Honduras Mahogany

 

Honduras Mahogany

 

Botanical Name: 
Swietenia macrophylla

Family: 
Meliaceae

Mature Tree Height, Diameter: 
to 150 ft , to 7 ft

Weight @ 12% M/C: 
52 lbs./ft.3

Working Properties: 
Easy to work with hand and machine tools, chipped grain common with figured material, easy to finish, takes an excellent polish.

Growing Regions: 
Southern Mexico to the Amazon

General Characteristics: 
Reddish brown deepening with age, luster high, texture fine to coarse, grain straight to roey.

Uses: 
Fine furniture and cabinetry, interior trim paneling, boat building, fancy veneers, musical instruments, patterns, turnery, and carving.

Acceptable Substitutes: 
Spanish Cedar, Andiroba

References: 
"Tropical Timbers of the World", USDA Handbook #607, Sept. 1984, p. 157

Discussion: 
Since the discovery of the New World mahogany has become the king of cabinet woods. The wood combines beauty, stability, ease of working, and durability to a higher extent than any other wood. Mahogany is photosensitive like cherry and, over the years, develops the unsurpassed deep, glowing red color one sees in museum furniture. Mahogany sometimes shows figure such as quilted and fiddleback which are among the most desired of all woods. The mahogany tree is very vigorous, relatively fast growing, and widespread from Mexico into southern South America. It is in no way endangered.