10 Best Exterior Finish for Mahogany- Reviews & Guide 2021

Image of outdoor bench coated with the Best Exterior Finish for MahoganyWoodworkers commonly use mahogany for exterior projects. The wood is durable and has a lovely appearance. However, you can enhance its useful life and beauty with the help of the Best Exterior Finish for Mahogany. The formulas are reliable and will protect the wood from harmful elements.

The different formulas that can be used for mahogany surfaces possess various qualities that make them outstanding, and this can be confusing if you want to get a suitable one. Most of the time, you will have to look at your project’s nature to determine the essential features you need in a finish.

Well, shopping for these products is another challenge thanks to the many mahogany finishes around. In a bid to help you get the very best exterior finish for mahogany, I have provided a buyer’s guide detailing every information you need to know going into the market. Keep reading for more…

Table of Contents

How do you seal outdoor mahogany?

Mahogany is mainly designed for use on outdoor decks. Even so, renewing its finish help provide durability while maintaining its beauty. It’s also naturally resistant to rot.

Here is how you can seal it for outdoor use.

Step 1: Cleaning

First, you’ll have to clean the surface to get rid of any residue which could get trapped with the treatment.

You can effectively do this using a pressure washer. 

Note: Ensure the washer is at least 24” away from the surface to avoid any damages.

Allow the deck to dry between three to five days after rainfall. You can only consider applying the preferred treatment after the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit for about 24 hours.

What if you accidentally treat the wood before it has completely dry? Doig this will cause the moisture to get trapped and will eventually lead to rot.

Step 2: Treating

I suggest using penetrating oil treatment since it can easily penetrate the wood grains of mahogany.

Note: Ensure you stir the treatment so the pigments can evenly mix. 

Use either a lamb’s wool applicator or a paintbrush for the application process. 

Ensure you work on one board at a time.

Afterward, let the surface dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If your area has a damp climate, letting the surface dry for an extra two to four hours will be necessary.

Step 3: Maintaining

Regularly keeping the surface free from dust, dirt, or leaves will prevent the growth of mold. Consider using a hose for the cleaning (it should have a gentle spray nozzle).

Ensure no mold is present on the surface by brushing them off with a deck cleaner and soft bristled brush. 

If you notice fading and water sinking instead of beading up, add an extra layer of penetrating oil.

What is the best finish for mahogany?

Among the best finishes for mahogany is lacquer, penetrating oil, polyurethane, or shellac.

Despite this, lacquer is the topmost available finish for use on mahogany. Unlike shellac or varnish that leaves a plastic feeling on the wood’s surface, lacquer is exceptional.

Even more, it has a fast daring time and has guaranteed durability. You only require two coats of this product to seal your mahogany furniture permanently.

The first coat acts as the sealant (it has to be light). On the other hand, the second coat will build up over the first one hence providing a shiny semi gloss to the surface. 

How do you protect an outside mahogany door?

Mahogany doors are known for their high degree of decay resistance, stability, and strength. Even so, adding some extra protection, especially for an outside mahogany door, will enhance its durability.

Sealing is among the best ways of protecting these doors. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to stain your door or not. 

Sealing will enable it to resist fading and any damage that may result from UV radiations, moisture, and humidity changes.

The best product for this job is marine spar finishes made with tung oil. It has unique compositions that help to maximize UV protection. 

When applying, ensure you use up to three thin coats. Remember to sand between each coat with a very fine 220 grit sandpaper.

Afterward, apply some extra varnish to the door’s edges. 

Another best way of protecting your door is by stripping and refinishing it periodically. But ensure you make regular inspections to know when the door needs resurfacing.

What oil should I use on mahogany?

Before you know what oil to use on your mahogany, you have to know some of its benefits. Here are the main ones

  • To maximize the wood’s life span.
  • Reveals the wood’s natural beauty.
  • To protects the wood from moisture.
  • Maintains the wood’s color.

Okay, so what oil will offer the above benefits to your mahogany? Well, you’ll have to know whether the oil is for interior or exterior use.

