Which wood complements mahogany
Sapeli mahogany - precious wood
Sapeli, bot. also known as Entandrophragma cylindricum, belongs to the Meliaceae family, the mahogany family. It comes from the same botanical family as American mahogany - hence not only is it often confused with it, it is even referred to as sapeli mahogany. Sapeli mahogany is particularly widespread on the Ivory Coast and from Ghana to Uganda.
With a maximum height of up to 45 meters and a trunk diameter of 1.5 meters, the sapele can grow into an impressive tree over the years. Over a length of 15-25 meters, the sapele mahogany is even completely free of knots. Its heartwood is light to reddish brown and has a great golden sheen.
Since it comes from the family of mahogany woods, Sapeli inspires with its special structure, which makes it a very popular decorative wood. The peculiarity of the wood is not only in its color, but rather in its growth: With its regular alternating twist, sapelli wood creates very pronounced radial stripes. In addition, Sapeli not only changes the look of your apartment - with its cedar-like smell, this wood adds a great scent to your household.
As a classic of all tropical types of wood, Sapeli is expanding our range with a decorative wood for particularly cozy and rustic living styles. It is also a real alternative to real mahogany, which is native to Central and South America only. Since real mahogany trees are under special protection, the trade is strictly controlled and their wood is rarely sold these days.
Sapeli - characteristics and processing
Sapele wood is a medium-hard wood with a high level of strength and can therefore be worked very well. It has a strong tendency to warp during the drying phase, but it has excellent dimensional stability. When drying, it must therefore be ensured that the temperatures and the moisture gradient are low.
Because of its heavily striped structure, Sapeli has to be processed very carefully. It can easily be sanded, peeled, nailed, screwed, sawed or knife-ed and it can be turned as well as carved.
The heartwood also shows good resistance to fungal attack, comparable to that of pinewood. It is also resistant to insect infestation. Therefore, it can be used not only indoors, but also outdoors.
How it's used nowadays
Sapeli mahogany is mostly used for high-quality trim wood. For example, for use in classic furniture wood, beautiful paneling, haptically perfect handrails, within boat and yacht construction and for high-quality musical instruments. Likewise, stairs and parquet are often made of the noble-looking wood.
But sapele is not only used indoors - it is also often used outdoors as construction wood or in the form of face veneers. It can be found wherever there are special demands on strength and robustness.
The surface treatment & appropriate care
For outdoor use, sapele wood is easy to treat with clear and transparent varnishes. Such seals are particularly suitable for areas that are not exposed to rain or direct sunlight. For locations where the solar radiation is more intense, the use of a high pigmented glaze is recommended. All of the treatment options just mentioned retain the fine structure and do not cover it up. Waxes, varnishes or matting are best suited for the interior.
There are also a number of ways to maintain this special wood sustainably. For example, you can oil the wood up to twice a year. The fibers of the wood are completely saturated, so that the water absorption is effectively reduced. In this way you prevent swelling due to water absorption or cracking due to the effects of heat.
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