- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 20 Oct 2020
Entandrophragma cylindricum, or what it’s most commonly known as Sapele, is a member of the mahogany family. Sapele is a timber originating from tropical Africa and grows to incredible dimensions; up to a height of 45m and a diameter of 10m.
Sapele’s colour tends to darken with age, from a golden brown to a dark, reddish hue. As well as the common ribbon pattern seen on quarter sawn boards, Sapele is also known for a wide variety of other figured grain patterns, such as: pommele, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback.
Sapele has good durability, strength, and density, and can be used both internally and externally. It can be used for skirting boards, architraves, flooring, picture frames, furniture, mouldings, doors, conservatories, panelling and so on.
The hardness, medium density, and propensity for straight grained boles, makes Sapele wood very stable. This timber travels a long distance to reach the UK, but with its natural superior stability, it remains undamaged.
Sapele is a popular choice for veneers on sheet materials, which are widely used for furniture and cabinet making. This wood can be stained, polished, waxed, oiled, and varnished. Most commonly used for exterior applications (as a window and door material) it is almost completely rot and weather resistant. It is also ideal for painted applications due to its fine graining.
Among its more exotic uses, Sapele is used for the back and sides of acoustic guitar bodies and the tops of electric guitar bodies. It is also used in manufacturing the neck piece of ukuleles and 26- and 36- string harps.
Sapele is a commonly exported and an economically important African wood species, being sold both in timber and veneer form. It is occasionally used as a substitute for Genuine Mahogany, and is sometimes referred to as Sapele Mahogany.
The availability of Sapele adds to its many valued attributes to make it easily and sustainably sourced. With the consistently high and steadily available supply of Sapele, it gives this timber species a small price tag and good popularity ratings amongst those who have tried using it as an alternative to genuine Mahogany.
--G&S Specialist Timber 16:07, 23 Jan 2017 (BST)
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 11 things you didn't know about wood.
- Ancient Woodland.
- Chip carving.
- Confederation of Timber Industries.
- Cross-laminated timber.
- Definition of tree for planning purposes.
- Engineered bamboo.
- European Union Timber Regulation.
- Forest Stewardship Council.
- Laminated veneer lumber LVL.
- Oak wood properties.
- Pine wood.
- Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
- Properties of mahogany.
- Timber preservation.
- Timber v wood.
- Tree preservation order.
- Tree rights.
- Types of timber.
Featured articles and news
80 construction leaders and companies from across the UK.
A brief run through essential training tips from a user.
A comprehensive guide from a Cohesive BIM wiki user.
From the basics to the future from our Cohesive BIM wiki.
As electrical sector feels skills shortage bite.
CIOB Academy’s course take-up inked to external factors.
Q and A with self-representing artist, Hannah Shergold.
And publishes three-year strategic plan.
Introducing changes to make it more effective from 2024.
Shortlist announced for 2023 public choice award vote.
The last of the Victorians. Book review.
An exotic name that is shrouded in mystery.
Fropm practice to research and the business of materials.
Terms, histories, theories and practices.
Alteration and everything else before demolition.