Instead, if you want to color the wood, use this simple process. Question Mahogany can be the ideal hardwood for floors as it is so durable and can take heavy traffic. If you have an acacia chair, pull it up and let Captain Patio tell you about the virtues (and pitfalls) of owning acacia wood patio furniture. This attention to detail will keep the good suppliers, importers, and sawyers in business and only serve to close the market on those that abuse the resource. What is an “appropriate” moisture content really depends on where the Sapele will end up. Sapele is a good exterior wood and deals with moisture quite well. Architectural Millwork 6. In fact, as the reputation and demand for Cuban mahogany grew, the supply of wood shrank. In my limited experience it is not as stable in use … Sapele is one of my favorite woods. But before you rush to the lumber yard to grab your materials, you should consider which type of wood is best for your project and your needs. The grain and pore structure is tighter than Genuine Mahogany so Sapele also serves as a great substrate for painted surfaces. I would love to see a picture of that rifle John; sounds beautiful! It is a look-alike that some suppliers sell as the price is low and the customer does not know the difference. So concentrate on UV resistance in whatever finish you choose. We do find Honduras mahogany used in the 18th Century in a few cases. I can’t tell you how many people we sell Sapele to who intend to use it for furniture. Green is a relative term too as there is just cut where most trees will run upwards of 80% moisture and then there is green as in wood that was cut months ago but has not been sawn. It also planes well. If a sapele porch floor has not had a finish applied and the front half has been exposed to the weather and is turning grey, can the wood be sanded to return it to the original color before applying a finish to the entire floor? Yes a very hard species is nice but what you really want is to prevent claws from ever even getting to the wood itself. Indoor construction elements (beams) 10. Yes sanding will return the color, though I would suggest sanding the entire deck or you may have trouble blending the two halves. Black locust is a fast-growing hardwood native to North America. 1. Treatments will also enhance the beauty of this wood. Fine furniture 2. If you don’t mind a few knots in your outdoor work, common-grade cherry is very affordable. Cabinetry 3. John Edward Clark Gunmaker. Cypress holds resins and glues very well. I found it a little softer than the curly sugar maple I am used to but it took carving fairly well although a little stringy. Sapele is definitely the cream of the African Mahogany like hardwoods in performance, stability, and appearance. The wood contains natural preservative oils so it can last for a very, very long time. Sapele wood is of medium hardness with a Janka rating of 1510 lbs making is harder than most domestic North American Species and almost twice as hard as Genuine Mahogany. Sapele won’t be any different than any other wood flooring species. In truth, when it comes to decking, cladding, pergolas, and landscaping, using timber is a practical and attractive option. Whether you'll DIY or buy furnishings for the patio, deck, or lawn, be sure to start with the best wood for outdoor furniture. Famous furniture builders Thomas Sheraton, Thomas Chippendale, and Duncan Phyfe chose Cuban mahogany for their fine furniture. Caring for Sapele. (Architectural Woodworking Forum) The issue here is there are many species that get lumped under the African Mahogany moniker. Acacia wood is a living, breathing raw material that needs a lot of help to survive. Flooring 12. Use this table to find the right decay-resistant species for your project. A finish will control that to some extent and still allow the wood to turn gray over time. Absolutely. I talked to one supplier of tropical woods and he stated that SA mahogany often is not of the same genus and species as genuine. When quartersawn or rift sawn, the face of the resulting lumber has a ribbon stripe appearance; often such lumber is sold as ribbon-stripe mahogany. The best option to treat untreated wood for outdoor use is through these sealing options. Required fields are marked *. Like Mahogany, Sapele is used as both a top wood and a back/sides wood. African Mahoganies are often lumped together so many species can be present in a single shipment. The Congo is one of the greatest producers of Sapele and while the area is in political turmoil as of late, the logging companies have embraced strict regulation and verification schemes like TLTV and VLO. The idea of "green" harvesting is sketchy at best. How will the sapele weather if left unfinished? Additionally Sapele grows with an interlocking grain pattern where the fibers twist around the tree as they grow. Can it be used in a high traffic area? Still 30% and greater is common. More importantly, the legality and sustainability documentation is included to show where the tree came from. Cuban Mahogany, Swietenia mahogani (genus and species names), the Wood of Kings, has been among the most prized and valuable timbers since the late 16th century. It is light in color and has a grain pattern quite similar to traditional oak. Your email address will not be published. It might surprise you how often this is overlooked. Thompson Mahogany, which is one of the oldest and largest suppliers of mahogany, uses the name "genuine mahogany." Besides solid wood, here are some other types of wood available for decking and other outdoor living spaces: Pressure-treated wood is the most common type of decking material because it’s the most readily available and cheapest choice. Here is where Sapele can be most commonly found today: 1. How about the appropriated moizture content for sapeli both green and dry? The rifle is now complete and I stained it dark reddish brown with a London oil finish. Failure to use the best type of wood in particular outdoor setting might give you undesirable results. Tabonar, check out our Sapele page and the chart on the left details all the specifications you could want to know about Sapele. For most outdoor projects, naturally rot-resistant wood is a good idea. Thank you for the information. A lot of timber is chemically treated to prevent rot, but some woods have superior natural rot resistance and can be used outdoors without chemical treatment. It turned some pretty nice looking benches into works of art. Sadly I am told changes in logging policy make it very difficult to procure Khaya logs so the 4mm veneer we used in boat building has been replaced in the market by sapele ….just not the same, weights, density, and especially shrinkage and movement. Regardless, the appropriate percentage all relies upon what you want to do with the wood and in what environment (exterior, interior, local/regional climate, etc). In North America we aim for 6-8% moisture for all our woods. Hardwearing and durable, Sapele is a great choice for your outdoor furniture. Whether you buy Sapele lumber from J. Gibson McIlvain or another supplier, pay close attention to the provenance documentation to ensure that you are in fact getting Sapele as compared to another similar species. This density poses special problems for fastening and movement. It is however a glorious wood to work with but not commercially available anywhere I know of. The natural superior stability means that there is much less waste over this journey as well as reliability once the wood is installed in it’s final project. The text "A Guide to Useful Woods of the World" uses the name bigleaf mahogany, followed by the statement "although commonly called Honduras mahogany..." Other common names in the trade given in this book are true mahogany, American mahogany, genuine mahogany. This was for use as window cill boards. I have built and installed sapele handrails on the exterior of my boat. Other historic common names for Cuban mahogany are Caribbean mahogany, West Indian mahogany and Santo Domingo mahogany. By the mid 1700�s, Cuban mahogany was becoming quite scarce. With such a large resource to harvest from, it remains easy to get large amounts of Sapele throughout the year. However I can recommend any Epifanes products based on personal experience or a good quality spar varnish. Sapele lumber is often marketed as a type of African Mahogany. All these species have many local names. We feel certain that the popularity will continue to grow as other industries begin to recognize it’s potential. Sapele is a valuable resource and it is imperative we continue to treat it as such so this highly popular species won’t become difficult to obtain thus sparking questionable harvesting practices. Due to greater awareness and strict controls, the species is recovering nicely. Even if you slather on the finish, a wood that doesn’t fare well outside is likely going to fail early and often. At the same time, quartersawn Sapele does provide greater stability, making careful consideration of application and end use key. Resistant or very resistant: Moderately resistant: Slightly or nonresistant: Baldcypress (old growth) 1 Catalpa Acacia wood requires a high level of maintenance to keep its appearance. I think this would look fabulous. Great for furniture and joinery but not boats – Ed. 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