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  • Carving Mahogany

    I've only been carving for about a year. I've made a few things in basswood that came out nice. Now I'm trying to make a screen in mahogany.

    I tried to carve mahogany once before and I had a lot of trouble with splitting, cracking, and chipping. (I'm using hand tools not a powercarver)

    Does anyone have any recomendations for how to avoid splits and chips? Carve slow and shallow getting deeper slowly? Stop cuts, working both directions to minimize the how far it can split?

    I think the board was cut and dried for cabnet making would it help to put it in a bag with a sponge to raise the relative wetness?

    Thanks,

    Little Hack

  • #2
    Re: Carving Mahogany

    ??? Little Hack, first, you may be carving against the grain and that will cause splits in any wood. Try carving in the other direction and see if the situation improves. Second, there are a lot of different kinds of mahogany, some are great for wood working and others are best consigned to the fireplace. I once got a lathe that came in a mahogany packing crate! In some parts of the world, this type of wood is widely available and well suited for crates and pallets. Just because someone sawed it into lumber and planed it doesn't necessarily mean it is good woodworking wood.

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    • #3
      Re: Carving Mahogany

      I have carved in mohogany for years, I love the stuff. But like the good Captain said, you need to look close at the wood your buying. You want Philipene or honduris, (Spelling excused) and most important make sure your tools are at there sharpest. And run them on your strop every ten minutes. The wood tends to have a grain shift every 1/2 inch or so, You get the hang of it after a while. Good Luck
      Hey Captain, You are pretty popular in this months Wood Carving Illustrated. Nice to see someone helping others like that. Keep it up.
      Visit Easton, Md's Waterfowl Festival November 8th 9th and 10th.

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      • #4
        Re: Carving Mahogany

        This carving happens to be a traditional chinese pattern that I am carving as a pierced carving.

        After 30+ hours of scroll saw work, I wet down the wood with a sponge and put the sponge and the wood in a bag overnight and the next day I had no trouble carving it.

        Raising the moisture content really seems to help.

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        • #5
          Re: Carving Mahogany

          Thanks for the encouragement, Wood Butcher. I plan to retire in Florida on what the magazine pays me for those pithy comments!

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          • #6
            Re: Carving Mahogany

            Yea, that and a nickel will buy you a hair cut!
            Visit Easton, Md's Waterfowl Festival November 8th 9th and 10th.

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