Sapele is starting to soar in popularity for a variety of different applications. Customers are constantly asking lumber dealers for quotes on this species whether via online, on the phone, or in person. This comes as no surprise because of how easy Sapele is to work with and the wide variety of projects it can be used to complete. When people hear the buzz about this hot species and order it out of curiosity, chances are high that they’ll want to order it again. It’s that fantastic of a species. In this series of articles, we’ll attempt to make you more familiar with Sapele and point out some of the important reasons you may want to consider using it for one of your upcoming projects.
Sapele has a High Degree of Stability
Many customers who are thinking about purchasing Sapele for the first time are confused about whether it would be considered a softwood or a hardwood species, since it is largely used for exterior purposes and many woods that fall into that usage category are softwoods. Sapele wood comes from a deciduous tree, rendering it botanically a hardwood; with a medium hardness rating on the Janka hardness scale, it is harder than most domestic North American species. Think of it as a medium wood between the extremely strong tropical hardwoods and your typical domestic softwoods. It’s nearly twice as hard as Genuine Mahogany. It has a 1510 lbs Janka rating, which is harder than Cypress or Cedar. Its interlocking grain pattern keeps it from moving as much across the grain as most wood species tend to do. It has a medium density, and the trunks of Sapele trees tend to be straight, so the grains turn out to be straight when it is milled into boards. This stability and consistency are major pluses for Sapele.
Since Sapele is imported from a far distance, it may undergo some climactic adjustments. It could incur damage throughout the shipping process as well. Because of its stability, however, these concerns aren’t as great as they would be with some of the less durable and less predictable species of imported wood.
Sapele is Abundant
One of the things which contractors love about Sapele is how easy it is to find. With a wide growing range throughout a large region of Africa, its source is plentiful. With trunks over six feet in diameter and branches only growing very high up on the tree, many of the trees being harvested are ideal for producing wide, long boards with straight grains. You can get Sapele any time of the year, and it’s quite affordable compared to some other exotic woods.
As you can see, Sapele has plenty to offer. It’s stable, durable, and lends itself well to many different applications. In our next article, we’ll discover how customers can find peace of mind by researching the sustainable growing practices used for harvesting Sapele. We’ll also take an in-depth look at the unique beauty that Sapele displays. Hopefully, after finding out more about this desirable and surprisingly affordable wood species, you’ll consider using it in one of your upcoming construction projects.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including celebrity homes, the Supreme Court, Capitol building, the White House, and Smithsonian museums. For more information on J. Gibson McIlvain’s lumber products and services, call toll free (800) 638-9100 Monday through Friday to speak with one of their representatives.
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