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What is Philippine Mahogany? This was an interesting question in the recent Letters to the Editor in the Woodworkers Journal.
Philippine Mahogany is a trade name applied to various species of the genus Shorea. These species are common to the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Other trades names are Meranti, Lauan and Balau. Balau is usually a heavier and tighter grain wood. Meranti is available in light or dark. The dark is more dense and deeper in color than the light.
Philippine Mahogany is not a Mahogany at all but is a hardwood species of the Meranti family. African and Honduras mahoganies are in the Meliaceae family.
In Australia, the Shorea species are sold as Pacific Maple!
There is plantation grown Mahogany but it is a small percentage of what is available. So, it is best to purchase wood which is certified to be grown and harvested in an ecological way.