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African Sapele

African Sapele


Timber Specification for African Sapele


Please note if FSC/PEFC certified wood is required please specify at time of placing an order.

African sapele

African Sapele is a timber of the mahogany type. It has a well-marked stripe or roe figure which shows to advantage on accurately quarter-cut veneers.


Windows and doors. Widely used for furniture, joinery, shopfitting. Makes a good decorative floor for domestic and public buildings as it has moderate to high wearing qualities.


Colour – The sapwood is whitish/pale yellow. The heartwood is a medium to fairly dark reddish-brown wood. Occasional logs with wavy grain yield veneers with a highly decorative fiddle-back figure.

Grain – Interlocked and sometimes wavy.

Texture – Medium to fine



Strength – Comparable to European Beech

Weight – About 560 -690 kg/m³ average about 640 kg/m³ seasoned.

Ease Of Drying – Dries fairly rapidly but with a marked tendency to distort.

Movement In Service – Medium.

Preservative Treatment – Resistant. Sapwood moderately resistant.

Working properties

Machining – Medium

Planing – Optimum cutting angle 15 degrees due to interlocked grain.

Sawing – Satisfactory

Blunting effect on cutters – moderate

Bending – Buckles and ruptures severely when bent

Nailing – Good

Gluing – Good


Care required when staining.

Gives an excellent polished finish.


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Sapele sapelli wood surface horizontal lines
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