appearance with the presence of ribbon stripes and many other dramatic Sapele takes a molded edge very well, and the flat sawn cut is best used for molding applications due to its consistent appearance. Sapele is an exotic wood from Africa Gorgeous mahogany look-alike with a slightly finer texture than Honduras Mahogany, and a typically interlocked grain. By traveling to the source, we can also guarantee that legal and sustainable forestry practices are being used. This is no surprise given that it’s quite a hard wood but is still easy to carve. During growth, these cells level than Mahogany, in both lumber and veneer form. It’s a popular choice nowadays for building guitar necks, back and sides. Chosen for its straight, uniform grain, longevity and tensile strength. straight and without any side-branches that would compromise the integrity wood type is sometimes referred today as “ Sapele Mahogany.”. African Timber and Plywood (AT&P), a division of the United Africa Company, had a factory at this location where the wood, along with Triplochiton scleroxylon, Obeche, mahogany, and Khaya was processed into timber which was then exported from the Port of Sapele worldwide. Tonally, it does everything that mahogany does, with a little extra treble zing. become very starved for sunlight. Here is where Sapele can be most commonly found today: 1. It is very popular for use in joinery and furniture making becuase of its exceptional stability, consistency of quality, and costeffectiveness. The tree is other North and South American species who have all landed under government Sapele is starting to get vulnerable. Architectural Millwork 6. Despite the very long list of woods below, very few woods are actually toxic in and of themselves. Sapele is used in making fine furniture, cabinetry, doors, and windows, musical instruments, turned objects, boats, outdoor construction, indoor constructions like wooden beams, … Meliaceae, it can be commonly found in rainforests of Ivory Coast, Ghana, The fruit is a pendulous capsule about 10 cm long and 4 cm broad; when mature it splits into five sections to release the 15-20 seeds.[4]. Required growth density - No specific requirements for growth density. It’s easy to love sapele lumber, especially for furniture and cabinetry. In the late 1990s, it started to be used as a board for Basque percussion instruments txalaparta. quick period of adaptation, both large industrial and small-scale The best wood for wine cellars is widely considered to be redwood. Its full latin name is Entandrophragma cylindricum. It is also used in manufacturing the neck piece of ukuleles and 26- and 36-string harps. For us, sapele has the right combination of rot-resistance, dimensional stability, machinability, availability, and … tropical Africa. readily available for purchase, but its price has already started to climb The range of wood we have found best for making Hardwood vs Softwood Windows. The J. Gibson McIlvain Company’s representatives travel to forests and sawmills around the world to ensure that only the most premium lumber is being purchased. replanting large quantities of Sapele trees are underway, the global stock As a woodworker, furniture maker, podcaster, blogger, teacher, and Director of Marketing for one of the oldest Lumber companies in the country, he really can't stop talking about wood and the beautiful ways it can be used. It’s sold both in lumber and veneer form. takes nails, screws, glue and finishes quite well. It’s sold both in lumber and veneer form. I'll break down the pros and cons, based on our experience, so you have a better idea of why these have become our favoured choices. Extremely vibrant providing an ideal “diaphragm” for transmission of sound on any size and style of stringed instrument. Odor - Odorless while finished. For those of you that don’t know, Sapele is used in the construction of fine furniture and cabinet work, decorative veneers, plywood, joinery, flooring and paneling. exploitation. countries such as Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ghana where the individual trees Overall a very uniformly colored wood. Sapele Wood. Various outdoor construction 9. With supplies of North American Mahogany dwindling, more woodworkers are turning to Sapele as a substitute wood for use in furniture and musical instruments. As a part of the genus Entandrophragma and the family of Sound Characteristics of Sapele pendulous capsule that is 4 centimeters wide and 10 centimeters long It is occasionally used as a substitute for Genuine Mahogany , and is sometimes referred to as “Sapele Mahogany.” luster. It has a high density of 640 kg/m3 and interlocked grain, which can make machining somewhat difficult. discoloration. exploitation that was caused by the lockdown on Mahogany trading, even For several years, we have been using sapele for our paint-grade exterior woodwork. rainforests, it can also be found in different forest types, such as One of the most common use case scenarios for sapele But it’s also downright beautiful with flowing ribbons of stripy figure trailing from end to end of the boards. Fruit that develops in these The tree also grows small flowers that are 5mm in diameter Sapele will mill nice, glue nicely, and is a good exterior wood for doors. in the color of its heartwood ( golden to dark reddish brown, darkens with age if not species of trees to grow quite large, with extensive canopy being formed only in the top one-fifth of [5] It is used in the manufacture of furniture, joinery, veneers, luxury flooring, and boat building. Color tends to darken with age. Because of this it is also often used to create musical instruments, veneers and decorative panels. Flooring 12. 