Question re strength of different mahoganys

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simso
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Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by simso » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:22 pm

After info from others that may know the answer.

What is the hardest / tight grained mahogany we can purchase, so many choices these days, and so many woods coming in being called mahogany that really I personally question whether they are or not

I had to replace an old gretsch headstock on a late 60’s guitar that had been well not repaired well, the new headstock I have made weighs less than half of what the original weighs (well what’s there of the original anyway)

Tempted to source some more dense mahogany and make another one

Steve

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Steve
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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by simso » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:39 pm

This is an interesting article on types of mahogany’s and copy’s off

https://www.wood-database.com/wood-arti ... e-lowdown/

I wonder what Chinese mahogany is?

Steve
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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by Dave M » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:47 am

There are certainly big differences in density between pieces of what is described as mahogany. If it follows the general rule that stiffness correlates with density then you may well have an issue with your repair.

I have worked some reclaimed mahogany from old furniture and it bears little relationship to what is sold currently. But then what species was being used in the past?
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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by Jim watts » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:06 am

The only two true Mahoganies I'm aware of are Honduran and Cuban. There must be more, but there's lots of faux mahoganies which I assume the question concerns. I know Larrivee uses Khaya (African Mahogany?) with success for sometime now.

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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by demonx » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:08 am

Here is my experience:

Old guitars have old growth mahogany. Much tighter and heavier. When I’ve worked with old mahogany boards it is completely different to buying modern stuff off the shelf.

New Mahogany is grown much faster via plantations. Even though it’s the same genus it’s definitely lighter weight and different characteristics. Doesn’t feel as strong or dense. Colouring is usually lighter shades also in the newer stuff.

The Fiji grown Mahogany shares a genus with Brazilian, however I’ve found it to be far from similar, I don’t like to use it, in saying that though I have made some great guitars with Fiji mahogany. It just has s different vibe. It even machines differently. Seems more stringy.

African Mahogany is the closest I’ve found to old Mahogany. I have a couple pallet loads in stock which I’ll be selling off as I’ve got more here than I’ll use in a lifetime now that I’m not building much anymore. If theres anyone in VIC looking for wood, cash up and pay me a visit, I’ve got a shed full of it to sell.

The scariest and most alarming thing that I’ll add is that I’ve had some newer Indonesian made guitars come through for servicing recently and they are sold as Mahogany, however it is what is called “asian Mahogany” “Malaysian Mahogany” “Chinese Mahogany” in the furniture industry. It’s actually strains of Meranti. May as we’ll be made from pine. So buyer beware!

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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by simso » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:34 pm

Yeh pretty crazy what’s coming through as mahogany, in my discussions of recent with suppliers I have been offered all sorts of plants.

Example re the African mahogany, have been offered two African mahogany’s so far.
African Mahogany - turned out to be peach tree
African Mahogany - turned out to be Gabon.

Kyaha i think is a good substitute.

Steve
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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by simso » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:38 pm

Starting to go through some of my old stock, trying to work out what’s what

Mostly Chinese mahogany, so I am guessing “Toona genus”

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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by simso » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:03 pm

demonx wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:08 am
African Mahogany is the closest I’ve found to old Mahogany. I have a couple pallet loads in stock which I’ll be selling off as I’ve got more here than I’ll use in a lifetime now that I’m not building much anymore. If theres anyone in VIC looking for wood, cash up and pay me a visit, I’ve got a shed full of it to sell.
Want to ship a piece, would love to see what it is like (paid for, of course)

Steve
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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by simso » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:05 pm

Another 120 blocks on this shelf, and more and more shelves

Steve
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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by demonx » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:39 pm

simso wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:03 pm

Want to ship a piece, would love to see what it is like (paid for, of course)

Steve
I’ve just sent you an email.

