Genuine mahogany

Common Name(s): Honduran mahogany, genuine mahogany, big-leaf mahogany, Brazilian mahogany, American 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): 0.52, 0.59

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, from a pale pinkish brown to a darker reddish brown. Color tends to darken with age. Mahogany also exhibits an optical phenomenon known as chatoyancy. (See video below.)

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, wild-grown trees tend to produce darker, heavier, and more durable lumber, while plantation-grown stock can be lighter in weight, paler in color, and slightly less rot resistant.) Heartwood is generally resistant to termites, but vulnerable to other insects.

Workability: Typically very easy to work with both hand and machine tools. (With exception to sections with figured or irregular grain, which can tearout or chip during machining.) Slight dulling of cutters can occur. Sands very easily. Turns, glues, stains, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Honduran mahogany has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye, skin and respiratory irritation, as well as less common effects, such as boils, asthma-like symptoms, nausea, giddiness, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

1 product