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Thread: the reality and high cost of using mahogany

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs

    the reality and high cost of using mahogany

    No matter where I read articles on fine furniture, it seems mahogany(real, hondurian, south american) is the choice of most.

    I had a nice load of it, although I wasnt always sure when it was sapele or mahogany sometimes when the coloring is light on the sapele.

    I looked over some pieces this morning and now I can tell the two apart.

    Sapele is sometimes referred to as african mahogany, but I never heard anyone say african mahogany is sapele. even though none of them are real mahogany.

    So for the past few weeks Ive been searching and searching for mahogany.

    Ive stopped my searching and here is the best I can do.

    If I purchase 300 bf minimum(thats alot for me, but it seems this is where the decent price breaks begin at different dealers), I can get hondurian mahogany for 8.45-9.00 a bf. I can get delivery for free from the big dealer in the Bronx, NY, which is only 30 minutes away, so I can go pick my own lumber and they will deliver it next day.
    Up in White plains, the other really big dealer, also will let me pick it and I havent discussed delivery options with them yet, but dont think Id need to travel further for same price when closer I get free delivery.

    I can get Sapele(african mahogany) for under 5.00 a bf in 300 bf quantity, or phillipine mahogany(again, not real mahogany, but not so reddish) under 5.50 a bf.

    Building a buffet or a bed runs me around 40-60 bf of primary lumber.

    This is a very expensive species to build 4 pieces a year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    No doubt, mahogany is a fine looking wood and the choice of many.
    But, agree with the quote I read somewhere (whoever said it, I apologize for lack of attribution) "If it's worth making, it is worth making from walnut."
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Syracuse, Nebraska
    I was just at one of my suppliers this morning in Lincoln, NE. All of his stuff is S3S. Sapele was $9.75 BF and Honduras Mahogany was $14.90 BF. I bought some of his $4.60 Walnut.......Frank is right.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Westphalia, Michigan
    I have a grand piano in my shop waiting for me to refinish. I bought it at auction for a pittance. I knew it was ribbon mahogany and was really pleased and surprised to find it was curly ribbon mahogany. The curl pattern runs @ 90 degrees to the ribbons. Don't know which species it is.

    Once I get going with the refinish and replace a stolen camera I'll post some pictures. Sure is beautiful wood. Mahogany sure has a variety of figure. I have bought some quilted sapele in the past.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

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