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Scientific Name: Swietenia macrophylla
Other Common Names: Honduras mahogany, Belize mahogany, Bigleaf mahogany, Mara, Acajou, Caoba.
Growing Regions: Mahogany is found in Central and Latin America. The trees grow mainly in dry forests but can also be found in moist forests.
Characteristics of Tree: These trees can have heights in excess of 150 feet and trunk diameters of more than 72 inches.
Characteristics of Wood: In general, mahogany has a good strength-to-weight ratio despite variable strength among pieces of the wood. This variation is caused by differences in density. Mahogany’s texture is uniform, ranging from fine or medium to coarse. It has no odor and is very durable. Heartwood is resistant to fungi and attack by termites. Mahogany also works well with planing and mortising operations except figured material, which chips and tears. The wood also does well with hand tools and sanding.
Finishing Characteristics: Mahogany takes stain, varnish and polish well.
Workability: Glues, nails and screws well.
Common Uses: Cabinetmaking, bedroom suites, boat building, chairs, chests, desks, office furniture, rustic furniture, veneer, mouldings.
Special Features: Mahogany is highly lustrous and its grain ranges from straight to wavy, striped or curly. Grain irregularities often make the wood more attractive. These irregularities cause figures such as fiddle- back, blister, strip, mottle or roe. Mahogany is also an excellent choice for boat building because of its resistance to moisture.
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