Sapele has a medium to fairly dark reddish brown or purplish brown heartwood. Its sapwood is a distinct whitish or pale yellow and it’s texture rather fine with an interlocked grain. It has a cedar-like scent.
Heartwood is a golden to dark reddish 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: pommel, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing and fiddleback.
1" (25mm), 2" (50mm).
Sapele can be troublesome to work in some machining operations, (i.e., planning, routing, etc.), resulting in tear out due to its interlocked grain. It will also react when put into direct contact with iron, becoming discolored and stained. Sapele has a slight blunting effect on cutters, but it turns, glues and finishes well.