Latin Name: Entandrophragma cylindricum
Common Name(s): Sapele, Sapelli, Sapeli
Sources: Tropical Africa

Characteristics

Heartwood is a golden to dark reddish brown. Color tends to darken with age. Besides the common ribbon pattern seen on quartersawn boards, Sapele is also known for a wide variety of  other figured grain patterns, such as: pommele, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback.

Grain/ Texture

Dark red with ribbon stripe figure and curl. Grain is interlocked, and sometimes wavy. Fine uniform texture and good natural luster.

Workability

Sapele can be troublesome to work in some machining  operations, (i.e., planing, routing, etc.), resulting in tearout due to its interlocked grain. It will also react when put into direct contact with iron, becoming discolored and stained. Sapele has a slight blunting effect on cutters, but it turns, glues, and finishes well.

Uses

Veneer, plywood, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, boatbuilding, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small wooden specialty items.

Availability

Should be moderately priced for regular  plainsawn or quartersawn lumber, though figured lumber and veneer can be extremely expensive, particularly pommele or quilted Sapele.