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Woodworking/African mahogany


Hello, I recently bought some 8/4 African mahogany to use as a bar top in our kitchen remodel. As it turns out, it's a bit too light for my wife's taste. My question; is there a product or specific technique I can use to gain more darkness without sacrificing the beautiful ribbon character? I've heard dewaxed shellac with a few coats of polly looks great, but I'm not sure that handles the "dark" issue. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


Hey Frank, I would steer you towards WaterLox which is a modified Tung oil varnish product with superior penetrating power. It also has a rich deep brown color which looks gorgeous on walnut, Mahogany, Chery, etc.Because it is a penetrating finish, it hardens from within the wood fibers, and won't flake chip or can also be recoated down the line to add a layer of shine and protection with very little worry. Just clean with some 0000 steel wool and mineral spirits, and recoat.Once cure the finish coat is non toxic, and can be maintained daily with a light soap and water scrub followed by towel drying.....cure time is long from the aplication of the final coat..(weeks)...but it dries to the touch or to recoat in 24 hours. Just read ALL maufacturers warnings and instructions and start with about 3-4 coats applied, let each one sit for 5-10 minutes, then lightly and evenly wipe off with the grain, leaving a thin, even film behind. Let dry 24 hours before reapplying the next.Be aware that Mahogany will lighten with UV's just the nature of the material...addition of a natural dye or UV inhibitorrs is possible, but try the Waterlox back- regards- Greg


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Greg Scholl


Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects,Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings,wood species recognition,usage,etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Sold, built, serviced, setup Home,Industrial and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools, and offered instruction on use and care as well.I even have some Trade show Demo experience.

none at this time.

Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002)-("27 year compilation of expert know-how"),Multiple times in Family Handyman Magazine, local newspapers as well.

Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars by Major tool manufacturers, Delta, Powermatic, Performax, Porter Cable, Skil/Bosch to name a few.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT.(the Antiques capital of CT.)
Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies.For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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