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Species


Genuine Mahogany

Common name: Honduran Mahogany, Honduras Mahogany, Genuine Mahogany, Big-Leaf Mahogany
Scientific name: Swietenia macrophylla
Distribution: From Southern Mexico to central South America; also commonly grown on plantations
Tree Size: 150-200 ft (46-60 m) tall, 3-6 ft (1-2 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 37 lbs/ft3 (590 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .52, .59
Janka Hardness: 900 lbf (4,020 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 11,710 lbf/in2 (80.8 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,458,000 lbf/in2 (10.06 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 6,760 lbf/in2 (46.6 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 2.9%, Tangential: 4.3%, Volumetric: 7.5%, T/R Ratio: 1.5

Color/Appearance :Heartwood color can vary a fair amount with Honduran Mahogany, from a pale pinkish brown, to a darker reddish brown. Color tends to darken with age. Many other species sold as Mahogany has color variation but generally reddish brown.

Grain/Texture:Grain can be straight, interlocked, irregular or wavy. Texture is medium and uniform, with moderate natural luster.

Rot Resistance: Varies from moderately durable to very durable depending on density and growing conditions of the tree. (Older growth trees tend to produce darker, heavier, and more durable lumber than plantation-grown stock.) Resistant to termites, but vulnerable to other insects.

Workability:Typically very easy to work with tools: machines well. Slight dulling of cutters can occur. Sands very easily. Turns, glues, stains, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Pricing/Availability:Despite export restrictions, Honduran Mahogany continues to be available in lumber or veneer form, possibly from plantations. Prices are in the mid range for an imported hardwood, though it tends to be more expensive than African Mahogany. Figured or quartersawn lumber is more expensive.

Common Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, turned objects, veneers, musical instruments, boatbuilding, and carving.

Comments:Honduran Mahogany goes by many names, yet perhaps its most accurate and telling name is Genuine Mahogany. Not to be confused with cheaper imitations, such as Philippine Mahogany.
Substitutes sometimes used are African Mahogany or Sapele.
Honduran Mahogany’s easy workability, combined with its beauty and phenomenal stability have made this lumber an enduring favorite.