The mahogany coffee table. To me that brings memories of the Far East and the turn or middle of the last century. Or should I say the word mahogany does that rather than the term mahogany coffee tables. We’re going to talk a bit today about the mahogany wood and its use as a wood coffee table. You’ll know from reading prior articles that I love the natural products. I prefer my cappuccino machine to be made of stainless steel and I prefer my coffee table to be a wooden coffee table. I have an oak coffee table. Actually a round oak coffee table, but that is just personal preference. The pine coffee table is just as warm and inviting to my eyes as any other.
But unlike the oak tables and more like the cherry coffee table, when you’re using mahogany you have to be a little more thoughtful. And there are a couple of reasons for this. The first one that I’m going to talk about is environmental and in my opinion the most important. You see, the mahogany tree is actually protected because it has been so overused in the past. It’s use is understandable as it is such a great wood. It has a very straight grain that is appealing to the eye. It has very few blemishes, knots and pockets. An antique mahogany coffee table ages very well as it is both durable and the color which is a reddish brown darkens naturally over time. Historically, the tree was well known for its wide girth and so wide, straight boards could be obtained from single trees which made the mahogany wood very useful in cabinetry and furniture such as coffee tables like we’re talking about today.
The wood behind the mahogany coffee table
Mahogany also resists wood rot and so it has been favored in wood construction for some time, plus its density and straight grain make it a favorite for musical instruments. The classic Gibson Les Paul guitar has at its core mahogany. Nevertheless, I seem to be digressing again. Because it has become a protected species, it’s use has been severely curtailed. So if you are going to buy a mahogany coffee table, my first suggestion would be to look for an antique coffee table made of mahogany. But if you are adamant about having a contemporary coffee table made from mahogany then I’d urge you to be certain that the wood has been sustainably harvested.
And if you can find yourself a mahogany table, don’t be surprised to pay several hundreds of dollars into the thousands. This wood is rarer than hen’s teeth and as mentioned before has been overused. However, if you are interested in a mahogany finish coffee table, these can be had for similar prices as other wooden coffee tables. In the early hundreds of dollars, depending on course if you want an oval mahogany coffee table or round mahogany coffee table or the classic rectangular mahogany coffee table and of course what size you want too.
Thoughts about the mahogany coffee table
The other thing to think about, or at least be aware of if you’re looking for a solid mahogany coffee table is to ask yourself whether the coffee table is indeed made of real mahogany. As with many high end items, there are shysters out there who are trying to pull the wool over folks’ eyes. Now I can’t go into great detail about it here, because I’m not certain exactly how trees are separated into species, but there is the Philippine mahogany that is sold as a mahogany but is not really a mahogany, but rather a member of the Shorea species which comprises many of the Rainforest trees. So from my limited understanding, what you are really looking for is the term “genuine mahogany” which is supposed to be reserved for real mahogany trees. It pays to know your wood’s lineage 🙂
Okay, well I might have lost some of you towards the end there, and I think I lost myself too! But I hope it was worthwhile and informative. Remember, if you can, buy a nice mahogany side table or coffee table from an estate auction rather than a new one. The trees thank you and your mahogany coffee table will thank you for giving it a new home.