Old-growth, Belize-river-salvaged Honduras Mahogany

Working an edge, with Leg Vise and Grammercy holdfast in right leg.
Working an edge, with Leg Vise and Grammercy holdfast in right leg.

Several years ago I acquired two planks from Greener Lumber, LLC. Honduras Mahogany (Swetenia  macrophylia). Rich Petty of Greener Lumber salvages H. Mahogany from rivers in Belize along with a few other species. These logs were cut down between 150-180 years ago, then floated down the river to ocean-going ships bound for England to supply highly prized material for high-end furniture. Many of those logs sank either on their journey or while in holding spots near the coast. Being plentiful at the time, this was just a cost of doing business. Today, with the scarcity of genuine H. Mahogany it is compelling to salvage those sunken logs.

Computer desk from plank in 2012.
Computer desk from plank in 2012.

Rich has several videos of the history, salvage operation and gallery of creations using this precious material at: www.greenerlumber.com/?page_id=13. One video in particular has photos of projects I have made along with other talented woodworkers and artists. See link with Tom’s work.

These particular boards (from the same log) feature very interesting figure, but the highlight is the bend. This bend must have resulted from an event early in the tree’s life because the grain flows nicely following the bend. This is opposed to a later-in-life event which would show more fractures in the grain flow.

Four years ago I built a computer desk using on of those planks. The second plank has remained in raw form awaiting the perfect project. Being such a unique piece I was somewhat reluctant to cut into it.

Belize treasures delivered this afternoon. What will the boy do to honor this H. Mahogany?
Belize treasures delivered this afternoon. What will the boy do to honor this H. Mahogany?

In a future post I will give a bit of my own history with Greener Lumber’s material as well as a bit more about Greener Lumber’s work. Rich Petty is the hero of that story. Actually, he has to share the stage with the lumber itself.

I recently contacted Rich to see if he had a short piece of material a bit wider than shown in his online store gallery for a potential build. He wrote back with an offer too good to refuse. Godfather Rich offered the three remaining planks from that bent log. A very excited, “YES!” was my reply. They arrived today. One of the planks had almost split in two at the bend so we cut it into some nice segments. The other two twelve-foot planks were cut in half for easier and less costly shipping and handling.

What you see in the gallery below are of the material received. I am super excited to add them to my inspirational inventory along with the existing plank. Thanks for sharing in my excitement.

 

 

 

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