For the interior, you can go for tung, linseed, or teak oil. These types have great penetrating power and never leave a glassy sheen on the surface.

Even more, you can buff them up to get a more brilliant finish. On the exterior, teak oil will work best since it has excellent water and moisture resistance.

How do you waterproof mahogany?

There are three main ways that you can use to waterproof mahogany. Let’s take a brief look at each of them.

Create a hand rubbed oil finish (use linseed or tung oil).

These oils have been in use since the old days. You can blend them with other ingredients for better performance in eliminating stickiness and hastening the drying times.

The application method is straightforward since you only need a natural bristle paintbrush. After the application, wipe off the excess and let the surface dry for a few hours overnight.

Note: You can add as many additional coats as you desire. 

Use sealants for best protection

I suggest waterproofing your mahogany by sealing it with coats of polyurethane, lacquer, or varnish. 

The sealants have been tested and confirmed to have excellent waterproofing properties. You can apply them by either brushing or spraying.

Ensure you do this onto a clean, sanded wood. After which, you give the products enough time to dry before you lightly sand and recoat.

Work fast with stain sealant combos.

The ideal time to use this method is when having a large project that needs to be done in no time. 

Please go for a quality stain sealant combo. Such a product can add color and provide water resistance in one step.

The binders in these products can either be oil, water, or alkyd. Therefore, the final finish can either be transparent, opaque, or in-between.

How do you protect mahogany outdoor furniture?

Mostly, outdoor mahogany furniture is prone to harsh weather conditions. Therefore, the below steps will help offer the best protection.

Refinish periodically

Periodically refinishing your mahogany furniture is the best way of maintaining it. But before doing so, ensure you thoroughly clean the wood then sand it down to remove all the excess dirt.

Afterward, apply water based sealant since they have excellent UV blockers and are environmentally friendly.

Keep away from excess moisture.

Don’t wash your outdoor mahogany furniture with a pressure washer. It’s recommended to do the cleaning with a damp cloth followed immediately by a dry one.

The cloth has to be lint free. You can consider deeping it in vinegar and warm water.

Tip: Vinegar helps to maintain the look since it’s an excellent natural cleaner.

Wipe off spills

Never leave any spills such as water, oil, or food on your mahogany furniture. Such substances will wear off the protective finish.

Don’t use abrasive cleaners.

Abrasive or caustic cleaners can cause staining, discoloration and may remove the wood’s finish.

Lift heavy items while moving.

Ensure you protect your mahogany floors from scratches or dents. You can do this by sweeping with a soft broom.

Also, don’t drag heavy items.

Please protect the furniture from exposure to direct sunlight.

Even though this wood type can resist rot and insects, it does not have the durability of teak. Therefore, consider protecting it from direct sunlight.

You do this by placing the furniture near the surrounding trees or shrubs. Also, ensure you refine it any time you notice a dull appearance, flakes, or scratches.

Can you oil mahogany?

Yes, oiling mahogany will help maintain its natural color while keeping it protected from moisture.

Even so, some oils such as water based oil will tend to darken your wood slightly. But you shouldn’t worry since the natural luster of your wood will still be visible.

The other benefit of oils on the mahogany is how they don’t peel as often. However, this depends on the type of oil and the sun’s intensity.

Oiling mahogany is effortless. The reason is that you will use penetrating oils that are thin and can quickly soak. 

You may choose to use a lamb’s wool applicator pad or a good brush for the application process. 

Note: If you use a roller, you might put in too much oil.

What does natural mahogany look like?

The easiest way to identify mahogany is by its reddish to pink hues. The wood is also straight grained with few knots and free of gaps.

However, as time goes, you’ll realize that its distinct reddish brown color will darken. If you polish mahogany, it will form a durable, gorgeous red sheen.

Other ways of identifying natural mahogany include:

  • Striped or ribbon looking interlocking grain on quarter pieces.
  • Finished mahogany will have a fine grained silky appearance with a rich color that looks like it’s below the wood’s surface.
  • It has concentric rings that share the same center.
  • You should see the wood’s pores with naked eyes.
  • They have well distributed and never crowded pores.

