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South American Mahogany

Ribbon Mahogany

Mahogany has historically been one of our country's most prized and valued woods. It is a tropical hardwood, and has always been imported to this country from the islands of the West Indies and Central and South America. It was the wood of choice for the high style furniture produced in 18th century America, and the vast majority of the American masterpieces from this era were executed in mahogany. The combination of its stability and workability, particularly in regards to carving and shaping, and its rich and beautiful red-brown color has helped to maintain its popularity in this country for over 300 years.

Mahogany cupboard with highly figured panels

33"wide x 15' long 5/4 Mahogany plank

The mahogany we carry is from South America. The latin name for this species is Swietenia Macrophylla, and it is more commonly known as genuine, South American, or Honduran mahogany. Honduran mahogany is the most commonly used term these days, to distinguish it from mahogany-like species from Africa, Indonesia and the Phillippines. The name is misleading however, since only a very small portion of the mahogany sold in this country comes from Honduras these days. Our mahogany comes primarily from Peru, which we feel has finest quality material available today.

Mahogany Blockfront

We select all the mahogany we offer for density and color, and also seek out boards that have grain, figure, or any type of activity that gives the wood some personality. There is a tremendous variation in this species, even with lumber from the same geographic area, so we carefully examine all the material that we bring in. Over the years we have been able to determine the mills and regions that are producing the quality of lumber that we are seeking, as well as those that don't meet our standards. We keep a large inventory of South American mahogany on hand in all thicknesses from 4/4 to 20/4. Since mahogany has historically been available in wide widths and many pieces of period furniture featured 1 piece tops and case sides, we have always had an affinity for the wide boards, and have a large stock of 4/4 boards up to 24" in width and have 5/4 boards on hand in widths to 40"+.

We carry some wide 8/4 and 10/4 because it is available and impressive, and try to always stock 22" and wider 12/4 stock for furnituremakers who want to make bombe' furniture, where the sides were historically cut from single thick planks that wide.  We also carry leg and turning stock in thicknesses from 10/4 thru 20/4.

We try to keep the matched sets together whenever we can, although this is harder to do than with our domestic species, since the wood comes into this country already sawn into boards. The only solution we could come up with when matching is imperative is to stock 10/4 and 12/4 planks with interesting grain and figure that can be re-sawn to yield matching and book-matched lumber. We also have a limited stock of mahogany crotches, although they are difficult to obtain and keep in stock.
load of Genuine Mahogany

Carefully selected loads of Mahogany arriving at our facility.

To view finished products created with our lumber visit our galleries.2

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Irion Lumber Company 980 Calkins Rd. Wellsboro PA 16901 570.724.1895