I purchased some Honduran Mahogany about 6 months ago and constructed
the legs and rails for a coffee table. Recetnly I purchased some more
H. Mahogany to complete the table top. Unfortunately, the colors of
the two wood are distinctly different - the first batch is
significantly darker (and richer looking) than the second. When you
apply tung oil, it is even more dramatic.
So, is this difference in color because ...
(1) I've been ripped off and sold a lesser species like African
"Mahogany" in the second batch,
(2) the first batch oxidized and darkened like Cherry, so I should just
be patient, or
(3) there is much color variation even within H. Mahogany so I should
learn my lesson and buy all of the wood for a project at the same time
from the same source?
Lars, unfortunately, the answer is #3. Not only does the color vary but the
density can vary also. I have picked up two pieces from the same bundle
and had one be almost as light weight as bass wood. On these light weight
pieces, which I think are sapwood, the grain is very hard to sand smooth
and they are good only for interior bracing.
Thanks for the feedback.
Judging from the long off cuts, the lighter colored wood also seems to
be less stable -- noticeable, slight warping only a week after cutting.
This is unfortunately consistent with your theory about it being
sapwood. Very depressing given the cost of the stuff.
I often buy a couple of extra pieces, when I visit the hardwood dealer.
This reasoning leads to a full lumber rack, with a little bit of many types
of wood. The good news is that I seem to be screwing up less dramatically
than in times past. The bad news is that I may need to have a 'clear out
the racks' Saturday sometime this spring.
Mahogany darkens naturally. Depending on the difference I'd suggest
giving it time or just putting the boards for the top out in the sun.
(Which is admittedly easier to do if you're in Phoenix.)
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells
'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets
fly with a club.
-- John W. Cambell Jr.
It really could be any of the above. H. Mahogany will darken quite quickly.
If you have any scraps from the legs and rails, plane a piece down, resaw
it, whatever and compare to another piece. Alternately, surface a piece of
new mahogany, cover part of it with something opaque and set it in day light
for a couple days and check the difference to see how it reacts.
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