Will we get access to Cuban mahogany?

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 12-18-2014 11:03 AM 1664 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2117 days

12-18-2014 11:03 AM

There have been some changes in US policy towards Cuba. I really am not interested in debating the politics of this. But does anyone think this means we’ll get our hands on Cuban mahogany lumber? Or other hardwoods that grow in Cuba. Might there eventually be come mahogany plantations in Cuba we could source lumber from?

Has anyone worked with Cuban mahogany? My understanding is that the Cuban stuff was considered the best of the mahoganies and that what we call “genuine mahogany” (Honduran mahogany) was actually a substitute for the Cuban mahogany once it was depleted.

10 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5137 posts in 1745 days

#1 posted 12-18-2014 01:39 PM

That sure would be nice, though I doubt it would be very soon. Way too much political red tape to cut through.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2394 days

#2 posted 12-18-2014 01:48 PM

My guess is if we could, for the foreseeable future, few of us could afford to do much with it. Even if the red tape was cut through, a combination of factors (taxes, supply/demand, the sheer novelty) would make it cost-prohibitive for all but small projects (pens, small bowls).

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4243 days

#3 posted 12-18-2014 02:21 PM

A good friend of mine has a stash of Cuban mahogany he obtained from a man who got it in southern Florida back in the 50’s. It used to grow down there, but was basically clear-cut out of existence as new highways and subdivisions were constructed. It’s great to work with. The color and grain when freshly cut are amazing, although it does brown with age.

Click for details

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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4765 posts in 2376 days

#4 posted 12-18-2014 02:32 PM

My guess is probably, as the Cubans will be so anxious to get their hands on cash they will be selling everything of value. Unfortunately this may lead them to liquidate their forests. Lets hope someone has a long term view and that they manage their timber assets sustainably.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View alohafromberkeley's profile


257 posts in 2429 days

#5 posted 12-18-2014 03:09 PM

Hi Nick…I don’t think there are any commercial plantings of Cuban Mahogany there….The forests were gutted of C.M. in the 1800’s…I was told by a lumberman that there is more Cuban in So. Florida than in Cuba. I have a couple of small pieces of it- deep red, heavy and quite different from “Honduran” stuff. I almost thought I had another wood…..About other woods, the Cuban Gov. has long protected forests as National Treasures ( unlike the former regime that allowed US companies to clear cut.) I doubt if we will be able to acquire Cuban wood in my lifetime. If plantations are put in then my guess is that the Honduran would be planted as it’s faster growing…..African is the sub for Honduran which is the sub for Cuban which has no peer. Thanks for the thought provoking topic, Nick, you always have such interesting ideas!..........Wes

-- "After a year of doing general farmwork, it was quite clear to me that chickens and I were not compatible"-George Nakashima

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915 posts in 2117 days

#6 posted 12-18-2014 08:41 PM

I’m a little concerned as well that what little mahogany is left in Cuba will be destroyed for a quick buck. I’d love to work with some of the stuff but not if it means they get rid of all of it. I’m a bit surprised there aren’t plantations of it in southern Florida.

Still, it sounds like awesome wood.

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11775 posts in 2404 days

#7 posted 12-18-2014 10:25 PM

The embargo is still in place so no free travel and no products but it’s a step in the right direction.

-- Rick M,

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2303 posts in 2509 days

#8 posted 12-18-2014 10:59 PM

Might want to stock up on Spanish cedar. I bet the humidor business is about to get a kick in the pants.

-- Brian Timmons -

View AandCstyle's profile (online now)


3071 posts in 2281 days

#9 posted 12-19-2014 12:42 AM

I think the probability of much from Cuba is quite low. Congress has to approve the removal of the embargo. Need I say more?

-- Art

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Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2293 days

#10 posted 12-19-2014 01:21 AM

It is my favorite wood to work in all areas.Cutting drying sanding jointing everything works easy.

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