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Thread: turning mahogany

  1. #1

    turning mahogany

    Hi all,

    I've got some mahogany boards - 2"thick, 9"wide, 84" long that I'd like to cut into 8" circles to use to turn some shallow platters, wine caddy or? but I'm new to all this and I'm wondering if mahogany is a good wood for turning. Any experiences?

    Thanks very much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Ive never turned mahogany before so can not comment about that, but offer alittle food for thought - segmented pieces.

    With a a plank like that, i would personally make acouple practice segmented bowls from pine (what ever) to get the hang of the glue-ups, then make some things from the mahogany - if you have some maple or lighter colored wood - mix it up.

    Anyway, just an alternative opinion.
    - Good luck.

    Your opinions and advice are welcome on anything i post - Thanks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    You don't say whether this is genuine (S. American) Mahogany, or one of the other "mahoganies"; my only real experience is with the former (Swietenia macrophylla, to be specific.)

    The real stuff turns and finishes beautifully, but it's open-pored compared to, say, cherry or maple, so you'll get a different effect under finish.

  4. #4
    mahogany=good turning wood..enjoy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Shenandoah Valley, Va.
    Mahogany is a super turning wood.......just make sure to use breathing protection to keep the dust out of your lungs!
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

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  6. #6
    Great wood to turn, for sure, especially if it's Honduran, but even the "new mahogany", sapele, is OK, just different. IMO, both benefit from sealer prior to finish, seems to not only seal but also enhances original color retention. Sapele is quite a bit "chippier", for lack of a better word, so sharp tools are a must.

    +1 on the breathing protection, especially if it's Honduran.

    If those boards are Honduran, you've got a gold mine. Maybe you could sell them and buy a new lathe with the proceeds............

    Let's see it!!
    "The best way to get better is to leave your ego in the parking lot."----Eddie Wood, 1994

    We discovered that he had been educated beyond his intelligence........

    Student of Rigonomics & Gizmology

    Waste Knot Woods
    Rice, VA

  7. #7
    Great wood to turn, but finishing requires some thought. It takes finish well, but you need to decide what you will do with the open grain. Some used colored grain filler and it gives a nice look. I have used Titebond wood filler with some dye added and worked into the grain - seemed to do OK.

  8. #8

    fill the grain

    I use it in the flat work and suspect it wouldn't be any different to finish in the round world. Use a grain filler before applying your finish. McFeelys sells a clear grain filler.. pretty unique and good stuff. Just follow directions.

    If you do not fill the grain, you'll either have texture from the grain (not glass smooth) or will have to use too many coats of clear to make it smooth.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Goodland, Kansas
    I have turned several different species of mahogany. All are great woods to turn. Wear some breathing protection when turning and sanding dry mahogany. Rather than a filler I wet sand with the finish I am going to use to fill the grain.

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  10. #10
    Thanks all for the imput. I always trust what I read here. You guys and gals intimidate the heck out of me with your beautiful work but if I ever get something done that is close I'll post it here for comments.
    Thanks again

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