Does mahogany darken with age?

Yes, mahogany will darken with age due to exposure to light. The reason is that this wood type is photoreactive.

However, it won’t be easy to notice the darkening since they slowly occur after applying the finish.

Does mahogany need to be treated?

Absolutely Yes! Treating your mahogany will help extend its life. You can do this by restaining and repainting periodically.

You can also treat these woods using a simple, clear sealer.


Best Exterior Finish for Mahogany Comparison Table


Best Exterior Finish for Mahogany Buyer’s Guide

We cannot overlook the benefits of working with the best exterior finish for mahogany. Apart from preserving the wood from damaging elements, it will ensure that you enjoy a beautiful finish.

However, choosing the best formula to use has remained a challenge to some experts as well as beginners. Even so, you don’t have to worry especially if you are reading this post because I have a lot for you to learn about these finishes. Let’s first look at some of the advantages that come with these formulas.

Advantages of Using the Best Exterior Finish for Mahogany

  • It protects the wood from UV rays, which is a significant reason for fading and discoloration.
  • The formula is water-resistant, keeping the wood from rot.
  • Most of the manufacturers include mildewcides in the product so that it repels mildews.
  • You can comfortably apply the formula as it is easy to use.
  • The finish allows the mahogany’s texture and grain to be visible, thus making it more beautiful.
  • After application, it dries very fast.
  • The product resists scratches and peeling, which compromises the appearance of the mahogany.

Factors to Consider as You Get the Best Exterior Finish for Mahogany

  • Durability

The components used to make the solution is what determines if it will last longer or not. On most occasions, the one that has a thicker consistency will serve you longer.

During shopping, do not be in a rush to get the product. Carefully assess the manufacturer’s view on the ingredients they have used so that you can go home with a quality finish.

  • Maintenance

Different finishes will have various requirements on how you should handle and maintain them. Most of the formulas are easy to clean with soap and water, while others require mineral spirits to get the job done.

Ensure you know the specific cleaning and maintenance strategy for the product you are purchasing and if you can afford it.

  • Application

How you apply a formula matters because it will determine if you will get an even finish. There are different application methods. Some solutions use a spray while others work best with a roller or a brush.

  • Safe for use

Your safety is a priority as you work with a wood finish. You want to get a product that is safe to use, even for longer working sessions. Odorless formulas are usually the best because they do not affect the user.

  • Environmentally friendly

As you go about your woodworking projects, you need to safeguard the environment in the best way you can. You may not be planting trees but using an eco-friendly formula goes a long way. The best products to work with are those with little or no VOC content.

Environmental hazards may include the harm that the Ready Seal causes when over sprayed. Please ensure that you cover the flowers on your deck with a cloth as you use it.

Best Exterior Finish for Mahogany Product Reviews

Here’s where you get the little details that separate these products and why some will fit you need and others won’t. I have given a detailed discussion regarding the features, advantages, and disadvantages of using these stains. Keep ready for more insight.

1. Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, Mahogany

Ready Seal Exterior is an oil-based, semi-transparent stain and sealer that enhances the beauty of the wood. It also penetrates deeply into the lumber to protect and preserve it from elements such as mildew, mold, and harmful UV rays.

You can comfortably use a roller, brush, or spray when applying the formula. It requires no wet-line application as it will blend itself and any temperature range is appropriate for excellent results. The solution is safe to use as it; contains no linseed oil and will not stain hands, is biodegradable when in contact with soil and water, and meets VOC level requirements.

During application, blend multiple containers to ensure color consistency, then apply two light coats on the wood while allowing at least 45 minutes in between. The drying time will be 48 to 72 hours, depending on surface porosity, humidity, and temperature. Additionally, if you want to get maximum results, the surface should be clean of dirt, stains, mildew, grease, dust, and oil.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The stain requires no back brushing and does not leave streaks, laps, or runs.
  • It works well without prior dilution or thinning to spray applications.
  • Ready Seal is environmentally friendly and safe to use.
  • It enhances the beauty of the mahogany by allowing the texture to be visible.
  • The wood gets longevity as the product preserves it from harmful elements such as UV rays

Ready Seal 530 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, 5-Gallon, Mahogany


  • You can apply the product at any temperature.
  • No priming is required.
  • Two light coats are enough for satisfactory results.
  • It gives a beautiful mahogany finish.



