The Mango tree is known to scientists as Mangifera indica and reflects the belief that M. indica was first domesticated in India from which it spread fairly quickly to Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and then throughout the tropical world where it is found today.
For the sake of simplicity and common understanding I will hereafter refer to M. indica as Mango.
Mango is frequently spalted and because of this the heartwood can be any of a range colors. Most often the heartwood is a golden brown but other colors such as yellow and streaks of pink and/or black can also occur.
The Mango sapwood is lighter in color but it is not always clearly demarcated.
It is common with Mango to find curly or mottled grain patterns as well.
The grain of Mango can be straight or interlocked.
Mango features a coarse to medium texture and decent natural luster.
In terms of rot resistance Mango is rated anywhere from moderately durable to perishable. Mango is susceptible to both fungal and insect attack.
Tearout is common when machining if interlocked or wild grain is present in Mango. Mango may also contain “reaction wood” which can shift during machining or sawing. If this shifting happens while sawing the blade may become bound by the wood.
Mango has a fairly high silica content and it will readily dull cutting edges.
Mango is reported to glue and finish well.
There is no reported odor associated with Mango wood.
Pricing and Availability:
Mango is reported to be steadily available from specialty sources, usually from Hawaii, though Asian sources are also common. Mango is sold in board and slab form, as well as craft and instrument blanks. Prices for unfigured boards are in the moderate range for an imported lumber, and it is usually less expensive than Koa, another popular Hawaiian hardwood. Figured boards with curly figure, spalting, and/or vivid coloration are much more expensive.
In this blog, I almost always recommend several vendors with whom I have done considerable business and in whom I have great confidence. These vendors are: West Penn Hardwoods, Bell Forest Products, NCWood, WoodTurningz, Amazon Exotic Hardwoods, Griffin Exotic Wood, Exotic Woods USA, Got Wood?, and Wood Turning Blanks 4U. Note: ALWAYS green turn wet blanks from NCWood and Wood Turning Blanks 4U as their wax will not hold for extended drying periods.
Of these fine vendors Exotic Woods USA offers turning blanks, only two at this time, priced from $88 to $117 and both 10” squares of 3” and 4” thickness. They also sell pen blanks. Bell Forest Products offers spindles only at this time with the largest being 3” square by 12” which prices at $26.
I sourced my Mango blanks from a Central American plantation via Cook Woods of Oregon. My 9” x 9” x 2” blank was exceptionally expensive but within the general price range for Mango at about $90.
Woodfinder is an excellent website that is dedicated to advertising wood dealers. In your search for Mango, this can be an invaluable resource provided you use multiple search terms to capture all the possible listings. I can’t speak to the quality of any of the listed dealers, but Woodfinder does have the advantage of allowing searches to be performed based on location which might allow an interested buyer to visit a listed wood dealer in person to hand pick pieces at a comfortable price.
A significant problem with using Woodfinder is that many vendors are listed for woods that, upon further investigation, they do not offer. I don’t know if perhaps once they did and they didn’t update their listings or if some vendors use a standardized list of woods that include most everything conceivable with the idea that once you land on their page you will find something you want to buy even if you didn’t know it beforehand. It happens to me all the time!
Mango finds uses in the following applications: Furniture, veneer, plywood, turned objects, and flooring. One common and very specialized use for Mango is in the manufacture of ukuleles.
Mango is not listed with the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendices, nor is it on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.