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Carving in Mahogany

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  • Carving in Mahogany

    I have a fairly large chunk of Mahogany (4'x6'x18') and was thinking about cutting it into a couple of pieces and making a couple of carvings (in-the-round). Does anyone have any experience with this wood? If so, what can you tell me about its carving characteristics? Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Carving in Mahogany

    It carves well and takes detail fairly well but tends to split (follow the grain) unless your careful. Works great for relief carving also.

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    • #3
      Re: Carving in Mahogany

      Woodenleg
      Ol Ed is right. Carves nice but the piece I have been working on for awhile has a few crispy dry pockets that want to split. Just need to take smaller cuts in those areas. Mahagony finnishes excellant with oils. I think it feels great as a cane topper in the hand. Have fun that sounds like it could be a great piece.
      Ah Chip

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      • #4
        Re: Carving in Mahogany

        I have carved several project in Mahogany and love it. Leave it natural. I like Butternut better but would carve most anything in Mahogany. Haven't came across and dry patches of crisp areas in Mahogany but have found a bunch in the last basswood I got. May just burn it in the fireplace.
        I was just a few strokes or cut away from finishing up a rose when I cut into a bad place and snaped a pedal off. Glued it back and was cleaning it up when it snapped again just behind the first break. Glued it up and waiting for it to dry. Frustrated to say the least.
        Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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        • #5
          Re: Carving in Mahogany

          Thanks folks. Kenny, sorry to hear about your troubles with basswood, but some of my similar, recent problems are causing me to be more willing to experiment with other woods. Some of the basswood I have gotten has been terrible and it is hard to predict until you are way into the piece on which you are working.

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          • #6
            Re: Carving in Mahogany

            I've been carving a lot of mahogany; everything from spoons to acanthus reliefs to a Greenman. It really makes a difference to have good mahogany. I get mine from a guy I met in Florida who sells on ebay. I bought some pieces, got to know him, and now I tell him what I'm looking for and he gets it. He's part of a custom cabinet business and they sell mill ends of the special wood they use. His mahogany is pattern-grade, which is defect-free and straight grained. It finishes beautifully, with natural finishes. I like butternut a lot, but the softer varieties are nastier to carve than my mahogany. Both are a lot different than basswood; more difficult to carve, more interesting in appearance, but less forgiving than basswood.

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            • #7
              Re: Carving in Mahogany

              Mohagany is is traditionally a favorite for wood carvers especially looking for a rich natural finish. It cleans up well and it's not too tough a carve. I buy mine from a commercial hard wood dealer to avoid quality issues. (splitting, dry spots ect.)

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