Santos Mahogany

Santos Mahogany

Santos Mahogany, also known as Cabreuva or Balsamo, is a highly valued hardwood native to Southern Mexico and Central and South America. This durable wood is sought after for its striking appearance and robust physical properties, making it an excellent choice for flooring, furniture, interior trim, and heavy construction. Santos Mahogany trees can reach heights of 65-100 feet, with trunk diameters of 2-3 feet, and the wood itself has an average dried weight of 57 lbs/ft³.

The color of Santos Mahogany varies from a lighter golden brown to a darker purplish red or burgundy, deepening to more red/purple hues as it ages. The wood is known for its interlocked grain and medium to fine texture, contributing to its good natural luster and occasionally displaying a striped or ribbon pattern in quartersawn sections.

Despite its beauty, working with Santos Mahogany can be challenging due to its density and interlocked grain, which can blunt cutting edges and complicate staining or gluing, though it finishes well. The wood emits a distinctive spicy scent when worked, linked to its use in producing Balsam of Peru, a fragrance ingredient in perfumes.

Rated as very durable against decay, with mixed reports on insect resistance, Santos Mahogany has been reported to cause skin and respiratory irritation in some cases. It is priced in the mid-range for imported timber, comparable to other exotic hardwoods used in flooring.

It's important to note that despite its name, Santos Mahogany is not related to true Mahogany of the Swietenia genus, offering a much denser, harder, and stronger alternative that poses more of a challenge to work with. This unique blend of aesthetic appeal and physical resilience makes Santos Mahogany a premium choice for a variety of applications, celebrated for both its functional and decorative qualities.