African Versus Honduras Mahogany
From contributor R:
Iíve used African before, and the main problem I had was checking that only showed up after the finish was applied.
From contributor G:
I've used a great deal of African, and am fairly happy with it. Contributor A and Contributor R mentioned a few of the problems. It can get "stringy" when machined. I also have seen stress cracks that run perpendicular to the grain.
We use a great deal of quartered, because it has the ribbon striping on the face. I personally think the grain looks much nicer in "ribbon". But, Honduras can have that look too. I just don't see it as prevalent. I wouldn't hesitate using it again.
From contributor W:
Stringy - you got that right. I was recently dadoing 3" wide African mahogany on my router table. Once I was finished, the bottom of the dados were so stringy and rough that it took over two hours to get them sanded smooth and not to mention all the fuzz and stringy material in the router collet and bit. It seems to me that that species always seems to have high moisture content and it seems to bow quite a bit after being ripped to size. Itís always a gamble. I donít really like it but it does finish quite nicely.
From contributor J:
I have inspected, bought, sold and machined both species for over thirty years. The guys that said it is "stringy, tears easy, etc...." are somewhat correct. Actually if all of your knives are sharp and your machinery is well maintained, you will not have those problems. African gets somewhat darker, but takes 15-20 years before you notice it. Also, to anyone who gets his/her distributor to lay out the "ribbon stripe", your distributor gladly does that. It brings a premium of anywhere from $600-$800 more. Almost all "true mahogany" moulding is African, but the laymen/general public has no idea.
From contributor P:
Availability is the biggest issue here, along with price. I've had poor luck with the lighter colored mahoganies and Iíve had them fuzz from machining. Neither is very stable - rip a board on your table saw and watch it snake every which way. Spanish cedar is a pretty good cost effective option.
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Comment from contributor M:
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