Sapele is similar to Mahogany with a deep, rich finish suited to furniture projects, conservatories and much more. It is much harder than African or American mahogany. Bending strength, stiffness, resistance to indentation and shock loads are practically equal to English Oak.
It works fairly well with hand and machine tools, but the grain is often troublesome in planing and moulding, and a reduction of cutting angle is needed to obtain a good finish. It takes screws and nails well, glues satisfactorily, stains readily, and takes an excellent polish.
West and Central Africa
Sipo/Utile or Posh Sapele
The heartwood is a uniform medium reddish brown, with the well-defined sapwood a paler yellow. It generally lacks any dramatic figuring of grain that is common in the closely related Sapele. Grain is interlocked, with a medium uniform texture. Moderate natural luster. Utile can be troublesome to work in some machining operations, (ie planing, routing, etc.), resulting in tearout due to its interlocked grain. It will also react when put into direct contact with iron, becoming discoloured and stained. Turns, glues, and finishes well. Utile has a mild, cedar-like scent while being worked. Sometimes called Sipo Mahogany, or simply Sipo, Utile is in the Meliaceae family, and is somewhat related to the true Mahoganies found in the Swietenia genus.
For further details on our Sapele and Sipo/Utile, please contact us on 020 8858 6441.