Mahogany lumber is a very highly prized hardwood, and has been used to make many different products. Large scale uses of mahogany lumber include boats and flooring. Mahogany wood has also been used in furniture construction, outdoor furnishings, and plywood. A brief look at the qualities of mahogany wood will show why it has become so popular with many woodworkers.
What Makes Mahogany Wood Great?
Mahogany wood is grown in tropical areas, including in Africa, Central and South America, and countries throughout Asia. Mahogany comes in a few different shades of darkish red, and the wood will tend to become darker as it weathers in. Mahogany lumber is fairly easy to work with, although experienced woodworkers know to keep their tools good and sharp, since mahogany has a tendency to dull tools. One of mahogany’s best qualities is its density – although it is not among the hardest of hardwoods, it is generally free of air pockets and other deformities. This means that a smooth surface is easy to achieve with minimal finishing.
Mahogany also absorbs stains and preservatives extremely well, which allows you to put a nice glossy surface which will not leave oily residue. This quality makes mahogany lumber perfect for outdoor furnishings like deck chairs and tables.
Making Mahogany Furniture
Almost any woodworker can produce their own mahogany furniture, because mahogany lumber is quite easy to work with when compared with other hardwoods. Mahogany furniture such as dressers, sideboards, and tables have been a fixture in fine homes for many years, but the recent expansion of the do it yourself market has made mahogany furniture more widely available.
Mahogany wood is quite moderately priced, and has the quality and rigidity necessary for heavy furniture pieces like bureaus and wardrobes. An economical alternative to mahogany is mahogany plywood, which retains the deep colouring of mahogany but tends to be less costly. Mahogany used for outdoor furnishings should be stained regularly, however, since mahogany wood does not have good natural resistance to parasites or fungus.
While it was once reserved for finer applications and more expensive furniture, mahogany wood has in some senses “come to the people,” becoming more accessible to the do it yourselfer market. That is why many woodworkers are choosing new projects using mahogany lumber.