We'll guide you to the right finish for your project—polyurethane, lacquer, shellac, and more—and show you … I do not know if Sapele has been used for a chopping board, but it is was used, the person would have regretted the wood selection. Hard maple would be better than walnut, although a light wood. Then Watco x 1 and so far, 2 layers of diluted epifanes high gloss varnish. Odor: Sapele has a distinct, cedar-like scent while being worked. Sapele features interlocking, fine textured grain that frequently changes direction. Sapele varies in color from log to log, but is generally medium to dark red-brown. It dries rapidly, but the interlocked grain results in a strong tendency to warp. These are all produced by deviations from the normal grain pattern of the wood. Finishing brings out an intense depth of color and highlights its natural luster, which is similar to mahogany. Sapele may be dried at the sawmill, but it is not uncommon to bring the wet wood to the U.S. for drying. Generally speaking, the harder the wood the easier it is to finish and polish. Sapele has a slight blunting effect on cutters, but it turns, glues, and finishes well. So a Janka rating is an average of numerous tests performed on all directions and numerous pieces. This veneer has a fine grain, a distinct and desirable stripe formation, and often carries a lively figure. Sapele wood is harder than both Honduran and African Mahogany but what makes it special is that it is easy to carve. The hardness of wood varies with the direction of the wood grain, and varies from piece to piece. Sapele is also known as ‘African Mahogany’ as they share many of the same qualities. Still, there is a long way to go before Sapele wood is as well-known and popular as Mahogany, Rosewood or Cedar. Harder woods create good, solid long-lasting joinery in furniture. Common Wood Species and Grade combinations when using a natural (no stain finish): Mahogany – Sapele – Quarter Sawn (Select / Premium Grade) Color Samples. WalzCraft does not stock color block samples in this particular wood species and stain combination. Sapele is too soft, rather open grain. However, you may order an individual Wood Species Sample / Non-Inventory Color Block. Don't be intimidated by the finishing process. USES: Sapele is a type of African Mahogany used for boats, fine furniture, and cabinetry. Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Sapele has been reported as a skin and respiratory irritant. Sapele's propensity to exhibit such a diversity of figure types makes it a valuable source of decorative veneer. Caring for Sapele. Our Sapele is “quarter sawn” at the mill, a process that creates a ribbon or stripe effect, almost as if the wood … Walnut will be a better selection. Treatments will also enhance the beauty of this wood. In my opinion not a good selection to withstand the impact and cuts from knives. Sapele has a high resistance to rot and water damage, but will also benefit from extra protection. Finishing Sapele Solid Lumber and Plywood Advice on getting a consistent finish appearance on a piece made with Sapele using both solid wood and plywood. I am finishing a beautiful sapele mahogany replacement table I made by doweling 5/4 pieces together with 1/4″ gaps and sealing the edge of the circle with epoxy. It accepts all finishes and polishes to a high luster. It’s a popular choice nowadays for building guitar necks, back and sides. Sapele glues, nails, and takes screws well. Sapele finishes and glues very well but can become discolored and stained if it's in direct contact with iron. Working with a beautiful wood like Sapele will yield amazing pieces, but it does have a blunting effect on blades and drill bits. 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