  • Overspraying may kill your plants, and you need to make use of a drop cloth.
  • It has an oily residue.
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2. RUST-OLEUM Watco A67141 Teak Oil Finish

Mahogany is a unique wood, and you require a formula specifically designed for hardwoods. If you have been wondering which is the best solution to use, look no further! The Rust-Oleum oil finish has impressive features that give superb results.

The product provides exterior and interior one-step protection for dense woods such as mahogany, rosewood, and teak. It protects the lumber from within such that it will not peel, chip, or wear away.

After applying the oil, the formula dries tack-free in 8 hours and covers up to 170 square feet. You can also use it for marine jobs as it is water-resistant.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Rust-Oleum is superb for mahogany as it is specially made for exotic or hardwoods.
  • It gives one-step protection to the wood, and it will not chip, crack, or peel.
  • After curing, the oil provides a rich, warm glow of a hand-rubbed finish.
  • It also enhances mahogany’s useful life as it protects it from harmful elements.

Rust Oleum 67141 Watco Teak Oil Finish


  • The formula is easy to apply and maintain.
  • You can use it for marine use.
  • It gives impressive moisture, mildew, and UV-resistant finish.
  • When applying, wiping, brushing, or spraying will provide excellent results.


  • The oil stains fabrics and clothes; please be careful as you use it.
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3. Cabot Australian Timber Oil, Aerosol, Mahogany Flame

Cabot is a famous formula used for hardwoods as it comprises a UV resistance substance and an exterior oil-water repellant. It cures into a lovely translucent finish, and you can simply clean it up with mineral spirits.

The formula comprises three major oils; linseed oil which preserves the mahogany and the Tung and long oil alkyds which give the wood water resistance qualities. On top of that, the oil gives a beautiful color depth.

A brush is sufficient for application and when done, ensure that you back brush so that the solution can deeply penetrate the wood.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula acts as a preservative when used for outdoor applications.
  • It has a lasting UV-absorbing surface keeping the surface naturally beautiful.
  • You are free to choose which color is right for you as it is available in four different colors.
  • The oil cures give a three-way oil protection as it is a blend of tung oil, long oil alkyds, and linseed oil.

Cabot 140.0003459.076 Australian Timber Oil, Aerosol, Mahogany Flame


  • Cabot is excellent for small projects.
  • You work faster on spindles and hard-to-reach spots as the product is color-matched.
  • The formula offers a beautiful and long-lasting finish on the mahogany.
  • It is easy to apply and maintain.


  • To have the solution penetrate well into the wood, you should back brush after application.
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4. WOCA Denmark – Environmentally Friendly Exterior Wood Oil – Water-Based Oil for Outdoor Wood

From the product’s name, you can deduce some of the impressive features that you will enjoy. It is plant-based, water-dilutable, and has low VOCs, making it an environmentally friendly oil. The solution also has UV protection, mildew, mold, and fungus resistance qualities, giving superb results for exterior wood projects.

The oil penetrates the mahogany and seals the wood from within, so you get a waterproof finish. It creates the finish without a film buildup or the peeling risk that occurs with other resins, paints, and sealers. After curing, it offers UV rays protection to the surface, keeping it from fading or discoloration.

Additionally, the formula works well for any species, whether mahogany, ipe, bamboo, cedar, and pine. You can thus use it for any outdoor wood project. It cures fast, allowing you to get back to enjoy nature quickly.

The Summary of Top Features

  • WOCA Denmark penetrates deeply and seals the wood from inside out, thus creating a waterproof finish.
  • The oil is plant-based, which makes it water-dilutable and eco-friendly.
  • It strengthens your lumber for an extended period as it repels water and UV rays.
  • After application, the formula dries and hardens in 24 to 48 hours, enhancing the mahogany’s grain.
  • The solution is perfectly fit for outdoor applications and gives UV protection.
  • It is usable on any species; therefore, it is an excellent domestic and exotic wood solution.

