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West African Sapele Timber Cut to Size 

From 13.31 GBP inc VAT & Delivery

West African Sapele is one of the most versatile timbers currently available in the UK due to its accessible workability and natural durability. Its clear, knot-free, reddish-brown surface is easy to paint and maintain, and the timber itself can be used for anything from pergolas to window frames to skirting. Sapele has been recognised as a more sustainable alternative to mahogany with its similar colour and strength. Sapele is a great all rounder and can suit almost any project. Order cut to size West African Sapele smooth planed squared edge.

Location: Exterior, Interior | Best for: Pergolas, Porches, Cladding, Windows, Decking, Stairs, Mouldings, Sills, Doors, Gates | Density: Medium | Good for painting: Yes | Alternative: Iroko, Idigbo, North American Douglas Fir, Meranti


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Cut to Size / Planed West African Sapele Timber 

The sapwood is pale yellow or whitish, the heartwood pinkish when freshly cut, darkening to typical mahogany colour of reddish-brown. Sapele is characterised by a marked and regular stripe, particularly pronounced on quarter-sawn surfaces.

Occasionally mottle figure is present, it is fairly close textured, and the grain is interlocked. It is harder and heavier than African mahogany, weighing about 640 kg/m³ when dried. It has a pronounced cedar-like scent when freshly cut.

Many Tropical timbers including West African Sapele may affected by the tiny Ambrosia beetle when the logs are fresh-felled and lying on Forest floor in humid climates, as soon as the log is resawn and kiln dried, the Ambrosia dies i.e. it is not continuous damaging woodworm. This is not considered a defect especially as these timbers are frequently given a paint finish and either a coloured or dark stain typically hides any pin marks.

Ordering West African Sapele Timber 

People ordering sapele timber from Timbersource will find that this is a reasonably hard and heavy wood which is easy to work, tending to saw easily, finish well, and peel and slice effectively for veneers. This is also a great wood for gluing and nailing, although it may tear during planing

Frequently Asked Questions about West African Sapele Timber 

What can sapele be used for?

West African Sapele Timber is used for joinery exterior and interior, furniture, flooring, cabinetwork, decorative veneers, paneling and much more. It is available kiln dried in thicknesses 26mm, 32mm, 38mm, 51mm, 63mm, 75mm and 100mm. Random widths range from 100mm to about 400mm and lengths 2m to about 5m. It is essential to specify the narrowest and shortest dimensions to optimise the lower priced sizes. 

How strong and durable is this sapele?

Sapele hardwood is moderately durable as well as the heartwood. Its resistance to termite attack is variable. The sapwood is liable to powder-post beetle attack and the heartwood is resistant. The sapwood is moderately resistant.

What are the physical properties of sapele?

Sapele is moderately hard and heavy, it has medium bending and crushing strengths and is not recommended for steam bending. Sapele seasons fairly rapidly but with a marked tendency to warp, it's very variable in drying properties and requires careful stacking.

What Wood Works for outdoor use?

Sapele is a brilliant timber for using externally and is very reasonably priced compared to European oak.

It also comes in very wide boards and good lengths which make it ideal for external structural work as well as windows and decking. It has recently replaced mahogany due to being more sustainable. 

Download West African Sapele Timber Spec Sheet


West African Sapele Tips

Best external rated timber for painting

Can bend slightly in long narrow pieces due to tension release

High moisture content can lead to shrinkage when drying

Typical lengths at Timbersource 3m, 4.2m

Typical Thicknesses at Timbersource (mm) 26, 32, 38, 51, 65, 76, 100

Please note, our planing tolerance is 6mm in the thickness

Standard Delivery

Timbersource usually aims to dispatch orders within 5 working days for most requirements. We will endeavour to complete your order ahead of schedule.

Next Day / Same Working Day 

Click and Collect - next working day collection when you order by 12:00pm**
Delivery - Next working day delivery when you order by 12:00pm (please call +44 (0) 1373 469905 to ask if we can meet your timescale requirements) 

**Subject to Stock availability and excludes Saturdays, Sundays, Bank Holidays and Christmas Periods.

Timbersource deliver Nationwide, for more information please CLICK HERE.