Origin Name: African
Characteristics of Sapele Wood
Heartwood is a medium to dark reddish brown or purplish brown. Colour tends to darken with age.
Grain is interlocked, and sometimes wavy. Fine uniform texture and good natural luster.
Heartwood ranges from moderately durable to very durable in regard to decay resistance. Sapele is susceptible to insect attack. Hence heat/chemical treatment is advisable.
Sapele can be troublesome to work in some machining operations, (i.e., planning, routing, etc.), resulting in tear out due to its interlocked grain. It will also react when put into direct contact with iron, becoming discoloured and stained. Sapele has a slight blunting effect on cutters, but it turns, glues, and finishes well.
African Sapele has a distinct, cedar-like scent while being worked.
This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List.
Veneer, plywood, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, boatbuilding, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small wooden specialty items.
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