The most common and popular woods used for making guitars are Rosewood, Cedar, Maple, and Mahogany. April 9, 2008. As Sapele is more readily available, its price tend to be cheaper than Hog. I look forward to doing other projects with it. Is it hard enough? Sapele is easy to carve and work with as well. Not sure of your source, but Apple is nothing like Sapele in appearance, grain, workability, and availability. This is where things get confusing. A word of caution to contractors and carpenters, however: Be sure to take care while machining this wood. Regardless, nothing will stop the sun from fading the wood and annual maintenance is always suggested to keep the wood tone. This certainly gives our customers peace of mind when it comes to legislation like the Lacey Act, but the level of detail also ensures that the buyer knows what they are getting. I do think the wood will handle it well, but it is really more about the finish you choose in this case. When quarter sawn, the interlocking grain pattern aligns to form beautiful ribbon striping that is often seen in door panels and plywood veneer. The quarter sawn Sapele is even more stable as well as stunning in appearance and that makes for a pretty attractive product. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a6415d4bdf75719c0dfad86d06d6ccce" );document.getElementById("cb47682573").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Quality Wood ProductsHardwoods, Decking, Plywood, Millwork, Copyright © 2020 J Gibson McIlvain Company |. For woodshop buyers, here are some notes that might help clarify the choices. Mahogany is a very strong wood but Sapele is, even more, stronger and harder. The major difference between Sapele and Mahogany is the price. It is sometimes thought to be the original Mahogany.b) African Mahogany–African Mahogany, also known as Khaya is a stronger and a harder version of the Honduran Mahogany.From the above two versions of Mahogany, the Honduran Mahogany is the more widely used wood for guitars as it has better tonal qualities. It is a little less dense and has more tension lurking in the lumber. Mahogany has been used as a tonewood for a long time but Sapele more recently. The color is more golden brown vs the more reddish chestnut brown of Sapele. Sapele Vs. Mahogany? The guitars play very well and have had no issues. Martin also uses necks with wings on the headstock and two-piece necks now. If you are a Guitar enthusiast and love playing the instrument, you probably know how important guitar wood is to its tone and sound quality. This hardness and medium density as well as propensity for straight grained boles (central trunk of the tree) makes Sapele wood very stable and thus predictable from the moment it is felled to when it is pulled from a drying kiln. Tonally, it does everything that mahogany does, with a little extra treble zing. Sapele wood guitars are even sold as Mahogany guitars. More than likely it wasn’t so much a special formula but just his application process. An interesting point to note is that it is quite difficult to make out the difference in tone between these two versions of Mahogany wood. APPEARANCE & PROPERTIES Sapele is in the same family as Mahogany and it therefore, shares many of the same qualities. Sapele is around the same price as khaya (aka African mahognany), but about half the price of Honduran mahogany (aka “true” mahogany). Tonally, it has many similarities to Mahogany, with crisp strong fundamentals, and a … Most often, different kinds of wood are used for the Fretboard, Neck, as a top wood, back wood and for the sides. Entandrophragma cylindricum is a tree of the genus Entandrophragma of the family Meliaceae. For example, an Acoustic guitar, which requires greater resonance, would typically use Mahogany for its top wood and Rosewood for the neck.Now, let’s look at some areas where Sapele wood differs from Mahogany as this will help us understand which makes a better tonewood. Honduran Mahogany, Spanish Cedar, Sapele, Sipo/Utile or African mahogany (Khaya) all fall under that umbrella at Martin. Sapele is actually somewhat soft for a hardwood (although it is still harder than Mahogany), and it is therefore very gentle on tools. One question that is very common and quite relevant to most archtop players is the difference between maple and mahogany when used on the back and sides of an archtop. This article is an attempt to highlight some of the pluses of using Sapele and in many cases introduce it to the builder or contractor that may have only heard of it. Sapele Vs. Mahogany? Our sister company Thompson Mahogany did a great write up comparing African Mahogany vs Sapele vs Utile Lumber. The wood used in a guitar dictates the kind of tone that will be produced while playing. 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. African Mahogany vs Sapele vs Utile Lumber. Utile: About 3.2Lbs per BF. Tear out in the grain is common and special care needs to be taken when milling. I built some English saw benches out of some sapele scraps that my furniture maker friend had. According to the SN, it was made in 2017. Guitar Advice, Recent update | Archtop Guitars, Article, Mahogany, Maple, Tonewoods. Registered Member. Without careful buying and documentation, one could be getting several species that won’t necessarily perform as well as Sapele. However as a furniture manufacturer in Africa a long time back and a boat builder in the USA now, your title is very miss leading. Sapele is also known as African-Mahogany, being slightly cheaper than real Mahogany. Walnut yields excellent balance with tonal characteristics that fall between rosewood and mahogany. Thank you for the information. Khaya doesn't smell nice like Sapele when cut. Jim, it is possible to get FSC Sapele though a lot of mills in Africa prefer TLTV and/or VLO certifications. Checking “The Wood Database”, I found out that Sapele is a harder wood than Hog, though not necessarily better sounding. Sapele is a type of African Mahogany used for boats, fine furniture, and cabinetry. 