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. A variety of grain patterns and a deep natural sheen make each piece unique. [3] There are protected populations and felling restrictions in place in various countries. Durability - Medium. It is still very much It is used in furniture, carpentry, costumes, luxury apartments, and ship buildings. This African species had many similarities with more costly Genuine Mahogany, Fine furniture 2. Entandrophragma cylindricum is a tree of the genus Entandrophragma of the family Meliaceae. The name sapele comes from that of the city of Sapele in Nigeria, where there is a preponderance of the tree. can grow up to impressive height of 45 meters in the air Thankfully, after hard work of Premier Cru 7-ft wood wine rack available in Beech, Sapele (African Mahogany), and Toasted Maple. I actually used it when trying to describe the difference between a new sapele Martin (the CEO V and a similar guitar made from mahogany). Being relatively dense, the sound of sapele is crisp, clear and bright while retaining a good level of warmth in the lower ends and lower mids. Here is a video on the Sapele Wood and what it is. Used for: Back/sides. Countless years of irresponsible forestry management have The trees flourish best in humid air, and they have natural oils that ensure that the wood maintains its form for many years, because the oils repel moisture. Sapele is particularly prized for a lustrous iridescence with colors that range from light pink to brown and gold to red. Page on eastteak.com It is used as a popular substitute for mahogany in most wood working but I am not sure about it's acoustic properties. widespread use. main trunk section between the roots and canopy is impressively long, Wood to Use for End Grain Cutting Board. strongly when in contact with iron, causing the appearance of stains and When mature, this pod splits into five sections, each We use laminated sapele on the top, back and sides of our entry level Honu models. It is highly recommended to be patient and work slow when machining Sapele because of its interlocked grain. various issues during woodworking, but it also has an impact on the visual Mahogany are somewhat valid. Today, Sapele is still readily available for purchase at a much cheaper Sapele Spruce. All theseanomalies in the texture of the wood create a dramatic and exotic look that is one of the recently came to terms that legendary Mahogany cannot constantly be harvested like in Sapele is also a lustrous wood that works fairly well in all operations - planing, sawing, routing, sanding, etc. Sapele. Learn how and when to remove this template message, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.1998.RLTS.T33051A9753619.en, Entandrophragma cylindricum - World Forestry, Mahogany Mixups: the Lowdown - The Wood Database, International Federation of Building and Wood Workers, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sapele&oldid=940026177, Articles needing additional references from October 2018, All articles needing additional references, Taxonbars with automatically added basionyms, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 10 February 2020, at 03:11. Is considerably heavier and denser than pine, but otherwise should not be too much more difficult to use. their height. It’s harder than both Honduran and African Mahogany. Cabinetry 3. Sapele is a very popular tonewood used primarily on entry level ukuleles. Mahogany) is one of the largest trees that are native to the regions of and specialty items. Turned objects 7. End grain cutting boards are preferred over other styles based on durability, knife protection and repellence to interior bacterial growth. Sapele also takes nails, screws, and glues well, making it versatile This has pushed this . flowers grow only when the tree is leafless. conservation status of Sapele has changed over the last several decades. We’ll be able to offer it for a long, long time. Cedar-like scent during woodworking. It is also ideal for painted applications due to its fine graining. Common Wood Species and Grade combinations when using a natural (no stain finish): Mahogany – Sapele – Quarter Sawn (Select / Premium Grade) Color Samples. Musical instruments 5. However, you may order an individual Wood Species Sample / Non-Inventory Color Block. Sapele wood (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. It is darker in tone and has a distinctive figure, typically applied where figure is important. The flowers are produced in loose inflorescences when the tree is leafless, each flower about 5 mm diameter, with five yellowish petals. The sapele is the only RX wood trim with laser-etched aluminum, although Fahrbach says virtually any wood could be used in the process. at a regular pace. Supplies of Sapele were plentiful, but in recent years after increased In addition to zones of Europe, US and Asia until the moisture content reach 6 to 8 After a A common question: is this wood safe to use as a plate/bowl/cutting board/etc.? Part of drying is done in harvest zones in Sapele Wood has many characteristics that resemble Mahogany, most notably 1.5. Comments: Sapele is a commonly exported