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Blunting Effect
Boring
Carving
Comments
Common Names
Common Uses
Countries of Distribution
Cutting Resistance
Distribution Overview
Drying Defects
Ease of Drying
Environmental Profile
Family Name
Gluing
Grain
Heartwood Color
Kiln Drying Rate
Kiln Schedules
Light-Induced Color Change
Luster
Mortising
Moulding
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Natural Growth Defects
Numerical Data
Odor
Planing
Plantation species?
Polishing
Product Sources
References
Regions of Distribution
Resistance to Impregnation
Resistance to Splitting
Response to Hand Tools
Routing & Recessing
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Screwing
Staining
Steam Bending
Strength Properties
Synonyms
Texture
Toxicity
Trade Name
Tree Identification
Tree Size
Turning
Varnishing
Veneering Qualities

Scientific Name
Swietenia macrophylla

Trade Name
Honduras mahogany

Family Name
Meliaceae

Synonyms
Swietenia krukovii, Swietenia tessmannii, Swietenia candollei


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Common Names
Acajou, Acajou Amerique, Acajou d'Amerique, Acajou du Honduras, Aguano, American mahogany, Americkaans mahonie, Amerikaans mahonie, Aquano de tabasco, Ara putange, Araputanga, Bastard lime, Bay-mahogany, Baywood, Belize mahogany, Big leafed mahogany, Big-leafed mahogany, Bigleaf mahogany, Brazilian mahogany, Broad leaved mahogany, Broad-leaved mahogany, Cabano, Caguano, Campeche, Cao, Caoba, Caoba Americana, Caoba de Atlantico, Caoba de Honduras, Caoba Hondurea, Caoba Hondurena, Caoba mahogany, Caoba roja, Caobilla, Cedro espinoso, Cedro-rana, Central American mahogany, Chacalte, Chiapas, Chiculte, Chiculti, Cobano, Costa Rica mahogany, Costa Rico mahogany, Crura, Cuban mahogany, Flor de veradillo, Gateado, Giai ngua, Granadillo, Guatemala mahogany, Honduras mahogany, Large leaf mahogany, Large leaved mahogany, Madeira, Mahogany, Mahogany Honduras, Mahoni, Mahonie, Mara, Mogno, Mogno do rio Jurupari, Orura, Palo xopilote, Palo xopliote, Palo zopilote, Peruvian mahogany, Punab, Purab, Red cedar, Red wood, Resadillo, Sisam, Tabasco mahogany, Tzopible, Tzopilote, Tzutzul, Venezuela mahogany, Zopilocuahuitl, Zopilote, Zopilozontecomacuahuitl

Plantation species?
Yes

Regions of Distribution
Central America, Latin America, Oceania and S.E. Asia

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji [Polynesia], Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico [US], Solomon Islands, Venezuela

Common Uses
Bedroom suites, Boat building (general), Boat building, Boat building: decking, Boat building: planking, Boxes and crates, Building materials, Cabinetmaking, Canoes, Carvings, Chairs, Chests, Coffins, Concealed parts (Furniture), Cooperages, Decorative veneer, Desks, Dining-room furniture, Dowell pins, Dowells, Drawer sides, Drawing boards, Drum sticks, Figured veneer, Fine furniture, Floor lamps, Flooring, Fuelwood, Furniture , Furniture components, Furniture squares or stock, Furniture, Handles: general, Hatracks, Heavy construction, Interior construction, Interior trim, Joinery (external): ground contact, Joinery, Kitchen cabinets, Lifeboats, Light construction, Living-room suites, Mathematical instruments, Millwork, Model airplanes, Moldings, Musical instruments , Musical instruments, Musical instruments: piano, Office furniture, Organ pipes, Paneling , Paneling, Particleboard, Piano keys, Pianos , Plywood corestock, Plywood, Radio - stereo - TV cabinets, Rustic furniture, Scientific instruments, Sculpture, Shipbuilding, Tables, Turnery, Veneer, Veneer: decorative

Environmental Profile
Widespread
Some long-term concern for the species
Secure within many parts of its natural range, but not completely assessed
Rare in parts of its natural range
Extinct, Endangered, Vulnerable, or Rare within parts of its range
Endangered within parts of its natural boundaries
Data source is World Conservation Monitoring Center
Data source is Nature Conservancy
Considered vulnerable in its natural habitat because its numbers are threatened by serious adverse factors throughout its range. However, the species likely exists today in relatively large numbers.