WOCA Denmark - Environmentally Friendly Exterior Wood Oil - Water-Based Oil for Outdoor Wood (Natural)


  • The formula enhances the natural structure of the wood.
  • It is easy to apply and is color-matched.
  • The pigmented oil is perfect as it recreates the original color of the wood.
  • WOCA Denmark oil provides a dirt-repellent surface and thus easy to maintain and keep clean.


  • The formula does not work well for indoor applications as it is for exterior use only.
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5. General Finishes Exterior Water Based Wood Stain, Red Mahogany

This water-based wood stain is convenient for outdoor jobs with vertical surfaces such as entrance doors, furniture, and garage doors. You apply it using a brush, roller, or spray and clean it up with soap and water.

General Finishes Exterior has UV absorbers that protect the finish from fading, thus giving it a long life. It also has mildewcides that slow mildew and mold growth, which keeps the wood healthy.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It is an exterior water-based stain.
  • The formula has mildewcides and UV rays absorbers, which preserve the wood.
  • Cleaning the product is easy as with water and soap, you are good to go.
  • You will get the stain in 9 different colors.
  • It is useful for outdoor projects with vertical surfaces.

General Finishes Exterior 450 Water Based Wood Stain, 1 Gallon, Red Mahogany


  • You can apply the stain by brushing, rolling, or spraying.
  • It prevents wood discoloration by the sun.
  • The formula is easy to maintain and clean.


  • The stain only works well with light or white paint.
  • It is not for large horizontal surfaces such as decks.
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6. Epifanes Clear Varnish

This product comprises tung oil, alkyd, and phenolic resins. It is popular for giving a durable finish and longevity to the wood. It also has UV filters that protect against harmful UV rays, thus giving the mahogany a lovely glossy look. It is usable on both new and old wood as it restores the old wood to a clear finish.

Additionally, you can use it for multiple projects ranging from interior and exterior to marine and household. During the application of the formula, you need either a roller, brush, or sprayer.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The product is for both household or marine, exterior, and interior applications.
  • It is made with UV filters to give superior protection.
  • You can spray, brush, roll, and tip the formula to get the job done.
  • The finish is suitable for both new and old wood.

General Finishes Exterior 450 Water Based Wood Stain, 1 Gallon, Red Mahogany


  • The formula offers durability.
  • It is usable in many applications.
  • When applied, the varnish restores the wood to a deep clear finish.
  • It gives a glossy, beautiful finish.


  • The varnish requires many coats and extended drying times at low humidity.
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7. Penofin Deep Penetrating Oil Treatment for Exotic Hardwood Exterior

The Penofin Deep Penetrating oil is the product to use for your hardwood exterior projects. It gives excellent results for all fine hardwoods such as ironwood, teak, Pau Lope, Mahogany, and Ipe. The solution cures into a transparent option that enhances the wood’s beauty.

Additionally, the formula protects the wood from harmful elements. It is UV rays and mold and mildew resistant, and thus the surface is durable as it will not bubble, peel, or crack.

When using the formula, please follow these few steps;

  • Properly clean the frame.
  • Use a moderate coat of the stain to the mahogany.
  • Allow the stain to sit for 20 to 30 minutes so that it penetrates well into the wood.
  • Wipe the surface well to remove the excess finish.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It penetrates deeply to protect the wood inside out.
  • The mahogany looks new for longer as the formula gives 99% ultraviolet protection.
  • It has high-grade mildewcide, which keeps the wood from mildew and mold.
  • After drying, the solution does not crack, bubble, or peel.
  • The penetrating oil finish meets the wood’s needs in fiber protection, stabilizing, nourishing, and penetration.

Penofin Deep Penetrating Oil Treatment for Exotic Hardwood Exterior, Wood Stain IPE Finish (1 Gallon)


  • It is suitable for all fine hardwoods.
  • The formula highlights the natural beauty of lumber.
  • It allows the wood to breathe.
  • The oil cures into a lovely finish.


