Which Wood – Mahogany and Sapele

Which Wood Series – Started with Walnut – and lets continue with Mahogany. Including Sapele also, since they are related – but know, they are not the same.mahogany-maple-karly-cutting-board-1

  • Honduran Mahogany – Swietenia macrophylla
    • AKA – Also Known As
      •  Honduras, Geniune, Brazilian, Big-Leaf, and American. Did I miss any?
    • Native to Southern Mexico – Central South America
    • Grain Varies – Straight to Wavy – Stunning Character
    • Color – Pinkish Brown to Reddish Brown Color with Natural Luster
      • See the “luster” in the mahogany pieces above? I call this character “flame”
    • Chosen for furniture, including turned pieces, cabinetry of all kinds (of course), guitars and building boats (who knew)?

We had quite a stash of Mahogany from years gone by – and decided that the contrast for our cutting board designs would be well received, and we were right.  Not a subtle as cherry and not as bold as walnut.

Mahogany - Maple Small Wooden Cutting Board

Mahogany – Maple Small Wooden Cutting Board

  • Sapele – Entandrophragma cylindricum
    • Found in Africa
    • Beautiful Grain Variation – Interlocking to Wavy.
    • Color from Golden to Reddish Brown with Natural Luster.
    • Similar uses as American Mahogany – sometimes offered as a substitute – though I’m not sure why.
Mahogany or Sapele?

Mahogany or Sapele?

Mahogany or Sapele with Maple?

Mahogany or Sapele with Maple?

Mahogany or Sapele with Maple?

Mahogany or Sapele with Maple?

If it’s mahogany, the straighter grain will give it away for me. But if it’s wavy and has flame in it, I can’t tell the difference.

The woodworker, however, will be able to tell the difference.  How you ask?

Sapele is more difficult to work with due to the interlocking grain, your machinery will tell you. And smell it, sapele has an odor – smells like cedar. American Mahogany doesn’t have an odor.