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Mahogany, African

Interlocked or straight grain, often with a ribbon figure, and a moderately coarse texture. Creamy white sapwood and reddish brown heartwood, often with a purple cast.

Thicknesses

Subject to availability

4/4
5/4
6/4
7/4
8/4
9/4
10/4
12/4
16/4
20/4
1/2"
3/4"
1"

Distribution

West tropical Africa

Scientific Name

Khaya spp. (Khaya anthotheca, K. grandifoliola, K. ivorensis, K. senegalensis)

Specific Gravity: Basic

0.52

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.64

Janka Hardness

1070

Colour/Appearance

Heartwood colour is variable, ranging from a very pale pink to a deeper reddish brown, sometimes with streaks of medium to dark reddish brown. Colour tends to darken with age. Quartersawn surfaces can also exhibit a ribbon-stripe appearance.

Grain/Texture

Grain is straight to interlocked, with a medium to coarse texture. Good natural luster with a light-refracting optical phenomenon known as chatoyancy.

Endgrain

Diffuse-porous; large to very large pores, very few; solitary and radial multiples; orange/brown deposits occasionally present; growth rings usually indistinct, though sometimes distinct due to terminal parenchyma; rays medium to wide, fairly close spacing; parenchyma scanty to vasicentric, and occasionally marginal (not typical for Khaya spp.).

Rot Resistance

Rated as moderately durable; moderate to poor insect/borer resistance.

Workability

Easy to work, glue, and finish. Tearout can sometimes be a problem if the grain is interlocked.

Odor

No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity

Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, African Mahogany has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation.

Pricing/Availability

Readily available in a variety of lumber sizes, as well as plywood and veneer. Prices are low to moderate for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.
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