Although not one of North America’s most famous woods, Sapele lumber is certainly worth further consideration for your next project. The wood is beautiful, emulating Mahogany’s deep reddish-brown hues while also displaying a unique interlocking grain pattern that is all its own. This interlocking grain pattern often results in the wood’s appearing as if it has alternating stripes of dark and light coloration, something that Sapele fans cherish.
Not only is the wood attractive, however; it’s also incredibly strong. Sapele lumber has a rating of 1500 on the Janka scale, making it more than 20% harder than the Mahogany it so resembles. Its hardness is comparable to that of Sugar Maple, and Sapele is considered to be as strong as Oak.
Sapele lumber is easy to finish, both by hand and machine, and it takes staining, nailing, gluing, and finishing processes remarkably well. One can, however, encounter problems during drying and stacking because the boards have a tendency to warp if not properly cared for; as a result, when purchasing Sapele, it is extremely important that you search for a reputable lumber dealer like McIlvain Company that knows how to handle the wood and preserve its beauty.
Sapele is prized throughout Germany for its traditional use as a cabinetry wood, and the most common uses for this type of lumber in North America include cabinetry, flooring, paneling, doors, windows, and decorative molding.
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