Thursday, January 19, 2012

African Mahogany not my Favorite!

    You know, life is a learning experience and the longer you live the more you experience!  Some good, some not so good, but if you learn from them it's all good.  I've worked African Mahogany before and used it for the panels of a pistol case -- no problems although I recall that the grain did reverse in places which made it tough to plane.  Maybe the wood was more stable because I used it as a fairly large panel.  I took the last wide piece that was remaining and started to bead the details for the top, crown molding:

Crown Profile

My thought was that keeping the board wide and then ripping the piece off was a good plan.  Well, the first problem was that as I got towards the middle of the board, the beading tool started to chatter.

     That problem was overcome by clamping the board midway and working a section of it until the profile was complete, moving the clamp and continuing that process until the board was completely beaded.
     Once the first piece was complete, I ripped it to 1 1/2" on the tablesaw and repeated the process for the second cabinet.  Felt pretty good about that until I took that piece to the tablesaw.  That piece curled up like the letter C in two directions -- completely unusable!  The only option then was to rip a piece to the correct size first to make sure it was stable.  This one was so it was beaded and ready to install.  I'm going to let both of them "rest" for a while to make sure they are stabilized.

     All I can say is that this wood is beautiful but ...... unstable with a lot of internal pressure built up that makes it move as you start cutting the boards to size.  It could just be that this particular tree had lots of stress built into it from wind shake, hurricanes, or who knows what!  I do think it will turn out nice because the pieces that I've pre-finished with shellac are looking good.

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