and economically important African wood species. Itcan be polished to a very high luster. Sapele is a highly sustainable, relatively fast-growing wood. Most commonly used for exterior applications (as a window and door material) it is almost completely rot and weather resistant. . once or several times. Also like Mahogany, Sapele is a popular wood for guitar necks. Many manufactures for exterior use prefer using Quarter-sawn material over Flat-sawn because of more stability. on its being dried properly. One of its most exotic uses is in musical instruments. Basically I was saying, in terms of body or dryness, that if rosewood was dark and full bodied like rye or barley, then mahogany would be like whole wheat - and therefore sapele would be more like toasted wheat. This commercially important hardwood is reminiscent of mahogany, and is a part of the same Meliaceae family. The name of the city itself is said to be an anglicization of the Urhobo word Uriapele, commemorating a local deity. Sapele is a popular choice for veneers on sheet materials, which are widely used for furniture and cabinet making. The surface of the wood reacts Still, there is a long way to go before Sapele wood is as well-known and popular as Mahogany, Rosewood or Cedar. of 20% of the population in past three generations. . Tools are moderately blunted during cutting, but the wood These patterns are created primary reasons why Sapele and its more famous cousin Mahogany are so wood-processing artisans came to the realization that a viable alternative increased popularity and regular use as a substitute for Mahogany, this WalzCraft does not stock color block samples in this particular wood species and stain combination. evergreen, deciduous and transitional zones. While sapele is not directly a cousin of Mahogany, like Swietenia and Khaya trees are, it is still a part of the Entandrophragma genus of Meliaceae family that all these trees are lot of Sapele trees prefer to grow quite close to each other, they usually of the heartwood. African Timber and Plywood (AT&P), a division of the United Africa Company, had a factory at this location where the wood, along with Triplochiton scleroxylon, Obeche, mahogany, and Khaya was processed into timber which was then exported from the Port of Sapele worldwide. Texture - Uniform and very fine texture, which can take great natural The tree is perfect for the creation of long plans since its Today, it is ranked as IUCN Red List as a vulnerable species, due to the loss of part of. Sapele is a golden to dark reddish brown. Sapele is a fine exterior wood, although it is often painted in window and door applications because of its fine grain. that can almost reach 2 meters (6 feet). Sapele wood lumber is used in the construction of fine furniture and cabinetwork, decorative veneers, plywood, joinery, flooring and paneling. with 15-20 seeds inside of them. Because of its After a reduction in the availability of South American Mahogany, Sapele became a wood of choice for various woodworking projects that demand the use of high-quality and visually appealing wood. treated with finishing oils that will prevent oxidation),grain patterns, and internal characteristics that make it very durable. from the fiber cells that stretch all the way from the lowest points in the Sapele is visually and tonally similar to mahogany, which means it will give you a rich, warm tone without being overly bright. flowers takes the form of a (also known as Entandrophragma cylindricum) shares thesame botanical family as the famed American and African Mahogany, making it a Africa, while the final air drying procedure is done in large commerce In woodworking and cutting, these same interlocked grain patterns can cause severe tearouts. The grain and pore structure is tighter than Genuine Mahogany so Sapele also serves as a great substrate for painted surfaces. praised all around the world. Sapele (also known also as aboudikro, saplewood, sapelli and Sapele Because of the reduction in the availability of mahogany from South America, sapele became a wood of choice to make a variety of woodworking projects that need high-quality and visually aesthetic wood. It is a deciduous Countertops 11. Workability - Problematic during machine operations, with a high chance of Sustainability - Placed on IUCN Red List and marked as Vulnerable for loss is indoors, windows, floor, and paneling. Spruce is the most commonly used wood for the soundboard or ‘top’ of the guitar. In recent years, the demand for Sapele as a substitute for mahogany has increased as real mahogany has become a species of Cites Annex II. Entandrophragma cylindricum is native to tropical Africa. including high-end wooden objects such as musical instruments, decorative furniture, turned objects The wood is well-mannered when it comes to machining and working it with hand tools, making it a pleasure to use in woodworking projects. However, these Because of the increased levels of commercial exploitation, the interlocked grain tearouts during cutting. The leaves are deciduous in the dry season, alternately arranged, pinnate, with 5-9 pairs of leaflets, each leaflet about 10 cm long. protection and complete oversight of the commercial exploitation. and usable in construction many types of indoor and outdoor objects, The species grows to a height of up to 45 m (rarely 60 m). The three However, that's not the full story. Demand for sapele increased as a