Sapele

Latin name: Entandrophragma cylindricum

 

Also known as: saplewood (Nigeria), aboudikro (Ivory Coast), Sapelli (Cameroons)


Wood Type:

Hardwood

Durability:

Moderately durable

Treatability:

Difficult

Moisture Movement:

Medium

Density (mean, Kg/m³):

640

Texture:

Medium

Availability:

Available at specialist timber merchant

Price:

Medium

Use(s):

Joinery - Exterior, Joinery - Interior, Furniture, Flooring

Colour(s):

Pink/pale red (Freshly cut), Reddish brown (Typical mahogany colour)

Notes on terms used navigation-arrow

Environmental

Listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as as VU – Vunerable: at risk of extinction. Not listed in CITES. Believed available from well-managed sources. Check certification status with suppliers.

 

Distribution

It is found in the rain forests of West Africa from the Ivory Coast through Ghana and Nigeria to the Cameroons, and it extends eastwards to Uganda and Tanzania.

 

The tree

A very large tree with cylindrical bole and small or no buttresses. Grows to a height of 45m or more, and a diameter at breast height of 10m or slightly more.

 

The timber

The sapwood is pale yellow or whitish, the heartwood pinkish when freshly cut, darkening to typical mahogany colour of reddish-brown. Sapele is characterised by a marked and regular stripe, particularly pronounced on quarter-sawn surfaces. Occasionally mottle figure is present, It is fairly close textured, and the grain is interlocked. It is harder and heavier than African mahogany. weighing about 640 kg/m³ when dried. It has a pronounced cedar-like scent when freshly cut.

 

Drying

The timber dries rapidly with a marked tendency to distort. Quarter-sawn material is less liable to degrade in drying.

 

Strength

Sapele is much harder than African or American mahogany, and in resistance to indentation, bending strength, stiffness, and resistance to shock loads, is practically equal with English oak.

 

Working qualities

Medium - Works fairly well with hand and machine tools, but the inter-locked grain is often troublesome in planing and moulding, and a reduction of cutting angle to 15° is needed to obtain a good finish. It takes screws and nails well, glues satisfactorily, stains readily, and takes an excellent polish.

Suppliers

A C Timber Solutions Ltdnavigation-arrow

Ely

Abbey Woodsnavigation-arrow

Dublin 13

Brooks Bros (UK) Limitednavigation-arrow

Maldon

Capricorn Eco Timbernavigation-arrow

Stafford

Chadwicks (Mowbray Drive) Limitednavigation-arrow

Blackpool

Champion, A W Limitednavigation-arrow

New Malden

Cranwood Industriesnavigation-arrow

Warrenpoint

E O Burton & Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Brentwood

Enfield Speciality Doorsnavigation-arrow

Enfield

Finewood Marketing (UK) Ltdnavigation-arrow

Hove

Harlow Bros Limitednavigation-arrow

Loughborough

International Timbernavigation-arrow

Manchester

iWood Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Stafford

James Latham plcnavigation-arrow

Hemel Hempstead

Mid-Sussex Timber Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Forest Row

Morgan Timbernavigation-arrow

Rochester

NHG Timber Limitednavigation-arrow

Croydon

Ramsay Timber Limitednavigation-arrow

Wigan

Timber Focusnavigation-arrow

Manchester

Timbersource Limitednavigation-arrow

Waterlip

Timbmetnavigation-arrow

Stanford in the Vale

W. L. West & Sons Ltdnavigation-arrow

Petworth

Watford Timber Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Watford

Suppliers

Watford Timber Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Watford

W. L. West & Sons Ltdnavigation-arrow

Petworth

Timbmetnavigation-arrow

Stanford in the Vale

Timbersource Limitednavigation-arrow

Waterlip

Timber Focusnavigation-arrow

Manchester

Ramsay Timber Limitednavigation-arrow

Wigan

NHG Timber Limitednavigation-arrow

Croydon

Morgan Timbernavigation-arrow

Rochester

Mid-Sussex Timber Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Forest Row

James Latham plcnavigation-arrow

Hemel Hempstead

iWood Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Stafford

International Timbernavigation-arrow

Manchester

Harlow Bros Limitednavigation-arrow

Loughborough

Finewood Marketing (UK) Ltdnavigation-arrow

Hove

Enfield Speciality Doorsnavigation-arrow

Enfield

E O Burton & Co Limitednavigation-arrow

Brentwood

Cranwood Industriesnavigation-arrow

Warrenpoint

Champion, A W Limitednavigation-arrow

New Malden

Chadwicks (Mowbray Drive) Limitednavigation-arrow

Blackpool

Capricorn Eco Timbernavigation-arrow

Stafford

Brooks Bros (UK) Limitednavigation-arrow

Maldon

Abbey Woodsnavigation-arrow

Dublin 13

A C Timber Solutions Ltdnavigation-arrow

Ely