|Forum topic by Byron||posted 747 days ago||4395 views||1 time favorited||7 replies|
747 days ago
So I learnt this trick from Richard Newman, a man who seems to know everything about wood. The trick to tell if Mahogany is genuine is really quite simple but put on your reading glasses.
1. Find a place of the board, or create one, where the wood is perfectly flat sawn, this is the only way this will work. This means that the growth rings are perfectly tangent to the surface of the wood, ensuring the right angle of the medullary rays.
2. Take out your finest honed plane and get a very clean polished surface without damaging the grain. This means no sanding although it may still work, just not as clearly.
3. Get good light and look really closely at the pattern made by the medullary rays. They should appear as little ovals or ellipses. What you are looking for is for them to stack up in neat rows, making ladders almost. The direction you are looking in is with the longer side of the ellipse as the top and bottom. If they do not stack perfectly but there is still a vertical linear pattern then the Mahogany is genuine, if not it could be African or numerous other similar Mahogany cousins.
Will try to post a picture soon
-- Byron Conn, Woodworking/Furniture Design at Rochester Institute of Technology, http://byronconn.com