  • The product is combustible, and you are to keep it away from sparks, open flames, and heat.
  • You should apply it every 3 to 6 months.
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8. Varathane 224500 Premium Gel Stain, Red Mahogany

The Varathane 224500 is better off than most traditional oil-based stains. It dries in about an hour and covers up to 60 square feet. The gel is also designed for vertical surfaces and does an excellent job on furniture, window trim, and doors.

When using it, the formula applies evenly without causing any grain raise or lap marks. It is formulated with a thicker consistency, which prevents runs and drips. The 224500 Premium gives the wood grain a beautiful look as it gives it a rich, long-lasting color.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The gel is appropriate for vertical surfaces and creates a natural wood look.
  • It does not run or drips thanks to its thick consistency.
  • During application, it evens out without lap marks or grain raise.
  • The formula gives the wood a long-lasting, rich deep color, which makes it lovely.
  • It preserves the wood, thus giving it longer useful life.

Varathane 224500 Premium Gel Stain, Half Pint, Red Mahogany


  • The formula enhances the wood’s natural beauty.
  • It dries in one hour.
  • The gel is excellent for fiberglass.
  • It has impressive coverage of 60 square feet.
  • Once applied, it cures in an hour.


  • The stain does not work well for decks and floors.
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9. PPG ProLuxe SRD Wood Finish, Mahogany

The impressive features of this wood finish make it stand out. It is a high-solid one-coat, transparent formula appropriate for all your exterior projects such as fences, decks, rails, and outdoor furniture, among others. It is also available in 8 richly saturated wood tones, which gives you the freedom to work with different surfaces.

PPG Proluxe SRD preserves the wood as it protects the surface from water damage, UV rays, and mildew. It penetrates deeply into the wood, cures into a nice color, and does not form a top film.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The finish does not form a film on top because it penetrates well into the wood.
  • It gives superior protection from UV rays, water damage, and mold.
  • The product is used for railings, decks, and siding as it is an exterior wood finish.
  • It amplifies the wood’s depth of color and clarity.
  • You can apply it on different surfaces as it is available in 8 tones.

PPG ProLuxe Gallon Cetol SRD Exterior Wood Finish Translucent - Mahogany 045


  • With only one coat, you get an excellent finish.
  • The formula offers long-lasting protection to the wood.
  • It works best for all types of exterior woodworking projects.
  • The finish has water-repellent qualities.


  • Before recoating, you will have to strip the wood.
  • The finish will give a lovely color, but it will darken over time.
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10. Cabot Gold Deck Varnish, Gallon, Moonlit Mahogany

The Cabot Gold Deck Varnish is a linseed oil formula that offers polished protection for decks, fences, and outdoor furniture. It makes the wood look beautiful as it resists scratching and peeling. The varnish is also UV resistant and has mildewcide, which protects the wood from UV rays and mildew.

The product coverage is 250 to 350 square feet making it very suitable for your projects. It also gives you a lovely and durable satin-like finish.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The varnish preserves the wood by protecting it from scratching, scuffing, and peeling.
  • It has a coverage area of 250 to 350 square feet.
  • With the product, your wood enjoys a longer life as it protects it from damage by UV rays and mildew.
  • You get a beautiful, durable finish once the formula cures.


Cabot 140.0003473.007 Gold Deck Varnish, Gallon, Moonlit Mahogany

  • The formula is easy to use.
  • It offers durability to the wood.
  • After curing, you get a nice satin-like finish.


  • You need three coats for satisfactory results.
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When you invest in getting the most suitable exterior finish for mahogany, you are keeping up with a good practice that will yield impressive results. Your wood will be in good shape for a long duration, and you will not have to worry about scratches, peeling, or scuffing.

I would encourage you to pick whichever formula meets your criteria. However, my best pick is Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, Mahogany. It is unique and works in any temperature range. It also blends so well that you do not need a wet-line application. The stain is easy and safe to use as it is biodegradable and meets VOC level standards.

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Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.