Uses: Quality furniture and cabinetmaking, joinery, shop fitting, office furniture, solid doors, boat building, musical instruments, sports goods, counter tops and flooring. Extensively used as a constructional veneer for plywood and selected logs are sliced for panelling and decorative face veneers for cabinets and marquetry, etc.
General Description: The heartwood has a medium to dark reddish-brown colour, characterised by a well-defined ribbon striped figure on quartered surfaces. Sometimes, when wavy grain is present, a very attractive fiddleback figure, roe figure or occasionally, beautiful mottled figure is obtained. The grain is interlocked or wavy and the texture fairly fine. Has a cedar-like scent when freshly cut. The timber is liable to ring or cup shakes. Weight varies between 560-690 kg/m³ (35-43 lb/ft³) averages about 620 kg/m³ (39 lb/ft³); specific gravity .62.
Despite high crushing and medium bending strength and resistance to shock loads, with a low stiffness category, sapele has a poor steam bending classification as the wood buckles and ruptures severely.
Dries fairly rapidly with a marked tendency to distort. Quartered material is less liable to degrade. Medium movement in service.
Moderately durable. The sapwood is liable to attack by powder post beetle and moderately resistant to termites in Africa. The heartwood is resistant to preservative treatment and the sapwood moderately resistant.
Family Name: Meliaceae
Latin Name: Entandrophragma cylindricum
Distribution: West and East Africa
Also known as: Gold Coast cedar, penkwa.