Sapele is a hardwood species from the tropical region of Africa. It boasts a straight to interlocking grain with a fine uniformed texture. Sapele is rated as durable to very durable and is one of the most economical of all import species. It has seen extensive use in the musical instrument industry due to its high dimensional stability with regards to seasonal changes and has also been used in flooring, cabinetry, millworks, boat building, and a variety of small specialty pieces such as pens and jewelry boxes. It is a common substitute for African mahogany because of its relatively low cost and high abundance throughout the region. It can cause problems machining due to the interlocking grain, but glue, turns, and finishes well. Sapele is commonly sold as either flat sawn, or quartersawn, with the quartersawn variety showing the same brilliant banding made famous by mahogany. It is also found in curly and quilted figuring, but the prices of such variations range greatly. Sapele has a Janka hardness of 1400 and weighs around 3.75 pounds per board foot.
VARIATIONS AND OPTIONS
4/4 refers to lumber that was cut at 1 inch thickness
15/16ths has been skip planed (a majority of the surfacing work has been done, there may be a few spots that are still rough, but the grain of the particular piece of wood should be visible)
13/16ths is commonly called finish planed. This should be ready for sanding and finish
Ripped 1 edge is lumber that has been run through a straight-line rip saw. This allows for easy squaring on a table saw.
Sanded refers to a select few lumber options that have been run through a belt sander and are 100% finish ready.
5/4 lumber was sawn at 1.25 inches in thickness.
6/4 lumber was sawn at 1.5 inches in thickness.
8/4 lumber was sawn at 2 inches in thickness.
10/4 lumber was sawn at 2.5 inches in thickness.
12/4 lumber was sawn at 3 inches in thickness.