in all interior wall and ceiling situations including bathrooms and saunas. They can be fixed vertically, horizontally and diagonally. Our lining boards are supplied dressed so that they can be sealed with a moisture excluding coating. Lining boards should be supported at a maximum of 600mm spacings. In kitchen and bathroom areas it is recommended that KIRI be sealed on both sides before fixing. Two to Three coats of a polyurethane clear resin will give good protection of exposed surfaces.


The lightness and relative strength of KIRI makes it an ideal timber for exposed joinery such as external doors and windows. Tests have shown that KIRI, in its natural state, has an outdoor durability rating comparable to Western Red Cedar. To preserve the natural appearance of KIRI some form of proprietary coating should be applied.


The natural durability of KIRI lends itself to exterior cladding applications either in its natural blond coloured state or colour matched to suit your environment. It is recommended that an appropriate water repellent sealant be applied (minimum two coats) before fixing. Where heavy exposure may be encountered KIRI responds well to light organic solvent (LOSP) type preservatives, increasing outdoor life by preventing the onset of decay.


The 1200mm by 2400mm panels should be vertically stacked when stored. To maximise the benefits of the panel it must be braced when used in situations such as doors, partitions and table tops.

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