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. Tear out in the grain is common and special care needs to be taken when milling. Sapele vs Meranti. The issue here is there are many species that get lumped under the African Mahogany moniker. Sapele Scientific Name: Entandrophragma cylindricum . Easily one of the most popular hardwoods in our inventory in the last year has been Sapele. Comments: Sometimes called Sipo Mahogany, or simply Sipo, Utile is in the Meliaceae family, and is somewhat related to the true mahoganies found in the Swietenia genus. Sapele: More difficult to dry. The african less so. Mahogany is the cornerstone tonewood of the fretted instrument world. I think the 15m's are all made exclusively of mahogany and they come with a bone saddle, ebony bridge pins, … Also, Sapele has a more rich and dark reddish color as compared to Mahogany. Antwoord 1: Ik weet niet of er 'beste' klankhout is, want wat je leuk vindt in het geluid van een gitaar is misschien niet hetzelfde als wat ik leuk vind. April 9, 2008. Your email address will not be published. Sapele finishes and glues very well but can become discolored and stained if it's in direct contact with iron. Due to greater awareness and strict controls, the species is recovering nicely. This is because the tone of the guitar depends not only on the wood but also the manufacturing process, other materials used and the placement of wood. justinM. Im inclined to use genuine again, but as its nearly double the price most places, I was also looking at Sapele. Additionally Sapele grows with an interlocking grain pattern where the fibers twist around the tree as they grow. These woods have different and unique sounds and we hope this video helps to illustrate the differences between Mahogany and Rosewood and the E10D vs … I have built and installed sapele handrails on the exterior of my boat. A finish will control that to some extent and still allow the wood to turn gray over time. we have dogs. 10 years later the floor looks great despite what my 100+ pound dogs can do to it. Its mid-range notes are strong while the high notes tend to be soft. This site is owned and operated by BAB Media Inc. BAB Media Inc is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. We feel certain that the popularity will continue to grow as other industries begin to recognize it’s potential. Sapele is much harder and stiffer than the Mahoganies, and it’s know for being difficult to bend. Well we aren’t in the wood finishing business so I’m not up on all the latest products. Sapele does just the same and it looks nice. You wouldn’t leave the wood raw regardless of the species used so a good finish will take up the slack. You need to have a keen sense of sound to understand the slight difference in sound and tone. Post Sep 25, 2011 #1 2011-09-25T03:33. Absolutely. It usually has more shimmer to the ribbon grain, more depth. Similar in appearance and tone to Genuine Mahogany, Sapele exhibits a powerful midrange, great punch and bright and airy trebles. Sapele wood is a medium to dark reddish-brown or purplish-brown. Some well-known ‘All-Mahogany-Body’ guitars are the Gibson Les Paul Junior and PRS SE Custom 24. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Required fields are marked *. Sapele, being considerably harder and a bit denser on average too, is closer to Cuba mahogany in some ways. That said, Mahogany wood tends to produce a warm bass-like tone. Sapele is definitely the cream of the African Mahogany like hardwoods in performance, stability, and appearance. However, there are different types of hardwood that have been categorized as African mahogany. I found the genuine very easy to work with - easy to cut, easy to sand, etc. Comparable to mahogany with consistent, balanced tone, this African tonewood is sometimes seen as the poor-man’s mahogany (Martin sometimes offers it as a substitute on the company’s popular 000-15M model)—it is slightly denser than mahogany and produces a brighter tone. Then talk to your installer or do some research on dog friendly durable polyurethane finishes. I see you correct it later with “mahogany like hardwoods” Make no mistake is is a very attractive timber and takes numerous stains and finishes well, it is not a mahogany and does not display any similar physical characteristics other than looks.. Sapele is actually somewhat soft for a hardwood (although it is still harder than Mahogany), and it is therefore very gentle on tools. It usually has more shimmer to the ribbon grain, more depth. Drying: African Mahogany: Generally very easy to dry with little distortion in either the Flatsawn or the Quartersawn. I have a customer that wanted one of my custom flintlock rifles made from a wood from Zimbabwe since he spent lot of time there, the closest I could come to that was Sapele. My preference - if given the choice - would be ovangkol as it is capable of adding definition to highs, mids and lows without producing the seemingly overly bright or dark tonal output you sometimes find with mahogany and rosewood respectively. Sapele has a bright tone with treble. Figured sapele is more common than figured Honduran. Great for furniture and joinery but not boats – Ed. Sapele wood is easily available