Mahogony hardwood as outside handrail?


Has anybody heard of using mahogony in a outside situation as a hand rail ????(exposed to the weather) and if you can use it, what would you use to protect it from the weather, i.e stain, oil?
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On Sat, 09 Apr 2005 23:33:39 -0400, wayner wrote:

Much of the British Royal Navy was once built of Cuban Mahogany. That's about as exposed to the weather as one can get.
<smartass> Protect it with a couple dozen 24-pounders. </smartass>
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Australopithecus scobis wrote:

What a waste of Cuban Mahogany!!!
But to answer the original question, mahogany is one of those wonderful exterior woods that needs very little in the way of protection. Watco exterior oil would be about all you would need.
Deb
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wrote:

Not in recent years. Mahogany is simply too rare and expensive (outside Belize). It would certainly work though.
Here in the UK, the likely timber would be "mahogany", but this would be African and no real relation to true mahoganies. For coarse work Meranti would be the likely choice, but this has a coarse surface texture and is prone to splinters. For fine work I'd be looking at Ipe.
In New Zealand I wouldn't know what to recommend. One of the Australian posters might have better ideas.
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Wooden boats contain a lot of mahogany because of it's beauty and durability. Various marine varnishes are available to obtain the color that you desire from Interlux Marine Finishes. One of the best looking is named "Chris-Craft Red Mahogany". Depending on how much you are willing to invest there are a lot of marine varnished to protect the mahogany from the suns UV rays and the weather.
Much less expensive yet containing similar properties is Min-Wax Helmsman.
Don Dando

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As Andy suggested I would also recommend Ipe, also known as Pao Lope. Sold as long decking boards commonly by the linear foot in precut sizes, come in exact thicknesses of 3/4" and 1" x 5-1/2". I can get it for $2.70 L/f and other places farther away have it for $2. It should be available at any decent lumber yard.
Ipe is extremely durable to weather, I have seen 25 years mentioned online, it's also extremely hard and tight grained, dark.
One could laminate two ripped halves together using wood epoxy to make a decent hand rail, maybe route the edges for roundness. However, the epoxy to buy would be a research area for you.
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AAvK wrote:

Ditto greenheart. Never used it myself but I recall reading some years ago about some greenheart pilings that were removed from the Thames...they had been there some 200 years and were still good.
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It is a great wood to have around just for small utility uses like new handles.
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I did a couple hundred feet of exterior railing for a restaurant out of Honduran mahogany (as per architect specs). This was about two years ago. Saw it the other day and it still looks good. They use a light coat of Sikkens every 6 months. It is a lot easier maintenance than a clear coat such as polyurethane. Mahogany is one of the best exterior woods, but it is expensive and some species are rare and endangered. I didn't want to use it, but the architect required it.
Preston

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Depends on your desired maintenance.
Oil often or paint less frequently.
I've chosen to use Five Year Clear on a new mahogany door
www.fiveyearclear.com
cheers Bob
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Spanish Cedar would be a good choice if available..
Since it's not spanish nor cedar but a member of the mahogany family. Boating guys use a fair amount of this as well as box and humidor builders.
wayner wrote:

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