Sapele: (Entandrophragma cylindricum) Ratings 1 to 5 (best):
4/4 through 8/4 ElF & Bt
A large African tree that occurs from Sierra Leone to Angola and eastward through the Congo to Uganda.
The wood is creamy white to pale yellow with little or no difference between sapwood and heartwood. They can grow to a height of 50 m (150 ft) or more and a diameter of up to 2 m (5 ft). The trunk is usually free of branches for a considerable height so that clear lumber of considerable size can be obtained.
Its mechanical properties are in general higher than those of white oak. The wood works fairly easily with machine tools, although the interlocked grain makes it difficult to plane. Sapele finishes and glues well. The heartwood is rated as moderately durable and is resistant to preservative treatment.
The heartwood ranges in color from that of American mahogany to a dark reddish or purplish brown. The lighter-colored and distinct sapwood may be up to 10 cm (4 in.) wide. The texture is rather fine. The grain is interlocked and produces narrow and uniform striping on quarter-sawn surfaces.
Furniture and cabinetwork, joinery, and flooring. As veneer, it is used for decorative plywood.