Mahogany, Red

Red mahogany is an Australian hardwood with a fine grain and stunning red colouring used for engineering applications, construction, furniture and turnery.

Other Names

Red Stringybark, Daintree Stringybark (Qld), Red Messmate (Qld), Eucalyptus resinifera

Botanical Name

Eucalyptus pellita

Common Form
Sawn
Species Type

Red mahogany is a hardwood with a fine grain and attractive red colouring. It is a versatile wood suitable for engineering applications and for use in construction. Due to its figuring, it is prized for furniture and turning. Red mahogany has become a prestigious timber owing to its durability, termite resistance and distinctive colouring.

Different species of red mahogany grow in different regions of Queensland, New Guinea and Irian Jaya. E. resinifera occurs from Jervis Bay in New South Wales to Coen in Queensland. E. pellita occurs from north of Townsville to Iron Range on Cape York Peninsula and through areas from Gladstone in Queensland to southern coastal New South Wales.

Trees of this species reach a height of 40-45m with 1-1.5m trunk diameter. The bark is fibrous, shallow to coarsely fissured, and persists on even the small branches. Different species have differently coloured bark; E. resinifera beinggreyish to reddish-brown and E. pellita being reddish-brown to brown.

Red mahogany is a dense, durable timber. The heartwood ranges from red to dark red, but sapwood is distinctively paler. The even grain is generally moderatley textured, displaying the occasional gum vein, and at times the grain is interlocked producing an attractive figure.

The density of the timber varies depending on its source; plantation grown 8.5 year-old timber has 70% of the density of natural grown timber, creating some variance in hardness.

Uses of red mahogany have included wharf and bridge construction, railway sleepers and in mining timbers. It is used for a wide range of interior and exterior purposes in general construction and can be made into indoor and outdoor furniture. Other uses include boat building, coach, vehicle and carriage building and structural plywood.

 

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

6.30%

Radial :

3.90%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.34%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.27%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

S8

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F27

F17

F14

F11

F8

Seasoned:

F27

F22

F17

F14

F11

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

950kg/m3

Unseasoned:

1200kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

90

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

138

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

14

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

17

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

52

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

76

Impact - Unseasoned:

16

Impact - Seasoned:

16

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

9.0

Hardness - Seasoned:

12

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Resistant

Fire Properties

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EFH Spread-of-Flame Index:

EFH Smoke-Developed Index:

Critical Radiance Flux - Lower:

>2.2 and <4.5

Critical Radiance Flux - Higher:

≥4.5

Smoke Development Rate:

<750
1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group
Number:

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

BAL 12.5 and 19 – All AS3959 required applications
Appearance

Red mahogany is a beautiful timber, displaying a range of deep red and pale pink hues. The grain is uniform and somewhat course and can be interlocked, producing a stunning figure.Generally the heartwood is a deep, rich red in colour but it may be lighter in younger material. The timber’s sapwood is paler and clearly distinct from the heartwood. Tight gum veins, gum deposits and pinhole borer discolouration occasionally augment the appearance of the timber and pencil streak is common.

Common Applications

Red mahogany's durability, hardness and distinctive colouring make it one of the most versatile of timbers. The engineering applications of red mahogany as a sawn and round timber can be seen in wharf and bridge construction, railway sleepers, cross arms, poles, piles, mining timbers. As sawn timber for construction purposes it is used in general house framing, cladding, internal and external flooring, linings, joinery, fencing, landscaping, including use in retaining walls, although it is less ideal for use in contact with the ground.

One of its finest uses is for decorative purposes, in the manufacture of quality indoor and outdoor furniture. It is also prized for turning. Red mahogany's versatility can be seen further in its use in boat building (keel and framing components, planking), coach, vehicle and carriage building, agricultural machinery and in structural plywood.

 

Workability

For a dense timber that is very hard, red mahogany is relatively easy to work and machine with both hand and power tools. It can be satisfactorily dried using conventional air and kiln seasoning.

The heartwood is highly resistant to termites and the softwood susceptible to lyctid borer. The sapwood readily accepts preservative impregnation but penetration of heartwood is negligible using currently available commercial processes.

No difficulty has been experienced when using standard fittings and fastenings. As with most highly dense species, machining and surface preparation should be done immediately before gluing. The species holds both nails and staples well.

Finishing the timbers is possible through a range of methods. The timber accepts paint and stain and is one of the best eucalypts for painting since the wood has good resistance to surface checking. It develops a lovely finish when polished.

 

Origin of timber
NSW
Readily Available
NSW
Red mahogany is available only in limited quantities, due to heavy logging in the past. Early research trials suggest that future supplies of plantation-grown E. pellita will be available from northern Queensland on suitable soils and where the mean annual rainfall exceeds 900 mm.
Image

Fencing

When it comes to fencing, timber is a natural choice. A material that is durable, strong and reliable it compliments almost every outdoor landscape and environment. Clear specification, detailed installation and appropriate maintenance will ensure a timber fence provides a natural and lasting property boundary and back drop for years to come.
Image

Mouldings

Mouldings are extremely versatile and durable, enhancing the aesthetics of any interior and functioning as the icing on the cake for designs with a focus on beauty and splendour.
Image

Retaining Walls (Landscaping)

When it comes to retaining wall, landscape design and construction, timber is the natural choice. A material that is durable, sturdy and reliable, it has natural aesthetics that help it blend seamlessly with the outdoors. Careful consideration during the specification and design process will facilitate the creation of a long lasting, durable and beautiful timber retaining wall that will complement its surrounding landscape for years to come.
Image

Cladding, External

The natural appeal, versatility and strength of timber makes it the superior choice for external cladding. Through specification, planning, design and finishing processes, timber cladding not only creates a building of superior strength, acoustic and thermal performance but also creates a place of beauty, style and natural appeal.
Image

Structural Timber Poles

Timber poles are utilised in structural construction to provide support for gravity loads and resistance against lateral forces. Not only serving a structural function, timber poles provide many aesthetic benefits, with their use in construction often complementing architectural designs aimed at harmonisation with the natural environment.
Image

Flooring

The warmth, strength and natural beauty of timber flooring is enduringly popular in a wide variety of domestic, commercial and industrial applications.

Are you looking for a supplier?

Start Your Search

Social Media Feeds