Mahogany - African Hardwood

Mahogany - African

African Mahogany wood, also known as Acajou and Khaya ivorensis, is a versatile timber with a light pinkie-brown colour when newly cut, which darkens to a deep red colour with a purple cast. The grain of the wood is typically interlocked, with a striped or roe figure on quarter sawn surfaces, and may also display crotch and swirl figures. The texture of African Mahogany is variable, often moderately coarse, and it has a high, golden gloss. The sapwood, which is not always distinct from the heartwood, ranges from creamy-white to yellowish. African Mahogany is suitable for a range of uses, including furniture, cabinetmaking, and joinery.

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Also Called:
Akuk, Bisselon, Bandoro, Eri Kiree, Undianunu, Ogwango, N'Gollon, Zaminguila, Oganwo, Benin, Acajou. Also Distinguished By Country Of Origin: Nigerian, Senegal, Etc. The Teram "African Mahogany" Also Includes Other Khaya Species: K. Anthotheca, K. Grandifoliola, K. Senegalensis And K. Nyasica

Durability Notes:
African Mahogany is durable but forest longhorn and other beetles may attack logs and trees. The heartwood has moderate resistance to decay; the sapwood is vulnerable to the common furniture. Does not accept treatment.

The drying and seasoning of Mahogany - African is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Mahogany - African - The wood dries quickly with little impact on the grade and quality of the wood, though if tension wood is present, serious distortion can occur. There is only small movement in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

African Mahogany has medium crushing strength, low bending strength, very low stiffness and resistance to shock loads. It is generally easy to work with hand tools. It turns, sands, drills, glues and nails adequately but non-ferrous fastenings are recommended to avoid iron staining. It stains and polishes nicely.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinetry, Musical Instruments, Flooring, Paneling, Decorative Veneers.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 12-18% for KD

Possible Health Risks:
Dermatitis, especially of the face, forearms and backs of hands; respiratory problems, rhinitis and nasal cancer

Commonly asked questions about African Mahogany Wood

Is Mahogany a hardwood or a softwood? Mahogany is a hardwood. It is the same for; is African Mahogany hardwood or softwood? - African Mahogany is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Mahogany family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is African Mahogany? African Mahogany can be described as black/very dark brown, brown, dark brown, dark red, red,

Is African Mahogany good for outdoor use? or is African Mahogany good for exterior use? African Mahogany is most suited for internal/interior use. African Mahogany should not be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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