FURNITURE

Mango wood furniture pros and cons

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Mango wood furniture pros and cons

The mango tree, from which we derive mango wood, is a populous tree the world over, thriving in hot humid climates, specifically tropical regions. The tree is originally believed to have come from within regions of India and Bangladesh. 

Mangifera Indica as it is known scientifically is typically cultivated for the production of the mango fruit and can grow to a height of over 30 meters sporting a trunk as wide as 4 meters. The mango tree is today cultivated all over the world with cultivars numbering over 300. 

The mango tree is a hardwood that grows comparatively fast towering at 100 feet within approximately fifteen years. Some hardwoods take up to 50 years to 100 to reach maturity making the mango tree a fairly good source of timber.

The mango tree is considered a source of timber only after it has exhausted its fruit-bearing years and is no longer useful to farmers. The trees will usually be cut down for the production of timber though previously, the tree was largely disposed of as firewood. Recent trends have seen this tree become steadily popular for woodworking.

As with every type of wood, there are both advantages and disadvantages to it. Below are some pros and cons of mango wood furniture.

Mango wood furniture pros and cons: Pros

Sustainability

Unlike many other trees, especially slow-growing hardwoods, the mango tree is plentiful the world over and is not in danger of depleting in the foreseeable future. Its fairly quick development and the fact that it is aggressively cultivated for its fruits has ensured that the trees are in huge supply. 

The lumber sector is one of the most notoriously unfriendly industries with regard to endangered and threatened species of trees. The practice of using mango trees for furniture has taken the pressure off of threatened species allowing them to replenish their numbers.

This is possibly its most significant advantage given the prevailing dangers associated with gutting down our ecosystems, that we are experiencing today.

Hardness and Durability

Mango wood is a hardwood and its lumber is remarkably good for the manufacture of wood items. Depending on the specific species, the approximate Janka hardness rating for mango wood is 1070 to 1100. This is a dense hard plank that makes for durable strong furniture.

Wood items made from mango wood last approximately fifteen to twenty years in good condition provided they are well taken care of and occasionally receive a fresh sealant or finish to provide continuous protection from fading which may arise as the furniture ages and darkens.

Easy to Work and Process

As soon as it is harvested for the production of timber, mango wood is typically ready to be crafted into wood items with the occasional tree requiring only slight drying, seasoning, and preparation before woodworking. This significantly cuts down the labor involved in preparing the wood to make timber for woodworking. 

Some hardwoods and many softwoods as well cannot be worked so soon after harvesting due to various limitations such as high moisture content which would make the wood nearly impossible to saw through, nail together or sculpt into. 

Working mango wood is also rather easy despite its hardness. This is especially true if the wood has a straight grain although some mango trees do have interlocking grains which means different tools are needed for those planks. 

Mango wood furniture takes very well to stains and finishes and when done thoroughly, these protective coatings provide even further durability to the furniture pieces.

Visually Appealing

Wood is almost always appealing though some trees have significantly arresting color palates than others. Mango wood furniture is one of these. Mango wood has a range of colors from light to darker browns and tans. 

Different species can sport pink hues and yellow tones making mango wood furniture visually interesting.

Its colors also lend it better to carvings, sculpting, and decorative artwork. Musical instruments are also often made from mango tree furniture due to this quality.

Is a Pocket-friendly Option

The mango tree is available in sufficient amounts worldwide making it cheaper to acquire for dealers in timber and wood. While the misconception may be that it is inferior due to its low price point, the cost is only due to a steady supply which in some cases could be an oversupply of the raw material.

Some slow-growing species such as red maples or Japanese maples are much more expensive compared to mango wood furniture. Their unavailability is the main reason they are more expensive and yet mango wood furniture has superior hardness and durability.

It would be wise to take advantage of the lower price point to get yourself some elaborate furniture pieces that would otherwise be unaffordable if they were made of a different kind of wood.

Mango wood furniture pros and cons: Cons

Susceptible to Fungus and Infestation

Mango wood is a tropical tree and tropical regions tend to be teeming with life. On average mango wood is susceptible to fungus more than most hardwoods and can be infested with woodworms if left untreated.

Most infestation occurs during its time in timber yards after harvesting and before woodworking or processing which can cause great losses and leave furniture unsightly to make into furniture pieces. 

Finished pieces should always be treated with appropriate chemical applications to ensure spores do not end up destroying the furniture with time. Protection such as stains and finishes are especially important if you wish to give the furniture a chance at longevity.

Finishes should also be reapplied if they have faded over time to prevent fungal growth and any other damage from water or heat.

Can Cause Allergic Reactions

Working with mango wood has been known to induce dermatitis and skin irritations. Mango wood dust must always be wiped off the skin after sawing to prevent exposure to residue present in the wood that does not agree with the skin.

Untreated and unfinished mango wood secretes oils that have been known to trigger allergic reactions so it would be best to work on mango wood while wearing gloves and overalls to avoid dust settling on your skin.

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