Mahogany Wood: Properties, Characteristics & Uses

Mahogany is a world-class wood species

Mahogany is a world-class wood species that is found in many variants, such as African Mahogany, Cuban Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany, Santos Mahogany, Mountain Mahogany, Philippine Mahogany, etc., mainly based on the origin. It’s a heartwood, usually in deep red-brown color, with occasional dark reddish streaks.

Mahogany is used in both timber and logs forms, mainly for making furniture, cabinets, flooring, etc. The usability and specific properties, however, depending on where the wood has grown.

Since African Mahogany is one of the most popular species, we will talk about its properties and uses here.

Common Properties

Scientific Name: Khaya spp.

Distribution: West tropical Africa, African Mahogany is grown in almost all parts of the country, but major plantation can be found in the West tropical regions.

Tree Size: With 100-130 ft (30-40 m) height, Mahogany is one of the highest naturally-grown trees. The trunk diameter is usually 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) in size.

Average Dried Weight: 40 lbs/ft3 (640 kg/m3)

Some of the reasons why Mahogany is so popular among woodworkers, luthiers and merchants is the easy availability and workability of this African hardwood.

In-depth View of Mahogany properties & characteristics

Color

African Mahogany color ranges from pale pink to dark reddish-brown, depending on the age. The heartwood grows darker with age. Also, it sometimes may have red-brown colored streaks.

Hardness/durability

Even though it’s a hardwood, Mahogany is not very hard. It ranks average in terms of hardness and has moderate, but not high, durability. Being not very durable, it’s poor to medium resistant to insects.

Workability

Since is a soft hardwood, it’s usually easy to work with. It is also easy to mill or cut in different shapes or timber sizes. At Cameroon Timber Export, you can buy African Mahogany timber in all standard sizes and shapes.

Stability

The stability of hardwood depends on its grain texture and moisture content, among other things. Mahogany has straight to interlocked grains, which makes it highly stable. The moisture content of the wood can be reduced through kiln drying.

Pricing

Mahogany is easily available and grown in almost all parts of the world. The prices are usually low or moderate, depending on where you’re importing Mahogany from.

Aesthetics and Uses of Mahogany

The most common use of Mahogany species is for furniture making. Almost everywhere in the world, Mahogany furniture is made with either locally-grown or imported Mahogany wood. The furniture made from Mahogany wood has a premium look and moderate stability. They look even better with a clean finish.

Other common uses of Mahogany include wood flooring, wood doors & windows, high-end trim work, veneering, turned items, plywood making, boatbuilding, etc. It’s also widely used for making guitar bodies.