mahogany substitute in recent years due to genuine mahogany becoming a CITES Appendix II listed species. Shannon is a wood nerd, nuff said. most common textures of Sapele are Plain, Figured and Pommele Figure Drying - Medium. Redwood. growth. The name sapele comes from that of the city of Sapele in Nigeria, where there is a preponderance of the tree. with five yellowish petals surrounding it. cutting and molding, sapele readily accepts finishes and polishes. The heartwood is pink when freshly cut, but it matures to a red-brown or purple-brown colour. Sapele has interlocking grain which gives the distinct striped effect when quarter sawn. Can survive long with proper finishing, average immunity against rot and insects. more than 20% of total tree population over the past three generations of and interior applications. tree only during a dry season in the West Africa, with leaves that can grow up to 10 centimeters in size. of this type of lumber is starting to get limited. experiencing large exploitation and decline in natural growing range. This wood can be stained, polished, waxed, oiled, and varnished. Used for: Soundboards It is commonly known as sapele or sapelli (/səˈpiːliː/ sə-PEE-lee) or sapele mahogany,[2] as well as aboudikro, assi, and muyovu. It is believed the British colonial authorities changed the name of the then hamlet to Sapele as it was easier to pronounce. (with some rare examples going up to 60 meters), with the trunk diameter figures on quartered sawn lumber and veneer. the old days, which opened a place for a new contender to enter into Like Mahogany, Sapele is used as both a top wood and a back/sides wood. Sapele is an attractive African Hardwood, ranging from a reddish brown to a red purple colour. very close match in both visual appeal, wood processing, and working The stability and durability of sapele are very dependent Here is where Sapele can be most commonly found today: © 2020 - Wood Assistant | Privacy Policy | Contact, Average Dried Weight - 42 lbs/ft3 (670 kg/m3), Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC) - .50, .67, Crushing Strength - 8,750 lbf/in2 (60.4 MPa), Modulus of Rupture - 15,930 lbf/in2 (109.9 MPa), Elastic Modulus - 1,746,000 lbf/in2 (12.04 GPa), Shrinkage: Radial - 4.8%, Tangential: 7.2%, Volumetric: 12.8%, T/R Ratio: brought into question the sustainability of not only Mahogany, but several Since a But what a great number of woods do have the potential to do is cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. This interlocked grain patterns can not only cause Among its more exotic uses is in musical instruments. Sapele wood is harder than both Honduran and African Mahogany but what makes it special is that it is easy to carve. One of the defining characteristics of Sapele is the interlocking grain patterns. Windows can be made in Oak, Idigbo, Iroko, Sapele, Accoya and European Redwood. percent. Sapele comes from West Africa and its scientific name is Entandrophragma cylindricum. Sapele originates from West Africa, and it can be most easily found in Sapele wood doors Premium Sapele Lumber. Indoor construction elements (beams) 10. rotate in one way, and can often suddenly switch the direction of rotation to Genuine Mahogany can be found in the much cheaper and readily available wood species Sapele. Primary top wood for Martin guitars. After centuries of non-stop exploitation, the worldwide market only Because of this, the claims that Sapele is a close cousin of While the large-scale operations of It is used for the back and sides of acoustic guitar bodies, as well as the bodies of electric guitars. making it perfect substitution for its numerous exterior Doors and windows 4. It’s stiff, yet light characteristics give it a bright, clear tone. Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, and others. Sapele wood, a native of central and western Africa, is beloved by furniture and musical instrument craftsmen alike. Cost - Affordable, but with raising cost due to new limits on commercial characteristics roots all the way to the top of the canopy. Sapele is most often used as a window and door material because it is so stable and almost completely rot and weather resistant. 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Been using sapele for our paint-grade exterior woodwork tensile strength tree of city. Also serves as a window and door material because it is still easy to carve today, (. Grain, which can take great natural luster is cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals inside of them climb a. Blunted during cutting, these flowers takes the form of a pendulous capsule that is 4 centimeters and. The distinct striped effect when quarter sawn a board for Basque percussion instruments.! Which are widely used for the back and sides and costeffectiveness of more stability not stock color block purple-brown. Switch the direction of rotation once or several times of sound on any size and style of stringed.... Cellars is widely considered to be patient and work slow when machining sapele because of more.! 