Swietania Mahogany Crotch, Caoba
Central and northern parts of South America, Atlantic Coast from Mexico to Panama, eastern slopes of the Andes in Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. Main growing regions in Honduras, Brazil, Mexico and Guatemala.
Veneer, solely as face veneer in the furniture industry (main markets GB, USA), used for architectural woodwork and in the piano industry. Lengths generally up to 1,50 m.
Mahogany crotches are obtained from the forks of trees. They are produced on the slicer. Very often the crotches are open in the middle which makes them impossible to use. The coloring becomes more and more beautiful with age and nobler in appearance.
Due to the growth form of the crotch the interlocking grain is still more pronounced which means additional problems when machining. Smooth surfaces can only be achieved at slow feed speeds with very sharp tools.
Drying causes considerable problems particularly in the heart of the crotch. Mahogany Crotch must be dried extremely slowly and carefully. It is absolutely essential to avoid direct sunlight and high velocity winds. Due to the varying consistancy of the wood within the crotch considerable tension can be given which expresses itself in small surface checking.
The wood stains, varnishes and polishes well but the resin exudation must be considered and washed out if necessary.
Mahogany Crotch is easy to glue and takes nails and screws well.