There is some long-term concern about its continued abundance in these areas and the threat to its population in other areas
While it is relatively secure in El Salvador and Honduras, the status of Honduras mahogany in Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and Bolivia is known to be either Extinct, Endangered, Vulnerable, or Rare. The species is Vulnerable in Nicaragua, Rare in Colombia and Endangered within its natural boundaries in Guatemala and the following regions in Brazil: Acre, Amazonas, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Para, and Rondonia

Distribution Overview
Perhaps the most valuable timber tree in the whole of tropical Latin America, Honduras mahogany has an extensive tropical distribution, from the north of the State of Veracruz to Yucatan in Mexico, and along the north Atlantic slope of Central America to Venezuela and Brazil. It also occurs in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia at elevations of up to 4900 feet (1500 m), and on Cape Verde Islands. It is usually found in dry forests but it also occurs in moist and gallery forests. S. macrophylla is now widely planted throughout the whole of the tropics as a forest crop and currently provides almost all mahogany on the commercial market.

Heartwood Color
Red
Brown
Purple
Reddish brown
Yellow to golden-yellow to orange
Pale brown
Pale red to pink
Brown
Dark brown
Red
Dark brown
Yellow
White to cream
Salmon pink to light pinkish brown, or reddish brown
Pink
Matures into deep reddish brown
Exposure to sunlight may fade color
Color varies considerably

The wide variability in color has enabled many look-alike species to be marketed as mahogany.

Sapwood Color
Brown
Red
Pink
White to yellow
Well defined
Pinkish
Whitish
Paler than heartwood
Different than heartwood


Grain
Figure
Straight
Interlocked
Stripe (figure)
Growth rings (figure)
Wavy
Distinct (figure)
Closed
Even
Mottled (figure)
Rippled (figure)
Variable (figure)
Irregular

Straight
Interlocked
Striped figure
Wavy
Clear growth rings (figure)
Distinct figure
Variable figure
Rippled figure
Mottled figure
Straight to roey, wavy, or curly
Storied waves produce wavy horizontal bands across the surface of flat-sawn boards
Irregular

Irregularities in the grain often produce highly attractive figures such as, fiddleback, blister, stripe or roe, and mottle.

Texture
Fine
Medium
Coarse
Medium
Medium to coarse
Fine
Fine to medium
Coarse and uniform


Luster
Medium
High
Pronounced
Lustrous
Slightly lustrous
High
Golden luster


Natural Growth Defects
Yellowish deposits in vessels
Whitish deposits in vessels
Whitish deposits in vessels
Brittleheart is rare or absent. When present, it is sparse in amount


Natural Durability
Resistant to marine borers
Very durable
Susceptible to insect attack
Resistant to termites
Durable
Resistant to powder post beetles
Perishable
Non-resistant to marine borers
Non-resistant to termites
Non-durable
Susceptible to marine borer attack
Durable
Susceptible to attack from termites (Isoptera)
Susceptible to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Pinworms (ambrosia beetles) often present in the standing tree
Pinworms (ambrosia beetles) are commonly present
Very durable
Moderately durable
Susceptible to pinhole borers
Suitable for marine applications
Non durable
Heartwood susceptible to marine borer attack
Heartwood resistant to attack by white rot and brown rot fungi
Heartwood moderately resistant to dry-wood termites
Heartwood has high resistance to decay
Good weathering properties

Mahogany has very good weathering qualities which makes a very good choice for boat building.

Odor
No specific smell or taste


Light-Induced Color Change
Darker


Toxicity
Some toxic effects
Unspecified toxicity
Dermatitic effects


Kiln Schedules
Drying (speed) is fast
UK=F US=T6D4/T3D3 Fr=6
UK=E US=T6D2/T3D1 Fr=5
Kiln Drying Rate (in days) is fairly rapid
Dry at a moderate speed
T6 - D4 (4/4) US
T3 - D3 (8/4) US
Schedule F (4/4) United Kingdom
Kiln Drying Rate (in days) is rapid


Drying Defects
Collapse
Internal Honeycombing Possible
Distortion
Checking
Splitting
Slight surface checking
Slight twist/warp
Moderate twist/warp
No surface checking
No end splitting
Moderate surface checking
Slight spring/bow
Slight end splitting
Slight cupping
No twisting or warping
No resin/gum exudation
No cupping, generally
No collapse/honeycomb
Moderate end spitting
Generally free from spring and bow
Distortion (twist/warp) is likely


Ease of Drying
Moderately Difficult to Difficult
Fairly Easy
Slowly
Easy
Dries easily with very little degrade


Kiln Drying Rate
Naturally dries slowly
Fairly rapid (11-17 days for boards under 32 mm, to 31-51 days for boards greater than 63 mm)
Rapid (<10 days for boards < 32 mm, to <30 days for boards >= 63 mm)


Tree Identification
Bole/stem form is buttressed
Bole/stem form is straight
Bole/stem form is cylindrical


Tree Size
Tree height is 40-50 m
Trunk diameter is 100-150 cm
Tree height is 30-40 m
Trunk diameter is 150-200 cm
Tree height is 50-60 m
Trunk diameter is 200-250 cm
Bark width is 10-15 mm
Bark width is 15-20 mm
Trunk diameter is 250-300 cm


Product Sources
The ITTO reports that the species is an important source of timber for export. It is exported in the form of square-edged timber, veneers, and plywood.

