Genuine Mahogany Lumber


Genuine Mahogany, scientifically referred to as Swietenia macrophylla, is an esteemed tropical hardwood lauded for its remarkable aesthetic appeal, resilience, and ease of working. Its reputation as a premier wood for fine craftsmanship, cabinetry, and luxurious furniture-making is well-deserved. The wood showcases a captivating reddish-brown color that gains even greater depth and luster as it matures over time. Beyond its visual allure, Genuine Mahogany is highly valued for its robustness and stability, rendering it suitable for a wide array of uses, both indoors and outdoors.

Genuine Mahogany Lumber

With a history rooted in traditional craftsmanship and timeless elegance, Genuine Mahogany has earned a special place in the hearts of woodworkers and artisans worldwide. Its desirable attributes, such as the ability to be effortlessly shaped, planed, and finished, make it a delight to work with for crafting intricate designs and achieving a smooth, polished surface.

Moreover, the lumber’s resistance to decay and insects ensures its longevity, making it an excellent choice for various applications, including high-quality furniture, interior millwork, musical instruments, boatbuilding, and outdoor projects like decking and furniture. While the species faces sustainability challenges due to past overharvesting, responsible sourcing from well-managed forests or plantations is vital to preserve this treasured hardwood for future generations.

Common Name’sGenuine Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany
Scientific NameSwietenia macrophylla
DistributionNative to Central and South America, including Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, and Peru. Also cultivated in plantations in other tropical regions.
Tree SizeGrows to heights of 100-150 feet, with trunk diameters ranging from 3-5 feet.
Average Dried WeightApproximately 35-40 lbs/ft^3 (560-640 kg/m^3)
Specific Gravity0.56 to 0.64
Janka Hardness900 lbf (4,000 N)
Modulus of Rupture12,800 lbf/in^2 (88.3 MPa)
Elastic Modulus1,450,000 lbf/in^2 (10 GPa)
Crushing Strength7,540 lbf/in^2 (52 MPa)
ShrinkageRadial: 2.6%, Tangential: 5.8%, Volumetric: 8.7%



Genuine Mahogany is admired for its warm reddish-brown color that evolves into a deep, attractive brown hue as it ages. The wood’s natural luster further enhances its appeal, making it a popular choice for high-end woodworking projects. The straight grain pattern is the most common, but occasional interlocked grain can add visual interest to the wood’s surface. Its uniform texture contributes to a smooth and refined appearance when finished.

Genuine Mahogany Lumber
Genuine Mahogany Lumber

The wood of Genuine Mahogany has a fine, even texture, which, combined with its straight grain, allows for precise and intricate detailing in woodworking projects. However, it is worth noting that the grain can sometimes display a wavy or interlocked pattern, which can add character to the wood’s appearance and may require extra attention during the woodworking process.

Rot Resistance

Genuine Mahogany possesses excellent natural resistance to decay and insect attacks, making it highly suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. This attribute ensures that the wood maintains its integrity and longevity even when exposed to adverse weather conditions or high humidity.


One of the most remarkable qualities of Genuine Mahogany is its exceptional workability. The wood is easy to work with hand tools and power tools, cutting and shaping smoothly without much difficulty. Its fine texture allows for beautiful finishes, enhancing the wood’s natural beauty. However, care should be taken during sanding to avoid inhaling the dust, as it may cause respiratory irritation in some individuals.


When worked, Genuine Mahogany typically emits a mild, pleasant scent, which adds to the overall enjoyment of woodworking projects with this wood.


While Genuine Mahogany is not considered toxic, some individuals may experience mild skin and respiratory irritation due to the presence of natural oils in the wood. It is advisable to wear appropriate protective equipment, such as a dust mask and gloves, during woodworking to minimize potential sensitivities.


Genuine Mahogany is a sought-after hardwood, which contributes to its premium price tag. It is available at specialty lumberyards and from reputable suppliers, but due to its selective harvesting and sustainability concerns, its availability might be limited compared to other common wood species.


The conservation status of Genuine Mahogany has raised concerns over sustainability due to past overharvesting in its native habitats. To support responsible forestry practices, it is essential to seek out Genuine Mahogany from certified and well-managed forests or plantations, promoting the preservation of this valuable species for future generations.

Common Uses

The versatility and exceptional properties of Genuine Mahogany make it a top choice for various woodworking projects. It is widely used in fine furniture making, where its rich color and beautiful grain patterns add elegance to pieces. Additionally, it finds application in cabinetry, high-end interior millwork, crafting musical instruments, boatbuilding, and turnery, reflecting its enduring significance in the world of craftsmanship and design.

Genuine Mahogany Lumber
Genuine Mahogany Lumber

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Genuine Mahogany a true mahogany species?
    Yes, it belongs to the Meliaceae family and is one of the genuine mahogany species commonly used in woodworking.
  2. Is Genuine Mahogany suitable for outdoor projects?
    Yes, due to its natural resistance to decay and insects, it is often used in outdoor applications like decking, boatbuilding, and outdoor furniture.
  3. Can I stain Genuine Mahogany?
    Yes, it takes stains and finishes exceptionally well, allowing you to achieve various desired colors and effects.
  4. How can I identify Genuine Mahogany from other mahogany substitutes?
    Genuine Mahogany is often lighter in color than some of its substitutes, like African mahogany. The presence of interlocking grain patterns is also a characteristic feature of this species.
  5. Is Genuine Mahogany endangered?
    The species is listed on the CITES Appendix II, indicating that it is not currently endangered but may become so if trade and harvesting are not controlled properly. It is essential to source it responsibly from sustainable suppliers.
  6. Can I use Genuine Mahogany for cutting boards or food utensils?
    While Genuine Mahogany is not considered toxic, it is not recommended for direct food contact applications due to potential sensitivities and the presence of natural oils.

We’re eager to hear from you! Feel free to share your firsthand experiences and thoughts about Genuine Mahogany Lumber in the comments section below. Your valuable insights could assist fellow wood enthusiasts in making well-informed choices!

Forestry Author


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