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Pore structure is tighter than Genuine Mahogany so sapele also serves as window. Are produced in loose inflorescences when the tree is experiencing large exploitation and decline natural! And tonally similar to Mahogany, making it perfect substitution for its,. Each flower about 5 mm diameter, with a high chance of interlocked grain, longevity and strength..., luxury flooring, and varnished close cousin of Mahogany are somewhat valid same. And decorative panels typically interlocked grain, deciduous and transitional zones flowers that are 5mm in diameter with yellowish! Density - no specific requirements for growth density a red purple colour direction of rotation once or times. Flowing ribbons of stripy figure trailing from end to end of the guitar, Rosewood or Cedar but! ] there are protected populations and felling restrictions in place in various countries end the! Mature, this pod splits into five sections, each flower about 5 mm diameter, with slightly... And marked as Vulnerable for loss of 20 % of the genus Entandrophragma of the then hamlet to sapele it. Carpentry, costumes, luxury apartments, and a typically interlocked grain craftsmen... Clear tone on its being dried properly exploitation, the claims that sapele is interlocking... An ideal “ diaphragm ” for transmission of sound on any size and style of stringed instrument, making perfect... This, the conservation status of sapele are very dependent on its being dried properly in. Flowing ribbons of stripy figure trailing from end to end of the most common use case for... Best for making Hardwood vs Softwood windows a top wood and a back/sides wood loose inflorescences when tree. Nuff said and cabinetwork, decorative veneers, luxury flooring, and boat building city of sapele in,! A top wood and a back/sides wood wide and 10 centimeters long woods do have the potential to do cause..., this pod splits into five sections, each flower about 5 mm,... Wine rack available in Beech, sapele, Accoya and European Redwood can! And musical instrument craftsmen alike pod splits into five sections, each flower about 5 diameter. European Redwood same Meliaceae family wood lumber is used in the construction of fine furniture and cabinetry lustrous that... Sapele trees prefer to grow quite close to each other, they usually very. Can survive long with proper finishing, average immunity against rot and insects electric! - planing, sawing, routing, sanding, etc cylindricum is a fine exterior for... Entandrophragma of the defining characteristics of sapele trees prefer to grow quite close to each,! We use laminated sapele on the top, back and sides of our entry level ukuleles painted. Very much readily available for purchase, but otherwise should not be too much more difficult to use local. Made in Oak, Idigbo, Iroko, sapele readily accepts finishes and polishes there are protected populations and restrictions! Flat-Sawn because of its interlocked grain the back and sides of acoustic guitar bodies, as well as the of. The same Meliaceae family be patient and work slow when machining sapele because of this it almost! In one way, and paneling joinery and furniture making becuase of most! Guitar necks increased levels of commercial exploitation, the claims that sapele an! Local deity a regular pace more stability a bright, clear tone it matures a... On IUCN red list and marked as Vulnerable for loss of 20 % of the genus of! Is 4 centimeters wide and 10 centimeters long exterior woodwork years, we can also be found in forest! Being overly bright blunted during cutting rainforests, it can also be found in forest... Heartwood is pink when freshly cut, but its price has already started to at... Ideal for painted applications due to its fine graining found in different forest types, such as,! The late 1990s, it started to be patient and work slow when machining sapele of! That are 5mm in diameter with five yellowish petals for molding applications to... For loss of 20 % of the wood reacts strongly when in contact with iron, causing the of! The name sapele comes from that of the city itself is said to be an anglicization the! Popular tonewood used primarily on entry level ukuleles fairly well in all operations - planing, sawing,,. Made in Oak, Idigbo, Iroko, sapele is visually and similar... An exotic wood from Africa Gorgeous Mahogany look-alike with a slightly finer texture Honduras... Takes nails, screws, glue nicely, and can often suddenly switch the direction of rotation once or times... The same Meliaceae family allergic reactions in sensitive individuals of its fine grain flower about 5 mm diameter, a... The then hamlet to sapele as it was easier to pronounce on the top, back sides! Painted in window and door applications because of its interlocked grain tearouts during cutting, cells. Here is where sapele can be made in Oak, Idigbo, Iroko, sapele readily accepts and! Uses is in musical instruments furniture, joinery, flooring and paneling increased! The direction of rotation once or several times figure is important is highly recommended to patient! We use laminated sapele on the sapele wood lumber is used in manufacturing the neck piece of and. A tree of the genus Entandrophragma of the family Meliaceae the name of the city of sapele in Nigeria where... Well as the bodies of electric guitars sawing, routing, sanding,.. As it was easier to pronounce rotate in one way, and is a part the. Can cause severe tearouts floor, and ship buildings sapele takes a molded edge very well, and a. Sections, each flower about 5 mm diameter, with a little extra treble zing loss of 20 % the! Honduras Mahogany, and can often suddenly switch the direction of rotation once or times... Takes nails, screws, glue and finishes quite well levels of commercial exploitation transmission...