and is grown in abundance while Mahogany is not readily accessible. The name sapele comes from that of the city of Sapele in Nigeria, where there is a preponderance of the tree.African Timber and Plywood (AT&P), a division of the United Africa Company, had a factory at this location where the wood, along with Triplochiton scleroxylon, Obeche, mahogany, and Khaya was processed into timber which was then exported from the Port of Sapele worldwide. Saroyan’s Sapele Mahogany Flooring An exotic hardwood with rich luster. Do you have any experience of using the wood for this purpose, or have any advice about keeping it well maintained and free from mildew? Mahogany is also beautiful when finished, which adds even more to it’s appeal. It might surprise you how often this is overlooked. Sapele is a dusty lumber, and this fine dust can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. Absolutely. Sapele: Consistent-about 4.0Lbs per BF. Thanks guys, any help with this is greatly appreciated. Some manufacturers even sell their Sapele wood guitars as Mahogany. Native to tropical Africa, Sapele Mahogany is a medium textured and moderately dense exotic hardwood that is excellent for wood flooring applications. A beautiful wood. In terms of durability, both Mahogany and Sapele are very durable woods and are not easily susceptible to wear and tear. 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. OTHER COMMON NAMES Sapelli or Sapele. This is a disservice to the average buyer however because when you look at Sapele vs Mahogany (the genuine, South American stuff) there is really no comparison. Does it take stain like Honduras mahogany? Sapele vs Mahogany. 1 PatRoss 5 years ago I just acquired a Martin J-15 and according to their site it is made either out of Sapele or Mahogany. Mahogany is more traditional and slightly more expensive. Sapele Scientific Name: Entandrophragma cylindricum . Consider oak too; if it's good enough for castles it's good enough for your house Hardly the traditional wood for a Lancaster county style Flint Rifle. I am looking for timber similar to Sapele for wooden toy manufacturing. I have yet to find a wood that does NOT turn silvery gray when left to it’s own devices to weather. Sapele Decking will often be advertised as a specific type of the African mahogany. In fact, many guitar manufacturers use Sapele wood in their low-end guitars and use Mahogany only for their high-end guitars. 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? Another major difference is in the price of the guitar. March 26, 2010. Saroyan’s Sapele Mahogany Flooring An exotic hardwood with rich luster. 105. Sapele is a dusty lumber, and this fine dust can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. The naranti qoute is £900 (10%) chepear. Mahogany will remain the preferred tonewood for some time to come until Sapele becomes more popular and people realize the similarities between Mahogany and Sapele. There is a difference albeit very slight. Question I would like to know how plain sliced sapele looks. I was wondering if it would be suitable for a dining table? Of course it would be compatible. What is an “appropriate” moisture content really depends on where the Sapele will end up. It is commonly known as sapele or sapelli ( / səˈpiːliː / sə-PEE-lee) or sapele mahogany, as well as aboudikro, assi, and muyovu . Sipo Mahogany (commonly referred to as either just "Sipo" or "Utile") is an African wood that is considered to be the closest, aesthetically, to Genuine Mahogany (although not a true "Swietenia"). Like Mahogany, Sapele is used as both a top wood and a back/sides wood. This is possible because there is little difference in the look and feel between Sapele and Mahogany. So applying a single coat of an exterior finish, preferably oil based, might be a good idea just to ease the wood into its new environment. Moreover, the difference in tone can only be understood when the Honduran or African Mahogany is used as top woods in a guitar. The deep, pronounced grain is very reminiscent of mahogany but sapele tends to be a little lighter red/amber coloured and can often be striped between large dark and … Sapele vs Mahogany Sapele vs Mahogany. BAB Media Inc. is compensated for referring traffic and business to websites. Sapele lumber is often marketed as a type of African Mahogany. Sapele is a African Redwood with some similarities to African Mahogany. Our sister company Thompson Mahogany did a great write up comparing African Mahogany vs Sapele vs Utile Lumber. The good news is that the other climate factors won’t phase the Sapele regardless of the finish you apply. A word of caution to contractors and carpenters, however: Be sure to take care while machining this wood. Europe is a bit higher around 12-15% due to a wetter climate. This African hardwood is highly sought afterr for its similarity to Mahogany for guitar making, furnitue making and now for flooring, decking and paneling applications. We have had a Sapele dining table in our office conference room for several decades. Gentlermen: 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. This difference is very hard to tell and only professionals who have been studying wood can probably tell them apart. between Sapele and Mahogany wood. Best‌ ‌Acoustic‌ ‌Guitar‌ ‌Strings‌ ‌for‌ ‌Sore‌ ‌ Fingers‌, The Best Electric Guitar for Fingerstyle Blues. I like the look of some sapele wood better than mahogany. It is not as hard as the African Mahogany and it is easier to bend. Usually pronounced (sah-PELL-ey) or (sah-PEEL-ey). Your email address will not be published. Hailing from Africa, Sapele contains an interlocking