Pronounced SAPEELEE

Acoustic Guitar With Beautiful Quilted Sapele

Sapele is a reddish-brown wood that in many ways is very similar to Mahogany.   remarkable feature of sapele is that the grain is interlocked and changes direction in frequent, irregular intervals. Before WWI the principal demand for this wood came from Germany where it was used for decorative cabinet work. Interestingly enough, sapele was found in the propeller-blades of German Zeppelins. Sapele is also one of Europe's most desired woods in manufacturing doors, windows and hardwood flooring. It has a wide variety of applications and is very popular as a decorative surface veneer for high-grade furniture such as book cases and cabinets. It is a great alternative to genuine Mahogany.


Sapelli, Penkwa, Undianuno.

A large African tree ranging from Sierra Leone to Angola and eastward through the Congo to Uganda.

Heartwood ranges in color from that of medium to a dark reddish- or purplish-brown. Sapwood is whitish or pale yellow, distinct. Fine texture and interlocked grain produces a narrow and uniform stripe pattern on quartered surfaces. It has a cedar-like scent when cut.


Sapele, Sapelli (pronounced sə pi li ), or Aboudikro (Entandrophragma cylindricum) is a large tree, up to 45 m high (rarely 60 m), native to tropical Africa. The leaves are deciduous in the dry season, alternately arranged, pinnate, with 5-9 pairs of leaflets, each leaflet about 10 cm long. The flowers are produced in loose inflorescences when the tree is leafless, each flower about 5 mm diameter, with five yellowish petals. The fruit is a pendulous capsule about 10 cm long and 4 cm broad; when mature it splits into five sections to release the 15-20 seeds.

Uses   Sapele is inexpensive because it is plentiful. Guitar manufacturers that are trying to get over on the public use it because it sounds exotic looks nice and they can charge a lot extra for it.  *See Scamwood Article)
The commercially important wood is reminiscent of mahogany, with a distinctive figure, typically applied where figure is important. It is sought after as flooring for its durability and beautiful graining. Among its more exotic uses is that in guitar manufacturing, in the top, back and sides of acoustic guitar bodies as well as the tops of electric guitar bodies, for example by well known guitar manufacturers such as Ibanez (Japan/USA), Taylor (USA), Martin (USA), and Esteve (Spain). Sapele is also used for the neck piece of ukuleles due to its pleasant aesthetic quality, by such manufacturers as the Hawaiian companies Kamaka and Koaloha. Late in the 90s, it started to be used as a board for Basque percussion instruments txalaparta on the strength of the livelier quality of the sound. It is also used by American car maker Cadillac for interior wood trim on its vehicles, with advertising for the Cadillac CTS highlighting the phrase "Sapele wood accents." The wood has a density of 640 kg per cubic metre.