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Determing Genuine (Swietenia) vs. African (Khaya) Mahogany - Printable Version

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Determing Genuine (Swietenia) vs. African (Khaya) Mahogany - Don_M - 03-14-2019

I local business has a table that I am thinking of trying to cut a deal for by either paying for it outright or perhaps a trade for a new live edge (or other table). The reason I am interested is that it is a very large piece of what I am 95% sure is Mahogany. The table top is a single board about 10 -12 feet long by 3’ wide and 3” thick. My issue is trying to figure out what species it is. I am somewhat confident it is genuine Mahogany (Swietenia) and not African (Khaya). It does not have the “ribboning” that is characteristic of Khaya. In some areas the finish has worn off and the underlying material is almost a chocolate brown color (but not super dark). Could it be Cuban?


What are some of the tips (if any) that one could use to determine the species?


Are there any other species it could be? Sapele? I can probably get a picture if that would help.


Comments/thoughts appreciated.


RE: Determing Genuine (Swietenia) vs. African (Khaya) Mahogany - Rob Young - 03-15-2019

(03-14-2019, 11:56 PM)Don_M Wrote: I local business has a table that I am thinking of trying to cut a deal for by either paying for it outright or perhaps a trade for a new live edge (or other table). The reason I am interested is that it is a very large piece of what I am 95% sure is Mahogany. The table top is a single board about 10 -12 feet long by 3’ wide and 3” thick. My issue is trying to figure out what species it is. I am somewhat confident it is genuine Mahogany (Swietenia) and not African (Khaya). It does not have the “ribboning” that is characteristic of Khaya. In some areas the finish has worn off and the underlying material is almost a chocolate brown color (but not super dark). Could it be Cuban?


What are some of the tips (if any) that one could use to determine the species?


Are there any other species it could be? Sapele? I can probably get a picture if that would help.


Comments/thoughts appreciated.

Endgrain pics without finish are going to be a good way of finding out.  But that may not be possible for you.

Frankly, bid it as if it was Khaya and you probably can't go wrong.  

Some very good photos of grain, endgrain and general look under common finishes here.


RE: Determing Genuine (Swietenia) vs. African (Khaya) Mahogany - Roly - 03-15-2019

(03-15-2019, 09:37 AM)Rob Young Wrote: Endgrain pics without finish are going to be a good way of finding out.  But that may not be possible for you.

Frankly, bid it as if it was Khaya and you probably can't go wrong.  

Some very good photos of grain, endgrain and general look under common finishes here.

That is a very good site for identifying woods.   Thanks for posting it and I suggest book marking it.   Roly


RE: Determing Genuine (Swietenia) vs. African (Khaya) Mahogany - Bill Wilson - 03-15-2019

(03-15-2019, 10:48 AM)Roly Wrote: That is a very good site for identifying woods.   Thanks for posting it and I suggest book marking it.   Roly

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