Honduran Mahogany

Common Name(s): Honduran mahogany, genuine mahogany, big-leaf mahogany, Brazilian mahogany, Fijian mahogany

Scientific Name: Swietenia macrophylla

Distribution: From Southern Mexico to central South America; also commonly grown on plantations

Janka Hardness: 900 lbf (4,020 N)

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.

Grain/Texture: Grain can be straight, interlocked, irregular or wavy. Texture is medium and uniform, with moderate natural luster.

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.

Sustainability: This wood species is in CITES Appendix II, and is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation. Plantation Mahogany from Fiji is an non indigenous species grown on plantations and is not under any export restrictions.

Common Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, turned objects, veneer, musical instruments, boatbuilding, and carving.