Sapele Timber Merchants

Timbersource are a leading online Sapele timber merchant in the UK.
Take a look at the benefits of Sapele timber and how to order, below.

What is Sapele Timber?

Sapele Timber predominantly from West Africa, is a reddish-brown hardwood. Although some parts of the Sapele logs will produce straight-grain or 'quartered' effect, generally it has a more random grain appearance, thus meaning it is liable to interlocked grain.

Sapele is used for joinery exterior and interior, furniture, flooring, cabinetwork, decorative veneers, paneling and much more. It is available kiln dried in thicknesses 26mm, 32mm, 38mm, 51mm, 63mm, 75mm and 100mm. Random widths range from 100mm to about 400mm and lengths 2m to about 5m. It is essential to specify the narrowest and shortest dimensions to optimise the lower priced sizes. 


The Timber 

The sapwood is pale yellow or whitish, the heartwood pinkish when freshly cut, darkening to typical mahogany colour of reddish-brown. Sapele is characterised by a marked and regular stripe, particularly pronounced on quarter-sawn surfaces. Occasionally mottle figure is present, it is fairly close textured, and the grain is interlocked. It is harder and heavier than African mahogany, weighing about 640 kg/m³ when dried. It has a pronounced cedar-like scent when freshly cut.


Strength and Durability

Sapele is much harder than African or American mahogany, and in resistance to indentation, bending strength, stiffness, and resistance to shock loads, is practically equal with English oak.

Sapele hardwood is moderately durable as well as the heartwood. Its resistance to termite attack is variable. The sapwood is liable to powder-post beetle attack and the heartwood is resistant. The sapwood is moderately resistant.


Physical Properties 

Sapele works fairly well with hand and machined tools but the inter-locked grain is often troublesome in planing and moulding and a reduction of cutting angle to 15° is needed to obtain a good finish. It takes screws and nails well, glues satisfactorily, stains readily, and takes an excellent polish. 

Sapele is moderately hard and heavy, it has medium bending and crushing strengths and is not recommended for steam bending. Sapele seasons fairly rapidly but with a marked tendency to warp, it's very variable in drying properties and requires careful stacking.


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



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