Carcavelos Mahogany

See how it all started:   The Guitar Barrel Project

See how it continues:   The Guitars Gallery

The Wood

Carcavelos Wood Seal
Carcavelos Wood Seal

«The Carcavelos Mahagoni is not only steeped in history and rare, it is also stubborn. But you will be rewarded with a special variety of overtones that you rarely find. Its shimmering, simple elegance is accompanied by a distinctive scent of wood and wine. Wood for all senses!»

Claudio Pagelli


«This 250 year old material in its stability is a rare and valuable resource for musical instrument construction. The workability is a pleasure. There is a sonic response from a mere touch and the colour of this aged wood is a feast for the eye.»

Andy Manson


Rather than the now commonly used Oak or Walnut, these massive, over 2.5 meter tall barrels were fashioned 250 years ago using fine old growth Mahogany coming from the Portuguese colonies in South America.  A few strokes with the hand plane remove dust, mineral deposits and grime, revealing lustrous wood infused with the fragrance of the vintages that matured in these barrels over the centuries.  The interior side of the planks still bears the marks of the numerous cycles of the mineral deposit removal process, often performed by children who slipped through a tiny opening in the front of the barrel, to hack away among the dust-laden stifling alcohol vapors by candle light. This wood is not only witness to the fine wines produced within, but also to the back-breaking work of the people that made this luxurious indulgence possible for the fortunate few.  In repurposing it into musical instruments we want to give it a second life as agents of joy and pleasure.