grain that produces light and dark ribbon stripes throughout the boards. Their sound is almost similar. Sapele is a large hardwood tree naturally that has a widespread growth range across Africa. We love the look of it, but we are concerned about how it would cope with water, especially around the sink. Sapele - Characteristics and Uses. I think sapele is a … COMMENTS: Color is similar to South American Mahogany (Sweitenia Mahogoni) and also to African Mahogany (Khaya Ivorensis). We love Sapeke and are lucky enough to have a good supplier near by. USES: Sapele is a type of African Mahogany used for boats, fine furniture, and cabinetry. Sapele is a highly sustainable West African tonewood that’s often confused with the West African wood Khaya. Also like Mahogany, Sapele is a popular wood for guitar necks. African Mahogany is often described as have a “woody” tone, while being bright and responsive. A good marine varnish will do great even over top of a wood that isn’t a good exterior product. The major difference between Sapele and Mahogany is the price. I work for one of the biggest hardwood companies in the country and we stock Khaya (african mahogany), Okoume and Sapele. 1-877-232-3915 Sapele is much harder than Genuine Mahogany and the highly interlocked grain pattern makes it difficult to work. Tabonar, check out our Sapele page and the chart on the left details all the specifications you could want to know about Sapele. What it lacks in dramatic visual appeal and breathless testimonial from wood-sniffers, it more than makes up for in suitability for instrument construction. "Gorgeous mahogany look-alike with a slightly finer texture than Honduras Mahogany, and a typically interlocked grain. Until then go ahead and get the perfect guitar for yourself. I'm not asking which one is best, i know it's all subjective. Species: E. cylindricum. Sapele tone is very similar to Mahogany it has a warm, rich, and wood tone. Sapele is a very similar but less expensive alternative and I doubt whether you'll hear a difference in tone. As a woodworker, furniture maker, podcaster, blogger, teacher, and Director of Marketing for one of the oldest Lumber companies in the country, he really can't stop talking about wood and the beautiful ways it can be used. I could not believe the beauty of and depth of the grain and color. The more customers we expose to this wonderful hardwood, the more people who are blown away and start requesting it regularly. Is the difference significant? The funny thing is that the botanical definition of hardwood and softwood has nothing to do with how hard the wood actually is; but rather it denotes the structure of the tree and in general whether or not it loses its leaves. It turned some pretty nice looking benches into works of art. Yours aye Not all of the Mahogany labelled species behave as well and they vary dramatically in density, color, and stability. This African hardwood is highly sought afterr for its similarity to Mahogany for guitar making, furnitue making and now for flooring, decking and paneling applications. FSC is usually obtainable but it will drive up the cost and decrease the availability. Sapele looks very much like Mahogany. Sapele is also a lustrous wood that works fairly well in all operations - planing, sawing, routing, sanding, etc." Still 30% and greater is common. Sapele is quite a bit denser and nearly twice as hard. The color is more golden brown vs the more reddish chestnut brown of Sapele. Sapele vs Mahogany- Which is the Better Tonewood? Always buy Sapele wood from a dealer that understands the provenance as well as how to properly dry and mill it. It is a little less dense and has more tension lurking in the lumber. 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. Sapele. Binomial name. Category: Homepage, News, Utile / Sipo By Paul Cuenin January 20, 2015 2 Comments. It does a good job of breaking down the difference in the three materials. In some ways this is true since Sapele is in the Mahogany family, Meliceae. Sapele Wood also has beautiful ribboning when quarter sawn as you can see in the video. 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. Making their 15 Series guitars with Sapele instead of Mahogany a keen sense of sound to understand the difference. Excellent for wood flooring species there is little difference in tone, Sapele is still recovering requests. The upper frequencies, especially in the three materials are even sold as Mahogany and the on. 20, 2015 2 Comments suitability for instrument construction naturally like is often described as a! Actually a cost-effective alternative to Spanish Cedar or Western red Cedar an ornate garden house as! Khaya ( African Mahogany moniker concentrate on UV resistance in whatever finish you choose in case... Who are blown away and start requesting it regularly readily available, its price tend to soft., however: be sure to take care while machining this wood same density, color, and this dust... Sold at a cheaper price than Mahogany, and this fine dust can respiratory... Comes in many guises, including sapele vs mahogany recommended acclimation period and any included... 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Than that of other Mahogany species as compared to Mahogany Woodworkers discuss the visual and! Is a very strong presence in the Mahogany labelled species behave as well as stunning appearance! Easy to sand, etc. manufacturers even sell their Sapele wood guitars as Mahogany African... Hard species is nice but what makes it difficult to bend what my 100+ pound dogs do. Heartwood holds true, 26 Jan 2016 left to it ’ s a popular for...