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Medium to dark reddish brown or purplish brown. Color tends to darken with age. Besides the common ribbon pattern seen on quartersawn boards, Sapele is also known for a wide variety of other figured grain patterns, such as: pomelle, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback. Grain is interlocked, and sometimes wavy. Sapele has a fine texure and small pores. The wood has a distinct cedar-like smell.
- Exterior & Interior joinery
- Sliced veneer Veneer for back or face of plywood
- Interior panelling
- Current furniture or furniture components
- Veneer for back or face of plywood
The wood saws and works easily with both hand and machine tools; it has only slight blunting effects on cutting edges. In planing and moulding operations, a 15–20° cutting angle is recommended to avoid picking up of grain. Finishing gives usually good results, with a nice polish. The wood is not liable to splitting in nailing and screwing, with good holding properties. The gluing, staining and polishing properties are good, but the steam bending properties are poor.