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Author Topic: Cuban Mahogany (Tonewood Profile)  (Read 914 times)
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« on: December 18, 2008, 10:48:12 AM »

Hi Folks!

For your viewing pleasure, I have just published a profile on Cuban Mahogany as part of my ongoing tonewood database. As always, improvements, corrections and additional information/ your own experiences are much appreciated- I'll update the profile citing you and linking back to you! This may be a little contentious and but no means complete.

I can't link pics directly to here so do pop by to
for the full Visual presentation. As always, I present the text portion of the interview for your consideration- although I do highly recommend popping by to see the pics!

Warmest regards,

Swietenia Mahogani | Tonewood Profile | "Cuban Mahogany"

Tonewoods Database

All pictures - Click to enlarge!
Please email with any corrections/ additional info
We aim to keep each profile as complete as possible & your help is appreciated!

Quick Facts
Scientific name: Swietenia Mahogani
Trade names: Cuban Mahogany
Janka: 740
Uses: Back & sides, drop tops, necks
RIYL: Mahogany
Bling factor: Curl is uncommon.
Availability: Very limited from storm downed stock.
CITES status: listed in appendix 1
Note: (RIYL) Recommended If You Like

Natural History

Cuban Mahogany is a very close relative of Honduran Mahogany but has a native range from Florida to Cuba and Jamaica. The semi-evergreen green is slightly smaller than it’s mainland brother growing to 35m tall.


Due to intensive logging, Cuban mahogany has been no longer commercially available since the 1950s. However, a few small well established plantations exist in its natural range and abroad.

Physical properties

Cuban Mahogany is a light pink when fresh oxidising to deep rich red. It is easy to work with hand or machine tools and takes a excellent polish. Compared to Honduran Mahogany, Cuban is even easier to work with. It has a closer, finer grain and carves beautifully.

It is seen in various figures, with curl, quilt and wavy grain although these are now rare.

Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.40 to 0.68; air- dry density 30 to 52 pcf.

Janka side hardness 740 lb for green material and 800 lb for dry.

As a tonewood...

Honduran mahogany has a long history as a tonewood for necks as well as tops and back & sides. With it’s easy workability and ability to take a beautiful finish, it is a popular tonewood for small and major manufacturers.

Subjective tone...

Cuban Mahogany tends to be denser than Honduran and hence has more rosewood like qualities, with a better developed midrange and low end.


Plantations occasionally yield logs wide enough for guitar sets, although old growth timber is now on the CITES appendix 1 and international trade is now banned.

Links/ References:
Kinnaird guitars

©2008 Terence Tan.

Pictures copyright individual holders.

Any infringement of copyright is entirely unintentional. Any copyright issues should be address to: We will attempt to resolve these issues quickly.

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