Sapele is also called Entandrophragma cylindricum. Most comes from Cameroon and Congo. We buy it both air-dried and Kiln-dried. The species is more consistent for color, weight, texture, and hardness throughout the regions than African Mahogany. It can have pin-knots which are difficult to see in rough-sawn limber. But the suppliers we deal with do grade against what they can see. It is lighter in color from Ghana which is not the main source.
Janka Hardness 1,410 lbf (6,280 N) The hardest of the three options when compared with African Mahogany and Utile.
Flatsawn is nice. The quartersawn is desirable. Generally very straight, ranging from pencil-stripe to more pronounced.
When compared with Utile and African Mahogany of the three woods, Sapele is the heaviest and most dense. Therefore, it is more suitable for flooring than the others. The quartersawn Sapele has preference in flooring due to being more stable than flat sawn. Sapele is also used for making windows and doors. Other uses include interior and Architectural millwork, Furniture. Sapele has gained popularity for usage in exterior mouldings, including siding and soffits.
Sapele is a African Redwood with some similarities to African Mahogany. Sapele tone is very similar to Mahogany it has a warm, rich, and wood tone. Sapele is valued because of it’s figuring and stripes that really stand out when finished. Sapele Tonewood goes is a great all-purpose tonewood that works for many different applications.
BOTANICAL NAME: Entandrophragma cylindricum
Sapele lumber is used in the construction of fine furniture and cabinetwork, decorative veneers, plywood, joinery, flooring and paneling. Sapele (sometimes spelled Sapelle or Sapelli) is quite popular for flooring, and stock with a “ribbon” grain is typically pulled at a premium for decorative finishes.
||Sapele Mahogany, Sapelle, Sapelli, Sapelii|
|ORIGIN:||Africa, ranging from the Ivory Coast to the Cameroons and eastward through Zaire to Uganda|
|APPEARANCE:||Heartwood a medium to fairly dark reddish brown or purplish brown; sapwood whitish or pale yellow, distinct. Texture rather fine; grain interlocked, sometimes wavy, producing a narrow, uniform, roe figure on quartered surfaces; lustrous with a Cedar-like scent|
|DENSITY:||Janka scale hardness is 1,500 for dry material|
|WEIGHT:||42 lbs. / cu. ft., or approximately 3.5 lbs. per board foot|
|DRYING:||Dries fairly rapidly but with a marked tendency to warp, very variable in drying properties, requires careful stacking|
|WORKABILITY:||Works fairly well with hand and machine tools, tends to tear interlocked grain in planing, saws easily, good gluing and nailing properties, satisfactory peeling and slicing|
|DURABILITY:||Heartwood is moderately durable, resistance to termite attack variable. Sapwood liable to powder-post beetle attack|
|PRESERVATION:||Heartwood resistant; sapwood moderately resistant|
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