Quartersawn mahogany, or is it?

      An architectural woodworker seeks specifications and industry guidelines for what constitutes truly quartersawn mahogany. March 5, 2000.

I am having a small argument with my supplier as to whether or not the 3000 BF of Honduran mahogany I just received is truly quartersawn.

Some of it is, and obviously so.

The manager insists that mahogany is not truly "quartered and then sawn." He says that, as the wood comes out of the kiln, workers choose pieces for pattern grade and quartering characteristics. He says this is what you get when you order quartered Honduran mahogany.
This grade was the spec for a federal courtroom in Nashville, and I am feeling my way through this. I am not happy, and my feeling is that most of this wood is crap: wild grain, non-straight, etc. It takes off pretty good and pretty consistently as we saw it.

Any thoughts or responses? We could hire an independent lumber grader to come to check the wood, and if it is indeed correctly graded his services would be at our expense.

Regrading is done under certain rules and if the grade is off by more than 5 percent, you are home free!

The definition of quartersawn varies. Some people, including the U.S. Forest Products Lab, say that a piece is quartersawn when the rings are between 45 to 90 degrees with the face; otherwise it is flatsawn. The common definition in the industry is 75 to 90 degrees is quartered, 45 to 75 is rift. The National Hardwood Lumber Association has a slightly different definition: the ray fleck "must show well."
Gene Wengert, forum moderator

Just my opinion as a (former) lumber inspector for an importer. Sounds to me like what you got is what is commonly sold as "quartered" mahogany - it will include true quartered boards as well as rift sawn ones. Given your need with architectural requirements, you should have placed an order specifying exactly what you required - of course, the cost would have been more as well.

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