Tips for Working With Mahogany: Info from a Lumber Yard in Franklin County, MA

Mahogany is widely considered one of the most gorgeous species of wood you’ll find, especially for woodworking applications. Even the plainest mahogany boards stun onlookers with their copper-red hues.

Mahogany has been a staple of fine woodworking and furniture making for hundreds of years. If you’re interested in working with this wood in your home projects, here are a few tips you should keep in mind from our lumber yard in Franklin County, MA.

Know that there are different subtypes of mahogany

Not all mahogany is equal. In fact, there are four different species of mahogany in Latin America alone that are classified under the genus Swietenia, these being Venezuelan mahogany, Caribbean mahogany, Honduran mahogany and bigleaf mahogany.

If you’re planning on using one of these types of mahogany, the bigleaf is the one most woodworking experts will recommend. These experts will consider it the “real” mahogany, so if you’re unsure what type of mahogany you’re looking at in a lumber yard, just be sure to ask. If it’s not bigleaf, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth working with, but it’s still good to know exactly what you’re paying for.

Mahogany has numerous important benefits

Mahogany isn’t just an extremely attractive wood—it’s also quite easy to work with, even if you’re a relatively inexperienced woodworker. Whether you’re using hand or power tools, you shouldn’t have too many troubles manipulating the wood and getting your desired results. Other hardwoods can have a hard time taking nails, screws or glue, but that’s not the case with mahogany.

If you’re looking to stain your wood, mahogany will take the stain extremely well and provide a high-gloss finish.

The strength of mahogany is also quite impressive, especially if you’re working with heartwood. You can use it for just about any application, from furniture to veneers to decking and much more.

Know how to sand and finish your mahogany

As with any type of wood, it’s important to use a gradual sanding process. You should start off with a 120-grit sandpaper, and know exactly how smooth of a finish you’re looking to get with your sanding.

Because mahogany is such a gorgeous hardwood, you’re going to want to make sure you don’t mar the wood. Therefore, it’s important to practice good discipline with your sanding, especially when using a power sander. You don’t want to accidentally mark up your boards with cross-grain sanding strokes or with poor technique with your power sander.

If you’re using a wood filler, make sure you follow the instructions to the letter. You should let those fillers dry completely for at least a full 24 hours before you start the sanding process again. When applying stain, always wipe off the excess, and make sure to use a cotton cloth or brush specifically for staining.

For more information about working with mahogany, contact our lumber yard in Franklin County, MA and we’ll be happy to assist you.