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Veteran Advisor
Allen Worsham
Posts: 1,092
Registered: ‎10-22-2009
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What type of Mahogany for outdoor furniture?

I am starting the process of making up a prototype of Adirondack style chairs out of Poplar before making the real thing out of Mahogany. I do not want to use Cedar as I do not like its appearance and knots and trying to get decent cedar in my So. Calif. area is nearly impossible. So I was talking about this with the person at my local hardwood dealer who has been in the industry for a lot of years. I was getting prices for the different types of Mahogany that they carried in 5/4 and 4/4 and they have 3 species. African, Philippine and Genuine (Honduras) Mahogany. Prices for the Honduras is $8.15bf for 5/4 while the African and Philippine are both about $4.25bf for 5/4. When asked about what I was using it for it was recommended that the Philippine would be best as it holds up better outdoors in the weather and dealing with UV while the African and Honduras would do better for interior projects. So since I have not used Mahogany much and not at all for exterior projects, can anyone give me some advice here on this?

 

My plan is to use a Rosewood Oil finish which works well for exterior projects as I want to maintain the color as opposed to having it fade to a lighter color.

 

Thanks.

Allen Worsham, Corona, CA

allenworsham@gmail.com





"Graze in every man's field, but always give your own milk."

J.V. McGee
Esteemed Advisor
smallpatch1
Posts: 2,826
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
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Re: What type of Mahogany for outdoor furniture?

Allen don't worry about price and go with Teak. You could tell everyone it is a cheap Mahogany!!!ha

Veteran Advisor
Allen Worsham
Posts: 1,092
Registered: ‎10-22-2009
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Re: What type of Mahogany for outdoor furniture?


smallpatch1 wrote:

Allen don't worry about price and go with Teak. You could tell everyone it is a cheap Mahogany!!!ha


Hmmmm.....Teak in my neck of the woods is $22bf.

 

Allen Worsham, Corona, CA

allenworsham@gmail.com





"Graze in every man's field, but always give your own milk."

J.V. McGee
Honored Advisor
Howard Acheson
Posts: 1,173
Registered: ‎10-24-2009
0

Re: What type of Mahogany for outdoor furniture?

You might want to do a little more research about the various mahoganies.  Your quoted source seems to have some things mixed up.

 

First "philipine mahogany" aka Lauan is not a mahogany at all.  Philipine mahogany is a common name given to a large number of woods grouped as meranti.  These woods are not rated as being resistant to decay and would not be suitable for exterior use unless they were painted.  It's not considered a very good wood.

 

The best exterior mahogany is American/Cuban which is no longer available.  This mahogany was originally used for boats because of its decay resistance.  Honduran mahogany has high resistance to rot with African mahogany close behind.  Honduran mahogany is quite expensive.  African mahogany is more reasonable.  Either of the last two will stand up very well in outdoor conditions.

 

You might want to look at the Wood Handbook published by the US Forest Service.  http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fpl_gtr190.pdf   Take a look at chapter 14 and table 14-1.  You will find a large number of woods grouped according to their decay resistance.

 

Are you building these chairs for your own use or are they to be sold?

Howie..............
Veteran Advisor
Allen Worsham
Posts: 1,092
Registered: ‎10-22-2009
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Re: What type of Mahogany for outdoor furniture?


Both for personal use as well as for sale. So I am looking to be as economical as possible but still maintain quality and durability. I have known the person at my wood dealer for about 10 years so I was taken back when I was told about the Philappine Mahogany being the best for this project which is why I am asking questions.

Howard Acheson wrote:

You might want to do a little more research about the various mahoganies.  Your quoted source seems to have some things mixed up.

 

First "philipine mahogany" aka Lauan is not a mahogany at all.  Philipine mahogany is a common name given to a large number of woods grouped as meranti.  These woods are not rated as being resistant to decay and would not be suitable for exterior use unless they were painted.  It's not considered a very good wood.

 

The best exterior mahogany is American/Cuban which is no longer available.  This mahogany was originally used for boats because of its decay resistance.  Honduran mahogany has high resistance to rot with African mahogany close behind.  Honduran mahogany is quite expensive.  African mahogany is more reasonable.  Either of the last two will stand up very well in outdoor conditions.

 

You might want to look at the Wood Handbook published by the US Forest Service.  http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fpl_gtr190.pdf   Take a look at chapter 14 and table 14-1.  You will find a large number of woods grouped according to their decay resistance.

 

Are you building these chairs for your own use or are they to be sold?


 

Allen Worsham, Corona, CA

allenworsham@gmail.com





"Graze in every man's field, but always give your own milk."

J.V. McGee
Honored Advisor
handy-dan
Posts: 5,123
Registered: ‎03-07-2010
0

Re: What type of Mahogany for outdoor furniture?

How about some of the wood they use for decks. Not sure of spelling Ipe?

 

Dan

Dan
Youngstown, Oh
Senior Contributor
dbgessner
Posts: 178
Registered: ‎11-06-2009
0

Re: What type of Mahogany for outdoor furniture?

I've used all the woods mentioned... and if cost was no object

 

Teak would be #1

Ipe would be #2

Redwood #3

Afr. Mah. #4

 

Due to cost, availability and tool workability, I'd recommend African Mahogany for you.  Teak is very expensive...just about everywhere.  It needs periodic upkeep (not a big deal), but selling a Teak Adirondack chair is a challenge because every other Adi. will be far less expensive.

 

Honduran Mahogany is getting up there in cost, too.  Availability is dubious and I've been told some less reputible hardwood dealers are mislabeling this species while actually giving African Mahogany.

 

Phillipine Mahogany developed mold when exposed to rain in the Pacific Northwest.

 

Ipe or Purpleheart are abundant, dense, and meant for outside.  They blunt tool edges quickly and I got my share of burning when routing.  Hand sanding all the edges of an Adirondack chair with burn marks from the round over bit isn't something I would relish.    

 

David

Senior Contributor
Allen O.
Posts: 240
Registered: ‎10-25-2009
0

Re: What type of Mahogany for outdoor furniture?

Cost aside, I would not use Ipe for a project like this.  We just finished working on a bid outdoor street scape project in Indianapolis where the architect specified Ipe for the boardwalk.  Looks nice and will last forever,  BUT.  Wood is very heavy so don't plan on moving your furniture around much.  And, the contractor was unprepared for how difficult it was to work with.  Can't cut it with standard tools.  They had to use masonry blades, and all holes had to pre-drilled with masonry bits.  It's more like working with cement backer board than wood, and I wouldn't want to make a nice chair out of that.  

Allen O.
"Today's mighty oak is nothing more than yesterday's little nut that held it's ground."
Honored Advisor
stick48668
Posts: 11,545
Registered: ‎01-15-2010
0

Re: What type of Mahogany for outdoor furniture?

Ipe...



this would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
if only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Advisor
tictock2
Posts: 396
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
0

Re: What type of Mahogany for outdoor furniture?

[ Edited ]

Cuban is / was used in boat building because of it's stability.

 

TicTock

 

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