Lexicon DIY-Knowledge





The trade designation mahogany includes a number of different kinds of deciduous tropical timbers. They mainly differ in colour and grain structure, and they originate in different natural habitats. From Western and Central Africa comes the sipo- and sapelli-mahogany. On the Caribbean coast of Central America and in tropical South America you can find the true mahogany, also known as American mahogany.This type is most frequently used in Europe and will be discussed here.

The American mahogany is a timber of medium weight, which shrinks little and which can be sliced and peeled equally well. It is consistent in form and joints and highly appealing to the eye: a wide, grey sap section surrounds the light to reddish brown heartwood with its distinct grain structure. Its strong age hue enhances the decorative effect and is therefore highly welcome.
The wood can be well processed manually and with machines and can be polished with excellent results. Pre-drilling is recommended prior to nailing and screwing. Mahogany shows strong signs of corrosion after contact with iron, copper or brass. It disturbs the formation of a surface film and the drying of polyester based varnish used for surface treatment. The durability of varnish on mahogany is not the best, however, the natural resistance of this timber is good to very good.
Mahogany is used for a variety of purposes as high-quality veneer wood for interior fittings and decorations, for furniture, as structural timber for indoor and outdoor purposes, as well as for carving and wood turning.
Dust generated after sanding mahogany irritates the eyes and mucous membranes! Appropriate precautions have to be taken before the wood is processed.