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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by simso » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:27 pm

You are a good man :), will look at it tomoz, I don’t get my work emails here at home

Steve
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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by simso » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:49 am

May be of interest to others

Dr google has given me this info so far, have collated it best I can, from most desirable mahogany to least desirable and some Janka Hardness readings

I have kept it all in the sapindales order, there are other mahogany’s listed under roses and fruit trees and so forth, but sapindales appear to be the most recognised I have alphabetically listed each group

Mahogany’s
Order -SAPINDALES
Family - MELIACEAE

Cuban
Bigleaf (Swietenia Macrophylla)
Honduran (Swietenia) 800lbf
Mexican
Pacific Coast (Swietenia Humilis)
West Indies (Swietenia Mahagoni)

African (kyaha) 800lbf

Kosipo (Entandrophragma Angolese)
Mountain - Bottle tree (Entandrophragma Caudatumi)
Sipo (Entandrophragma Utile) 1180lbf
Sapele (Entandrophragma Cylindricum) 1510lbf
Tiama (Entrandrophragma Angolense)

Spanish cedar (late 1800’s Martins) (Cedrela Odorata) 600lbf

Avodire (Turraeanthus) 1170lbf

Andiroba (Carapa) 1220lbf

Australian Red cedar (Toona Ciliata) 700lbf
Chinese (Toona Sinensis) 860lbf
Indian (Toona Ciliata)
Indonesian (Toona Sureni)
Philippine (Toona Calantas)

American Muskwood (Guaraea Grandifolia)
Light Bosse - Pink Mahogany (Guarea Cedrata)
Dark Bosse - Pink Mahogany (Guarea Thompsonii)

Carapa - Royal Mahogany, Demerara Mahogany, Bastard Mahogany, Andiroba, Crabwood, (Carapa Guianensis)
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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by TallDad71 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:34 am

demonx wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:08 am


The scariest and most alarming thing that I’ll add is that I’ve had some newer Indonesian made guitars come through for servicing recently and they are sold as Mahogany, however it is what is called “asian Mahogany” “Malaysian Mahogany” “Chinese Mahogany” in the furniture industry. It’s actually strains of Meranti. May as we’ll be made from pine. So buyer beware!
A lot of joiners are now choosing to use Meranti instead of other hardwoods for doors and frames. Its cheap, straight grained and very, very stable, quite easy to work with. Aesthetically though its as dull as dishwater.
Alan

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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by nkforster » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:19 pm

Thirty years ago I wouldn't have considered any African mahogany. Now they are a little more appealing. Khaya is very nice stuff to work with, it resembles South American stuff (more so than sapele) and it comes in substantial sections. If you buy it from Spain or the UK, it's pretty cheap. I use it for back, sides, and necks depending on what instrument it is.

Sapele is heavier and more "stripey." Some like that look, some don't. It's certainly easier to spot than khaya, the best of which can look like Honduras mahogany. If anyone is interested I have hundreds of 60s sapele neck blanks sitting in a lock up in the UK.

I've used both, and both are fine. And currently neither carry the paperwork hassle of South American mahoganies.

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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by simso » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:00 pm

nkforster wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:19 pm
Sapele is heavier and more "stripey." Some like that look, some don't. It's certainly easier to spot than khaya, the best of which can look like Honduras mahogany. If anyone is interested I have hundreds of 60s sapele neck blanks sitting in a lock up in the UK.
The janka hardness of sapele (1510lbf) is insane, that is what blew me away

Most of the other well known mahoganys are in the 800lbf range

Steve
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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by simso » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:43 pm

Allan shipped me a piece of his African Mahogany which he has for sale in the sale section.

Its good stuff and double the weight of anything I have here.

Mahogany density and strength is very related

On the left one of these blocks of wood weighs in at 186grams for a machined headstock,

On the right same machining program Mahogany Toona - Chinese mahogany, comes in at 92 grams
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Re: Question re strength of different mahoganys

Post by demonx » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:07 am

That’s interesting to see and I hope it helped you out.

I’ve never physically weighed it, I just know from working with it, feeling it and the finished products that this is my preferred Mahogany.

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