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The sapwood is yellowish-white to pale brown, with heartwood that varies from medium to deep red-brown, and in some heavier woods, a deep, rich red. It is mostly straight-grained, and ranges from medium to coarse with a uniform texture. Honduras Mahogany occasionally is streaked with ripple marks and may also display gum deposits.
Formal Name: Swietenia Macrophylla
Honduras Mahogany grows throughout Central and South America. Commercial supplies most often come from southern Mexico; from countries along the Atlantic coast from Belize to Panama; and in Columbia and Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil.
Mahogany has low bending strength, very low stiffness and shock resistance, medium crushing strength, and a moderate steam-bending rating. It is one of the best woods for either hand or machine tooling. It saws wells and holds nails and screws well without pre-boring. Among the finest furniture woods available, Mahogany produces an exceptional finish when stained or polished.
Mahogany is a preferred wood for high-end furniture and reproductions. It is also used for boat and ship interiors, paneling, pianos and caskets. Rotary cut veneers are used in plywood, especially plywood paneling. Sliced veneers displaying decorative figures are popular for use in high-end furniture.