Re: Mahogany finish problem

Clean it up as best you can and put a couple of coats of dewaxed shellac on then apply a finish.
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Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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Depends on what use the table is going to be put to. Which is why I didn't recommend any particular finish. Assuming shellac provides the necessary protection required by projected use it would, of course, be a fine finish.
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Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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Joe, I've read the other replies, so I have some idea of what is going on.
Since it seems like your 'non-mechanical' options are limited, and the one 'mechanical' suggestion sounds expen$ive, let me offer a suggestion. It's like offering Chicken Soup to a corpse; may not work, but ". . . couldn't hurt !".
Since wax, or wax/solvent/oil, was the supposed 'only' things used on the surface why not try to 'flush' them out.
First - 'Flush' it with alcohol, and use a LOT of paper towels to soak up the liquid . . . and hopefully any dissolved waxes, etc. De-Natured is available by the gallon, and apply it with a plastic 'spritz' bottle/sprayer. Really go at the edge detail. Use a LOT of 'Q-Tips', etc.
Next - for the top . . . get some cloth, a white cotton flannel {so you can see your results}. Spread it over the flat surface . . . and IRON away with a DRY iron. I'd start with medium heat. Theoretically, this should open the pores in the wood, 'liquefy the waxes, and 'drive off' the volatiles. The cloth should then 'wick-up' these materials. If you see results, keep repeating the process until you DON'T see any more.
Hopefully, at this point, everything should be clean enough to not 'reject' a finish.
Nobody seems to have asked WHAT are YOU going to use the table FOR?? To me that is critical to the type of finish YOU choose. I'm a boatbuilder; I am very partial to Mahogany with a deep finish of about 6+ coats of VARNISH {'long oil, 'Spar' for vertical exterior trim, 'short oil', 'hard' for anything that will be touched or sat on; except hand-holds that are OILED}. HOWEVER, this would NOT be appropriate if you will be continuing to 'kitchen table' usage.
Although this may sound like 'heresy' to many on this 'Forum', I recommend water-based POLY for it's hardness and abrasion resistance. It is what I used for the Maple top on a kitchen cabinet/lamp stand/side table/etc. that I built for Joanne. I applied it with the SAME TECHNIQUES that I use in that 'deep varnish job'. I use Clear Gloss, and left it that way; I prefer the control of doing a 'Satin' finish mechanically. It's been several years - and it STILL looks brand new.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

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Get a good book on furniture refinishing out of the library this is you first good bet. Do the alcohol clean thing suggested. Definitely Seal with a shellac. A. because Shellac makes a nice sealer. B. Shellac interacts the best (although not perfectly) with wax and silicon. I would not however even think about stopping at a shellac on a table. Ack! major discoloration visions in my head. If you do use WB poly then you may not want the shellac. The poly may give you fisheye problems though. Do a little read up.
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Young Carpenter

"Save a Tree, Build Furniture"
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