Mango Wood – Why It Is The Best Choice For Sustainable Furniture

What is Mango Wood?

Mango tree or Mangifera Indica is common in places located in tropical regions of Asia and in some parts of Oceania. This type of tree can grow as much as 100 ft. with a diameter of 4 ft. It is primarily grown for its fruits.

However, mango usually stops bearing good fruit after 7 years. When this happens, the tree is cut down, and the wood is used for other purposes.

This wood is mainly used as an alternative to maple and oak. As long as it comes from a good source, it is an excellent wood. Moreover, it’s sustainable because it is the byproduct of the food industry. 

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Characteristics of Mango Wood

Mango is a hardwood with dense grains. It has enough strength to become a chair or table. However, it’s still soft enough, so you don’t need to use any special tools to work with it.

In detail, here are the characteristics of this wood: 

Appearance

Unprocessed mango wood has an outer surface or sapwood that is dark brown in color. The inner surface or the heartwood is relatively paler in color. Meanwhile, the processed mango wood has a rough and light brown appearance.

Grain

The wood appears to have irregular lines with dark spots. These lines and spots constitute what is commonly known as wood grain. It has a fine but unusual graining.

Rot Resistance

Mango is susceptible to insect and fungal attack. Because of this, it is labeled to be moderately perishable wood.

Workability

If there is wild or interlocked grain, the wood might experience a tear out during machining. Wood can also shift while you saw it. Because it has high silica content, it can dull the edges of your cutting tools. 

Toxicity

There have been no reports of severe reactions to mango wood. However, it may cause mild skin irritation.

Availability

Hawaii and other Asian countries have a steady supply of this type of wood. These countries sell mango wood in slab form.


What Makes Mango Wood Special

what makes mango wood special

Mango wood may be considered as a newcomer in the furniture scene. Despite of that, it is one of the fastest growing materials used by furniture manufacturers.

Though formerly in the Red List for vulnerable natural materials, mango is no longer listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Thus, the world still has a huge supply of it.

But what really makes this wood sustainable is that it is the byproduct of mango fruit. Big oaks like those you find in Europe and North America take 50-100 years to mature. The mango trees, on the other hand, can reach 80-100 feet in just 15 years.

Once the tree is fully mature, you can start harvesting fruits. After it stops bearing fruit altogether, it can be harvested for timber. Then, another generation of mango trees is planted.

Harvesting mango wood does not only give extra income to the farmers, but it also provides furniture manufacturers a new and affordable material that they can easily work with. It is strong but lightweight. This makes cutting and assembling easy to do. Its maintenance is also fairly easy.

Over the years, the wood can be stained with natural black, brown, or gray color. However, if you don’t like this natural colors, you’ll also be happy to know that the wood adheres to sanding and staining well.


Facts About Mango Wood

The wood is an interesting material. Here are things you probably don’t know about it:

  • Ranking 1070 in the Janka hardness scale, it is as strong as ash wood and cherry.
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    It is water resistant. Thus, you don’t have to worry about spilled water. 
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    It is cheaper than other hardwoods because it is widely available.
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    Mango wood can be a replacement for bamboo due to its slowly increasing usage. Compared to bamboo, however, it is believed to be more reliable.
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    A mango tree can grow anywhere easily. And once the wood is harnessed, the quality of the furniture is already guaranteed.
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    When you plant a mango tree, you have the opportunity to make use of the wood to make quality furniture. 
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    Mango wood has a unique texture. As mentioned before, processed wood has an unusual graining. This characteristic gives it a unique texture which can be easily worked on.
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    It is initially light brown in color. But when you apply any type of coating, it can take different colors and tones. You can use varnish, shellac, or lacquer to finish your furniture made from this wood. 

Using Mango Wood for Furniture

mango wood furniture

Using mango wood to make furniture has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that it is eco-friendly.

When it passes its fruit-bearing stage, it can be cut down to be used in furniture. This process can be repeated throughout the life cycle of a mango tree.

Mango wood will only need less finish due to its fine grain. You do not have to worry about its appearance since it offers a variety of color and texture.

The wood is supplied by many countries in the Asian and Pacific regions. This means that running out of supply is not a problem.

The downside of using mango wood, however, is its susceptibility to fungal and insect attack. Also, furniture made from it is not ideal to be placed outside of the house because it cracks when exposed to the sun and is dehydrated.

Below are different examples of mango wood furniture available on the market today: 

Strata Furniture - Mango Merlot Accent Table

This coffee table is solid and the close type. It also has a smooth and glossy finish to match your house’s interior. It is not stained, so the color is natural.

World Interiors ZWPG6029 Mango Wood Round Dining Table in Antique Oak

This dining table is meant to be shiny to give emphasis to the wood’s natural design. The design will fit in either a vintage or modern house.

Casual Elements Deacon Table, Rustic Mango Grey Wash

This is a table and a cabinet in one. It comes with a light grey finish. The design is simple but carefully handcrafted. It has 12 drawers for you to store all your collectibles and trinkets.

Simpli Home Hunter Solid Mango Wood Console Sofa Table, Natural

This desk has a natural finish with protective lacquer. It has a simple design with a focus on functionality. There is enough space for storage.

World Interiors Whitewashed Mango Wood King Bed

This bed has a tall headboard with four solid legs. There is enough space for this bed to accommodate two people. What makes this exceptional are the intricate hand carved details on the headboard.

Mango Wood Slim Side Chair by Sterling

This chair fits small areas perfectly. It has a simple yet sleek design with a high back. The finishing is dark so it can match mahogany or another mango wood dining table.


Conclusion

Mango wood is a game changer for the furniture industry. Its popularity among furniture makers is steadily increasing. The wood is affordable but gives equal quality to the expensive ones.

With it, you can not only create high-quality furniture, but you can also preserve the beauty of the wood itself. Making something from timber that could otherwise be discarded is one of the best ways you can promote sustainability.

Ethan Johnson
 

I’m Ethan Johnson. I’m a mechanical engineer, and I’m passionate about Home Improvement. I hope my skills and experience can help you remodel your home by turning simple, inexpensive, and innovative ideas into easy tasks that you can DIY! So no need to go too far, just read on and you’ll be ready to get the ball rolling.

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