Mahogany (sipo/utile or sapele) or cherry for cabs?

saydeNovember 15, 2008

For planned new kitchen cabinets am trying to decide between Mahogany and Cherry.

I like the more open grain of mahogany. There is no more "real" mahogany available. What is used now is either sapele or sipo/utile. These are African woods with a similar grain to mahogany but the sapele has a somewhat striped grain.

Cherry is a known -- it is plentiful and its characteristics are understood. I like the idea of the mahogany --it is beautiful and a bit more unusual for a kitchen, and conveys the oldfashioned library feeling I'm after. But I'm a little worried about whether it will hold up, not warp, etc.

BTW cost is the same for these options.

Would appreciate hearing people's experience especially with these mahogany substitutes . . .

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There is a bit of a difference in old growth mahoghany and the stuff available today---but in the 1800's and early 1900's, mahoghany was considered a secondary wood---useful for trim in houses and for carved trim. That wqhich survives today is still in as good condition (properly cared for of course0 as it was when installed.

Mahoghany is a very durable wood.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:08PM
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I wouldn't call cherry 'plentiful,' but it is a known quantity. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to use mahogany. We may not have been building furniture from these mahogany substitutes for hundreds of years, but that doesn't make them risky choices. Their properties are known, and the application you're considering is not terribly demanding.

Of the mahogany substitutes you mentioned, I have personally only used sapele, to build a breakfast bar. It was wonderful stuff to work with. According to the numbers I'm seeing, sapele is considerably harder than cherry (less dent-prone) and slightly less stable (though more stable than many other cabinet woods). I'm unfamiliar with the other sub you mentioned, but I really doubt you have much to worry about here.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 6:04AM
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Thanks jon and handymac. Appreciate the input.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 7:13PM
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