WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WOOD?
Makoré (Tieghemella heckelii) is also known as Douka, Baku, and African Cherry but has the appearance of a close-grained mahogany. The heartwood ranges in color from a cherry-like pinkish red to a darker brownish red hue. The grain is most often straight showing the occasional mottle much like Khaya ivorensis, African mahogany. Sometimes the grain will even have a checkered appearance including darker streaks. The sapwood runs 2” to 3” wide and will be whitish to light pink. The sapwood is clearly demarcated. Makore’ has a fine to medium texture and is somewhat lustrous. This species is liable to blue stain if in contact with iron while wet or damp.
Makoré dries at a slow to moderate rate without much degrade. It has a high silica content which will cause dulling or blunting of knives and blades in most milling operations. When milling this species when quite dry, carbide cutters are essential to produce the best results. Makoré glues and screws well but will split when nailed without pre-drilling. The species will take a good finish as long as a filler is used. Like many species the fine dust produced in sanding may be an irritant.
The heartwood is resistant to preservative treatments while the sapwood is only moderately resistant.
This tree will reach a height of up to 200 feet with straight boles clear up to 100 feet. The diameter may reach up to 9’.
Makoré is used in the furniture, fixture and cabinet industry for its durability, appearance and superior joinery. This species has been used for flooring, tool handles, turnery, carving, shipbuilding, door manufacturing and many other applications where a quality hardwood is required. Makoré is readily available in veneer and in somewhat lesser quantities in lumber. This is a very versatile species coming from the west coast of Africa that we feel woodworkers should use often in a variety of projects. We know they won’t be disappointed.
Sapele, (Entandrophragma cylindricum) is known as Aboudikro on the Ivory Coast and Sapelli in the Cameroon and is also referred to as Gold Coast Cedar in other areas.
The heartwood is a medium to dark reddish brown while the sapwood is pale yellow to white. Sapele has a closely interlocked grain and when quarter sawn produces a pronounced appearance with a roe figure or ribbon stripe with bee’s wing affect. This species is very lustrous and has a cedar like scent but no distinctive taste. With a medium texture, the more highly figured wavy grain yields a decorative mottled figure.
Sapele begins its drying sequence with a moderate air-drying rate. This species has a tendency to warping and end checking while air-drying. However, Sapele kiln dries fairly well with little degrade although it requires careful stacking. Movement in service is almost equal with Makore’, listed as medium. With medium density, bending and shock resistance, Sapele has high crushing strength, low stiffness and poor steam bending ratings.
Sapele machines well with both machine and hand tools. There will be some blunting to cutters mostly caused by the interlocked grain. The species glues and nails easily with little need to pre drill. Sapele readily takes a stain or finish with filling of grain similarly to that of Makore’.
The heartwood is moderately resistant to attack by termites while the sapwood is prone to attack by the powder-post beetle. The heartwood is very durable but extremely resistant to preservative treatments.
Sapele is another large tree. Growing to a height of 200 feet and a diameter of over 6’, this species is clear to 100 feet.
Sapele is used around the world because of its warmth, texture and appearance. This species is used for fixture work, flooring, cabinets, boat applications and vehicle building. It is also used for fine furniture, joinery and decorative veneers.
Sapele is also used for musical instrument and sporting goods manufacture. Sapele is a species of lumber, similar to the mahoganies that the craftsman should know and use often. He would enjoy its beauty and workability and please his clients without a doubt.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WOOD?