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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry I haven't posted much to the forum for a while. Back problems have kept me out of the shop for several months. Surgery 7 weeks ago has helped so I'm back, part time for the present.

Yesterday, as I finally got back to working on a coffee table top to replace an old one, my wife came in and said that I had to see something outside. The teacher, whose class my wife volunteers for, was parked in the driveway with her trunk open. In it was a load of lumber that she said was Honduran Mahogany. The boards had been sitting in her mother's house for at least 65 years. Her grandfather had been in the navy and had brought them back from Hondoras. Anyway, they were cleaning out old stuff, found the wood, and knew that I was a woodworker so she offered it to me. Needless to say, I was happy to accept. One person's junk, is another person's treasure.

I haven't worked with Mahogany before so I did some research online. These boards are old growth genuine Mahogany. On a couple of boards where I could see the end grain the growth lines were too close for me to count without a magnifier. As you can see in the picture, the boards are all different shapes and sizes. They add up to 33bf.

Finally, I'll get to my question. I want to do something to thank both her and her mother for the lumber. I was thinking that I'd make an edge grain cutting board of maple with mahogany stripes for each of them. That way they'd always have a reminder of the father/grandfather. I've searched on line to see if mahogany can be used in cutting boards and found conflicting information so I thought I'd ask the forum.

Also, if you think that mahogany should not be used in a cutting board, what else could I make as a thank you gift?

As always, thanks for your help.
 

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...if not a cutting board, how about a nice size tray...? Maple and Mahogany stripes, maple sides, cut out handles, etc.... Maybe even engrave it...?
 

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...if not a cutting board, how about a nice size tray...?
And if not that, possibly a small jewelry box. Clock?
 

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The Wood Data Base says it is totally unsuitable as an end grain board https://www.wood-database.com/honduran-mahogany/ It's much too porous. It also says it's been reported to be a sensitizer although that is only a problem for a small percentage of the population and the limited contact someone or even food has with a cutting board makes that issue unlikely to be a problem. It would probably be a better choice in something that is decorative rather than something that would see abuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, I hadn't thought of a tray and that's a great idea. I might try resawing one of the pieces to get a bookmatch for the bottom of the tray. That would really show off the mahogany. Maybe maple handles and sides. I'll play around with the idea.
 

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Hi, Heather; I think you're missing the point. Barry has a load of Mahogany which he'd like to find a use for, he's not looking for alternative wood choices. I notice you seem to like Oak for some reason(?).
Are these AI generated comments? Just curious; perhaps you could fill out your profile?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry I didn't post an update sooner. I had some back issues that kept me out of the shop. I also received a request from the sister of the woman who gave me the Mahogany. Two short stories:

My wife convinced me to keep it simple so for the first woman I made a bread board. I didn't want to do a cutting board due to the open grain but I figured a bread board would be ok. I looked up on line how long a French bread is and the it came back in the 18 - 20 inch range. The final board came out to a little under 21 inches. I asked my wide to buy a French bread so we could wrap it up on the board. Besides making a nice presentation, it shows what the board is to be used for. So, the bread my wife came home with was 22 1/2 inches. The best laid plans... We gave it to her. She loved it and it's hanging in her kitchen but she won't use it. I told her that it's meant to be used but she refuses. Well, it's her board now to do with as she pleases. (Sorry about the poor picture. Lighting was bad that day and I'm not the greatest photographer.)

A month ago, her sister, who is currently living with her mother who actually was the one who wanted to get rid of the lumber, asked me if I'd make a trivet for her. She said she likes hearts. I played around with the trivet idea but I didn't want to give her anything solid that she might put something hot on. When I looked at different ways of cutting out hearts I really didn't like any of them and, once again, my wife, the voice of reason when my head hits the worktable, said make it simple. So, I decided to make a serving board, cheese and crackers type. I've really developed a liking for birdseye maple, and it's a nice contrast with the mahogany, so that's what I made. She loved it and refuses to use it. It's propped up in her kitchen so she can look at it. Must be a genetic thing.

I recently finished a table top that I asked about in a prior thread a long time ago. I'll post some pictures to a new thread soon.
 

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You're not alone in that issue, Barry. I've threatened to confiscate end grain boards I've gifted, if they don't use them! Only one holdout so far; stubborn as Hell. ;)
Right on, brother. I made one in the shape of a flounder for a friend of mine, and she said it was going on the wall, never to be cut on! :surprise: It was a total surprise because she had no idea it was coming in the mail. In our past years on a fishing forum, she was a flounder catching fool, so it only seemed right to me.
 

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interesting comments on cutting boards not being used. Of the ones I’ve gifted in 2 cases, the husbands want to us them but their wives won’t let them touch them and one is used only as a serving platter for hors d’oeuvre. Perhaps a less intricate design would be in order.��
 

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It turned out nice John. I managed to construct a decent looking heart with a compass a couple of years ago. I correctly guessed that the proportions are equal to phi. I'm not sure if that's significant in any other way but I thought it interesting that it worked out that way. I should have written down how I did it. I don't remember exactly how I did it now.
 
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