Sapele

Sapele

Introduction

 

Sapele may be a commonly exported and economically vital African wood species. It is accessible each in lumber and veneer types. It is sometimes used as a substitute for real Mahogany, and is usually said as “Sapele Mahogany.” Technically, the two genera that are ordinarily related to mahogany are Swietenia and Khaya, whereas Sapele is within the Entandrophragma genus, however, all 3 are included within the broader rosid dicot family, thus there are several similar characteristics like color, texture, etc resembling the real mahogany.

It is found that the name Sapele is typically quite confusing to pronounce. It is typically pronounced (sah-PELL-ey) or (sah-PEEL-ey).

 

Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Sapele has been reported as a sensitizer. It is better-known to be a skin and respiratory irritant. Proper equipment and correct preventative measure ought to be taken into thought while working with this wood. The heartwood of this wood ranges from moderately durable to very durable regarding the impact of decay or moisture. It has a moderate to poor sturdiness within the case of the attack of insects and pests.

 

Specification

 

Common Name(s): 

The name sapele comes from that of the city of Sapele in Nigeria, where there is a preponderance of the tree. This wood is also known by many other names such as Sapele, Sapelli, Sapeli, sapele mahogany, aboudikro, assi, and muyovu.

 

Scientific Name: 

Entandrophragma cylindricum

 

Distribution: 

Entandrophragma cylindricum is native to tropical Africa. There are protected populations and felling restrictions in place in various countries.

 

Tree Size: 

This tree can grow up to a height of about 100-150 ft (30-45 m) tall, with a  trunk diameter of about 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m).

 

Average Dried Weight: 

The average dried weight of this wood is 42 lbs/ft3 (670 kg/m3).

 

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .50, .67

 

Janka Hardness: 1,410 lbf (6,280 N)

 

Color and Appearance: 

The heartwood of this wood is a golden to dark reddish-brown. Color tends to darken with age thanks to the prolonged exposure in the daylight. One factor to take notice concerning this wood is that besides the common ribbon pattern seen on quartersawn boards, Sapele is additionally better-known for a large variety of different patterned grain patterns, like pommele, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback. Once flat sawn it is each a suitable and sustainable alternative for Mahogany.

 

Grain and Texture:

The grain is interlocked, and typically wavy. This might cause a small amount of hassle while working with this wood because of the interlocked grain pattern. The wood conjointly features a fine uniform texture and smart natural luster which supplies it a more polished finish. Diffuse-porous; giant pores in no specific arrangement, few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; chromatic deposits sometimes present; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, unilateral, and marginal; rays slim to medium, spacing normal; ripple marks gift.

 

Workability:

Sapele is difficult to figure in some machining operations, (i.e., planing, routing, etc.), leading to tearout due to its interlocked grain. This wood isn't suited to figure with machines or tools that are made of iron because the wood can tend to react when put into direct contact with iron, turning into discolored and stained. Sapele has a slight blunting result on tools and cutters so sharp tools ought to be made use of. This wood turns, glues, and finishes to an attractive and sleek polished finish.

 

Odor:

Sapele features a distinct, cedar-like scent while being worked.

 

Availability:

This wood is moderately priced for normal plainsawn or quartersawn lumber, although patterned lumber and veneer are extraordinarily costly, notably pommele or thick Sapele.

This wood species is not listed within the CITES Appendices however is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction over the past 100 years primarily due to the steep decline in its natural range due to overexploitation.

 

Common Uses:

The most common uses of this wood are veneer, plywood, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, boatbuilding, musical instruments, turned objects, and different small wooden specialty things. Sapele is used within the construction of a fine piece of furniture and cabinetwork, ornamental veneers, plywood, joinery, flooring, and pane. Sapele (sometimes spelled Sapelle or Sapelli) is sort of well-liked for flooring, and stock with a “ribbon” grain is often pulled at a premium for ornamental finishes. Sapele Wood may be utilized in interior and exterior usage and is a cheap different to Spanish cedar tree or Western Red Cedar.



Frequently asked questions

 

How to finish Sapele wood?

Given below are the 3 most commonly used techniques to finish Sapele wood. Each technique provides a unique look, however as far as creating the ribbons appear the most, the Danish oil and lacquer technique is best suited.

A simple clear finish of SealCoat and spray lacquer.

A coloring method using light dye, some sealer, a fast stain, then additionally spray lacquer

A natural Danish oil also topped off with spray lacquer

 

How to stain Sapele wood?

Tone if you opt to (with shellac), 2 coats of whatever varnish you choose applied with a foam brush, Wait a few of days and block sand the finish flat, Wipe on perhaps 2 further coats of identical varnish now employing a rubber or balled application pad wrapped in lint-free cloth(sanding at 400-600 between.) If you would like to erase the finish with abralon or compound you wish to attend till the finish is cured initial, which can vary by product and site.

 

What is Sapele wood on the guitar?

Sapele is used as both a top wood and a back or the sides wood. Additionally like Mahogany, Sapele could be a standard wood for guitar necks. This can be no surprise only if it’s quite a hardwood however remains straightforward to carve. It’s tougher than each Honduran and African mahogany. Stronger treble presence than Mahogany – which will be the most distinction. Subtly additional complicated overtones



What is Sapele wood used for?

The most common uses of this wood are veneer, plywood, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, boatbuilding, musical instruments, turned objects, and different small wooden specialty things. Sapele is used within the construction of a fine piece of furniture and cabinetwork, ornamental veneers, plywood, joinery, flooring, and pane. Sapele (sometimes spelled Sapelle or Sapelli) is sort of well-liked for flooring, and stock with a “ribbon” grain is often pulled at a premium for ornamental finishes. Sapele Wood may be utilized in interior and exterior usage and is a cheap different to Spanish cedar tree or Western Red Cedar.

 

What does Sapele wood look like?

The heartwood of this wood is a golden to dark reddish-brown. Color tends to darken with age thanks to the prolonged exposure in the daylight. One factor to take notice concerning this wood is that besides the common ribbon pattern seen on quartersawn boards, Sapele is additionally better-known for a large variety of different patterned grain patterns, like pommele, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback. Once flat sawn it is each a suitable and sustainable alternative for Mahogany.

 

What country does Sapele wood come from?

The Sapele is native to tropical Africa. There are protected populations and felling restrictions in place in various countries.

 

Where to buy Sapele wood?

Visit https://exoticwoodzone.com/ to know more about Sapele and many other types of wood and to place your orders.

 

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapele#:~:text=Entandrophragma%20cylindricum%20is%20a%20tree,aboudikro%2C%20assi%2C%20and%20muyovu.

https://www.wood-database.com/sapele/

https://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/woodworking-101/tips-tricks/3-ways-to-finish-sapele-that-makes-ribbon-stripe-figure-pop/

https://sixstringacoustic.com/sapele-vs-mahogany-whats-the-difference-and-which-is-better#:~:text=Also%20like%20Mahogany%2C%20Sapele%20is,scientific%20name%20is%20Entandrophragma%20cylindricum.

 

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