COARSE ALTERNATIVE TO REAL MAHOGANY
As one of the many woods that is used to imitate mahogany, afzelia is often used as an umbrella name for all the related species. It is relatively coarse in texture, and not easy to use as it can dull tool edges quickly and has some interlocking grain. It has
very open pores, and however diligently you sand, more will appear, so the surface needs to be filled for a traditional perfectly smooth finish. There is little grain patterning, but afzella's real strength is that it is very similar in color to the best mahogany
(Swietenia mahogani or S. macrophylla).
Type Tropical hardwood
Other names Chanfuta, pod-mahogany, mahogany bean, chanfuti, peulmahonia, mkehli, makoli
Related species A. bipindensis, A. pachyloba, A. africana Sources Across sub-Saharan Africa
Color Mid-reddish brown
Texture Coarse, but uniform
Grain Straight, but also interlocking
Weight Heavy (51 lb./cu. ft.) (820 kg/cu. m)
AVAILABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Although A. cuanzensis is not listed as endangered, related species are counted as vulnerable to extinction, and it may be very difficult to identify which you are buying. Afzelia is not widely available, but should not be too expensive. There have been reports
of supplies from sustainable sources, but there is little evidence of certified stock.