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sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum),  wood grain.jpg


Entandrophragma cylindricum is a tree of the genus Entandrophragma of the family Meliaceae. It is commonly known as sapele or sapelli or sapele mahogany, as well as aboudikro, assi, and muyovu.


African Sapele is possibly the most popular African hardwood species still very much in demand while remaining competitively priced. Also known as Sapelewood, Aboundikrou and Sapelli; it is commonly found in West and East Africa. Possibly more Sapele than any other mahogany species is being used today for joinery and door manufacture. Growers, agents and governments are striving to produce certified timber in the species. As yet nothing is available however it is hoped a suitable chain of custody procedure will be available shortly. When it comes to choosing a hardwood timber, Sapele is very popular and is very much in demand in building and construction works. As the leading commercial and residential supplier of timber in our field Adanack hihave the suppliers in place for importing Sapele timber.


General Description

Sapele heartwood has a medium to dark reddish brown colour, characterised by a well-defined ribbon striped figure on quartered surfaces. Sometimes when wavy grain is present, a very attractive fiddleback figure, roe figure occasionally, beautiful mottled figure is obtained. When machined or cut it has the same scent as Western Red Cedar. The timber is liable to ring or cup shakes.


Quality furniture and cabinetmaking, joinery, shop fitting, office furniture, solid doors, board building, musical instruments, sports goods, countertops and flooring . Extensively used as a constructional veneer for plywood and selected logs are sliced for panelling and decorative face veneers for cabinet and marquetry


Dries fairly rapidly with a marked tendency to distort. Quarter material is less liable to degrade. Medium movement in service.

Working Properties

Works without difficulty with both hand and machine tools but the interlocked grain affects machining properties . It nails, screws and glues well; care is required when paining or staining but it provides an excellent polished finish.




Moderately durable. The sapwood is liable to attack by powder post beetle and moderately resistant to termites. The heartwood is resistant to preservative treatment and the sapwood moderately resistant.




Very dense timber with a medium texture with a moisture content of approximately 12% when air dried. It weighs approximately 640kg per square metre with a relative density of .62.

Mechanical Properties

Despite high crushing and medium bending strength and resistant to shock loads, with the law stiffness category, Sapele has a poor steam bending classification as the wood buckles and ruptures severely.



Coating/Non Coating

Sapele requires differing treatments depending on what the final project in mind is. If you are pre-finishing timber furniture etc. using Sapele Adanack will assist and advise you on the best treatment to suit your requirements.

Fixings & Fasteners

Nailing and screwing properties are good but pre boring is necessary. If this timber is used externally we recommend stainless steel or coated fixings. As always Adanack will advise you further if need be.

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