Utile Timber Cut to Size

Timbersource staff possess over 160 years of combined experience within the industry, and can ensure that each order you make is delivered to your exact specifications. For Utile timber cut to size precisely, we ask you to make your order using our quick and easy cutting calculator tool. Simply enter the desired machining method and dimensions, and we’ll do the rest in our private mill and machine shop. When your order arrives, it will be made precisely to measure, so there will be no need for additional work.

Each piece is sourced in compliance with The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), and we ensure that each one which we pass on to our customers is of only the highest quality.

The Benefits of Utile Timber Cut to Size

Imported from West Africa, Utile timber is considered a ‘sister’ species to sapele, although its grain structure provides a better finish, making Utile slightly more expensive. We stock widths and lengths which are slightly smaller than those provided for sapele.

The benefits of utile cut to size timber are similar to those enjoyed by sapele. This wood both glues and nails well, and the finish is usually excellent, though it often requires some filing. Normally used for furniture, joinery, and cabinet making, this is a wood of medium hardness and weight, with medium bending and crushing strengths, though it should be noted that utile is not suitable for steam bending or wood bending. The interlocking grain may tear during shaping work, and its irregular nature may make machining troublesome, so the benefits of utile cut to size timber should be weighed against these drawbacks.


What is West African Utile?

West African Utile timber is a 'sister' species to Sapele but usually has a more interesting grain and gives a better 'finish', albeit at a higher price. Widths and lengths may be a little smaller than Sapele.

Latin name Entandrophragma utile

Also known as sipo (Ivory Coast), assié (Cameroons)

Utile Environmental Listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as as VU – Vunerable: at risk of extinction. Not listed in CITES. Available from well-managed sources.

Distribution Utile has a wide natural distribution in tropical Africa. It occurs in the Ivory Coast, in the Cameroons, and in Liberia, Gabon and Uganda. The tree grows chiefly in the moist, deciduous high forest.

West African Utile Properties

The Tree The tree may be up to 45m tall and 2m in diameter above the base. The bole is straight, cylindrical, and free of buttresses, and may be 21m to 24m long.

Utile The Timber The heartwood and sapwood are distinct; the heartwood is pale pink when freshly cut, darkening on exposure to reddish-brown. It closely resembles the related sapele, both in appearance and properties, but is more open in texture due to the larger pores, and generally lacks the cedar-like odour of sapele. The interlocked grain produces a broad ribbon-stripe, often wider and more irregular than that of sapele. It weighs about 660 kg/m³ when dried.

Drying Utile dries moderately slowly with a distinct tendency for distortion in the form of twist to occur, and original shakes to extend. In general however, distortion is not severe.

Strength Its strength properties are similar to those of American mahogany.

Working Qualities Medium - Works rather well, but with a slight blunting effect on cutting edges. A cutting angle of 15° will reduce the tendency for the interlocked grain to tear during planing and moulding. Takes stain and glue well, and polishes well after filling.

Durability Moderately durable. Heartwood is moderately resistant to attack by decay, fungi and termites. Sapwood is liable to attack by powder-post beetle. Heartwood is extremely resistant to treatment; sapwood is easy to treat.

Treatability Extremely difficult

Utile Moisture Movement Medium

Density (mean, Kg/m³) 660

Physical Properties Moderate hardness and weight. Medium bending and crushing strengths, not recommended for steam bending. Wood bending difficult. Kiln-dries satisfactorily, usually with only slight degrade. Air-dries at a slow moderate rate with a slight to marked tendency to end-check and warp. Movement in service is rated as medium.

Texture Medium


Working with West African Utile

Utile Use(s) Joinery - Exterior, Joinery - Interior, Furniture, Decking, Cabinetwork, Boat Construction

Colour(s) Reddish brown

What is FAS Grade

The FAS grade, which derives from an original grade "First And Seconds", will provide the user with long, clear cuttings - best suited for high quality furniture, interior joinery and solid wood mouldings. Minimum board size is 6" (152mm) and wider and 8' (2.44m) and longer. The FAS grade includes a range of boards that yield from 83.3% (10⁄12ths) to 100% clear-wood cuttings over the entire surface of the board. The clear cuttings must be a minimum size of 3" (76mm) wide by 7' (2.13m) long or 4" (102mm) wide by 5' (1.52m) long. The number of these cuttings permitted depends on the size of the board with most boards permitting one to two. The minimum width and length will vary, depending on species and whether the board is green or kiln dried. Both faces of the board must meet the minimum requirement for FAS.

Timbersource are a leading online hardwood timber merchant in the UK, supplying Utile timber to the joinery, carpentry, construction and building trade at competitive prices. To Contact Us click HERE

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Timbersource Ltd.

Quarry Way, Waterlip,
Shepton Mallet, Somerset,
United Kingdom
BA4 4RN