African Mahogany is an exotic wood with a deep reddish brown color. The grain can be straight, but is typically interlocking. Working this wood is generally easy but tearing can occur when planing. It often has a shimmering figure. African Mahogany is popular for furniture, cabinetry, joinery, boat building and veneers.
The heartwoods vary from a light pink to deep reddish brown. The sapwoods tend to be paler and are usually not distinct from the heart. The grains are usually straight but interlocked. This will produce a nice ribbon stripe especially on quarter cut material. Density and hardness will vary depending on the species, but it is typically harder than the American Mahoganies.
After all that work wood will be stable, glues well, and finishes beautifully. Like American Mahogany, it produces many interesting figure types from curly to some spectacular crotches. It also slices and peels well making it a popular choice for veneering. It carves beautifully and will hold intricate detail when machined.
African Mahagony Wood Care
Step 1 – To Remove Dust
Use soft cloths to remove dust from your mahogany items. If you dust on a regular basis it will help prevent buildup of dirt and grime. When dust is left to accumulate on the wood, the beautiful color fades and attractiveness diminishes.
Step 2 – Clean with Vinegar
Mix 2 cups of white vinegar with one cup of water. This makes a gentle yet effective cleaning solution for the hardwood. Dip a rag into the solution, then wring to remove excess solution. Use the rag to clean the surfaces of mahogany items. Be careful to wipe in the direction of the wood grain rather than against it. This will help retain the natural grain pattern of the wood.
Step 3 – Wipe with Clean Cloth
Use a clean cloth to wipe all wooden surfaces. Be sure to leave all areas completely dry.
Step 4 – To Stain
You may want to stain doors and other items periodically. This adds to the durability of the objects. It also helps to maintain the natural beauty. First apply one coat of a stain and sealer combination to seal the wood surface. Follow the instructions given on the product for application. Avoid lacquer-based products. It is best to use products with an alkyd-resin base. After application of the first coat, sand the wood with grit sand paper. You can then follow with two coats of a clear finish. Use grit sandpaper after the clear finish.
Step 5 – To Wax
It is a good idea to apply wax onto your hardwood pieces once a month. The protective coat of wax helps to prevent wear and tear. It also helps maintain the natural luster of the wood. Use a soft cloth to rub some wax over all surfaces of the wood. Then wipe over the wood with a dry cloth to create a shine.
- A weekly clean will prevent buildup of dust. It will help retain the attractiveness of your hardwood items.
- If you get scratches on your mahogany pieces, treat them with iodine. Use a paintbrush to brush some iodine over the scratches. The iodine causes scratches to become less visible. It also blends well with the natural color of wood.
- Direct sunlight causes the beautiful mahogany color to fade. Keep items away from intense sunlight to help maintain the appearance.
- Avoid furniture wax that contains lemon oil. Such products may also contain kerosene, which may spoil the appearance of the mahogany.