Honduras mahogany is readily available at moderate prices at present, but its continued availability is of some concern because of high demand. Current supplies of the standing trees are also becoming more inaccessible and scarce due to exploitation.

Comments
General finishing qualities are rated as good

Tension wood may be present

Blunting Effect
Moderate
High to severe
Blunting effect on machining is slight
Slight
Blunting effect on sawing dry wood is mild
Blunting effect on machining is moderate


Boring
Fairly difficult to very difficult
Easy
Good results


Carving
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Generally good results


Cutting Resistance
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult to saw
Cutting Resistance with green wood is easy
Cutting Resistance with dry wood is easy
Easy to saw


Gluing
Easy to glue


Mortising
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Easy to mortise
Material tends to chip and tear
Finishes poorly


Moulding
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Easy to mould
Good finishing results


Movement in Service
Small
Stable

Mahogany is considered to be one of the most stable commercially important timbers, and holds its place very well in use.

Nailing
Pre-Boring Recommended
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Holds nails well
Possible if prebored
Good nailing properties
Easy to nail


Planing
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Easy to plane
Planes well, to a good finish
Planes to a satisfactory finish
Figured material may cause grain to chip and tear


Resistance to Impregnation
Resistant heartwood
Resistant sapwood
Heartwood is highly resistant
Heartwood is resistant
Sapwood is resistant
Sapwood is permeable
Heartwood is permeable


Resistance to Splitting
Good


Response to Hand Tools
Easy to Work
Fairly Difficult to Difficult to Work
Easy to machine
Good response


Routing & Recessing
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Routing is easy
Routing yields good results


Sanding
Easy to sand
Satisfactory sanding results
Good sanding finish


Screwing
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Satisfactory results
Easy to screw
Screwing yields good results
Good screwing properties


Turning
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Easy to turn
Good results
Finish is generally satisfactory


Veneering Qualities
Easy to cut
There is slight to moderate drying degrade and the potential for buckles and splits
Suitable for slicing
Suitable for peeling
No steaming needed during bolt preparation.
Good gluing qualities


Steam Bending
Fair to Good Results
Moderate
Fairly good response to preservative treatment


Polishing
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Good results


Staining
Finish is generally satisfactory
Finish is generally good
Stains well


Varnishing
Satisfactory
Good results


Strength Properties
Density (dry weight) = 31-37 lbs/cu. ft.
Max. crushing strength = medium
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = very low
Bending strength (MOR) = low
Shrinkage, Tangential = very small
Hardness (side grain) = medium
Shrinkage, Radial = small
Shrinkage, Radial = very small
Density (dry weight) = 38-45 lbs/cu. ft.
Shrinkage, Tangential = small
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = low
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = very low
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = medium
Max. crushing strength = low
Density (dry weight) = 46-52 lbs/cu. ft.
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = low
Toughness (total work) = very low
Work to Maximum Load = very low
Density (dry weight) = 15-22 lbs/cu. ft.
Strength properties vary because of wide differences in density
Shrinkage, Tangential = moderate
Shrinkage, Radial = moderate
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = very high
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = high
Hardness (side grain) = very soft
Density = high
Density (dry weight) = 53-60 lbs/cu. ft.
Density (dry weight) = 23-30 lbs/cu. ft.
Compression strength (parallel to grain) = medium
Bending strength (MOR) = high

Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = very high
Hardness (side grain) = soft
Bending strength (MOR) = medium

Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Bending Strength788511575psi
Crushing Strength9051548psi
Density35lbs/ft3
Hardness1006lbs
Impact Strength2921inches
Maximum Crushing Strength39796284psi
Shearing Strength1532psi
Static Bending49016788psi
Stiffness118513531000 psi
Toughness103inch-lbs
Work to Maximum Load67inch-lbs/in3
Specific Gravity0.530.57
Weight3332lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage2%
Tangential Shrinkage4%
Volumetric Shrinkage8%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Bending Strength554813kg/cm2
Crushing Strength63108kg/cm2
Density560kg/m3
Hardness456kg
Impact Strength7353cm
Maximum Crushing Strength279441kg/cm2
Shearing Strength107kg/cm2
Static Bending344477kg/cm2
Stiffness83951000 kg/cm2
Toughness118cm-kg
Work to Maximum Load0.420.49cm-kg/cm3
Specific Gravity0.530.57
Weight528512kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage2%
Tangential Shrinkage4%

References
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