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BasswoodSugar PineWestern Red CedarWestern Red CedarRedwoodHonduras MahoganyTable of Contents

THE TREE American mahogany is the original commercial mahogany. Cuban or Spanish mahogany was brought to Europe by the Spaniards from their West Indian colonies in the late 16th century, but it was in the 18th century that mahogany came to prominence in furniture desigh by Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Sheraton. Since then it has been in continuous use for fine cabinetwork in a variety of styles.
Today, Cuban mahogany Swietenia mahogani is a rare wood, and most American mahogany, mainly Swietenia macrophylla comes from the mainland and is sold as Honduras, Brazilian, Peruvian mahogany, etc., according to it's origin.

THE WOOD Mahogany is variably a medium to deep red brown. Cuban mahogany is dark and heavy, and most mainland wood is lighter in weight and paler in color. It has a medium texture and is often of plain appearance, but occcasional logs with an irregular grain give a highly figured wood.

TECHNICAL PROPERTIES American mahogany is easily dried and stable in use. It saws easily and can be machined to an excellent finish.

USES Though American mahogany available today is a milder wood than that used in older furniture, it is still regarded as the finest of the commercial mahoganies. It is used for high-class furniture, especially reproduction work, for fine joinery and for panelling. It is also used for planking and fittings in ships and boats as it combines stability and durability with light weight, and for engravres' blocks and engineers' patterns as it is stable and can be carved to give fine detail.

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