Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Luxury of Mahogany

Many have said the world was once shaped by the trading, importing, and exporting of wood.  The wood of luxury for early America was no other than Mahogany.  What wood other than Mahogany would have been covered for 6 out 7 courses in a meal and than showcased in desert course.

Mahogany is truly a joy to work with. I often compare the joy of working with mahogany to Eastern White  Pine.  Over my short 16 year career in furniture making and repair one thing is certain, the quality of Mahogany has gotten worse. But what choice do restorers have when needing Mahogany for a historic home or piece of furniture? Well I think we need to start thinking long and hard on how our love for Mahogany effects the world.  If interested in understanding the effects of such a luxury material than please read the following link: Mahogany's last stand.   

Today I don't purchase much or if any exotic materials of recent import.  What I do own for exotic materials is either from my early days in the field when I didn't know better or simply old stock from estates. I think craftspeople today should enjoy local domestic woods that have been harvested in a sustainable manner.


Mahogany Seed Pod



  1. Hey Freddie,

    I pretty much gave up on Mahogany for the reasons you stated. I use almost only domestic cherry, walnut, and maple any more.
    However, I have heard that "Utile" can be a good substitute for mahogany. Any opinions about that?


    1. William,

      I am not a fan of Sipo, but I do enjoy African Mahogany. Thank you for sharing the article with me. I will add it to the blog.



  2. Freddy, I agree, I have given up on Mahogany. Only domestic hardwood now