Sapele confusion

How does this stack up with what you know about the wood? :-)
I decided to buy a piece of Sapele in order to learn how it works for myself. I thought that Sepele was AKA African mahogany. The yard where I purchased the board keeps their Sepele separate from other woods and they call it Sepele. All the boards in the bin were red, ribbon grain with interlocking patterns and reverse grain.
This yard sells R.S. (ribbon stripe) mahogany that they say is African Mahogany, and it is priced less that Sepele or genuine mahogany. The r.s. mahogany is a gorgeous wood.
The Sepele seems to oxidize a bit, obscuring the grain pattern. This grain pattern is what I'm after. My very brief examination of the board leads me to think I will not be able to use smoothing planes on it. Even my 60 degree smoother failed the test. My Stanley 80 scraper seemed to handle the grain. In short, scraping and then sanding with a ros yields a very smooth pleasant surface, with the grain quite evident. Maybe I need one of the Veritas scraping planes.
It seems to me that each lumber yard has a different understanding as to what African mahogany is. Possibly a lot of different species of wood are brought into this country as African mahogany. My next step is to check another yard to see what their African mahogany is.
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Hi, Lowell,
I daresay that the problem is down to your supplier's terminology. Here in UK, it seems that if you have a reddish hardwood from Africa, you call it African Mahogany.
The consensus seems to be that African Mahogany is of the Khaya genus. Sapele is of an entirely different bunch - the Entandrophragma.
I'm no botanist, but I have worked with sapele, and the main challenge to a woodworker is the interlocked "ribbon" grain. I haven't found a satisfactory way to deal with it other than sanding.
Cheers
Frank

degree
grain.
pleasant
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Frank, Thanks for responding. You reinforce my thinking on the subject. I suspect sanding is the way to go. I may have a look at the so-called ribbon stripe mahogany. :-)

in
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Another wood often referred to here in the US as 'African Mahogany' is Okoume, which is commonly used in Marine Plywoods.
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FF

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in UK, it seems that if you have a reddish hardwood from Africa, you call it African Mahogany.

Sapele is of an entirely different bunch - the Entandrophragma.

a woodworker is the interlocked "ribbon" grain. I haven't found a

+ + + That is right on the money. Sapele or sapeli is the wood of Entandrophragma cylindricum and it sort of is a mahogany. It grows in Africa. The flatsawn surfaces show a pretty good figure (with plenty of contrast) and should work normally. The quartersawn surfaces show a ribbon figure and I suppose they should be either handplaned across the grain, or sanded. PvR
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Well, this string is a short one, but I've found the information I was looking for. This is how the wreck is supposed to function. Thanks guys for responding.
It may be that the tables I saw in New Hope were flatsawn wood. I remember it being brighter in color than what I'm seeing in the board I purchased.
It is an interesting wood.
schreef

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Entandrophragma
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schreef

it
to
Entandrophragma
work
You are right on about planing cross grain. I tried my 604 smoother on the Sapele cross grain and it does a good job planing cross grain. My Stanley 80 scraper does a decent job with the grain.
I'll make a box with the piece I have and see how it goes. :-)
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+ + + Likely a low angle plane with an adjustable mouth would do even better? PvR
+ + +

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I don't doubt your observation, however I don't have one of the low angle smoothers. I have two low angle block planes, a LN 140 and the apron plane. The Bedrock does really a good job on end grain. It produces shavings on end grain as well as cross grain. If I do a lot with Sapele, I'll consider a low angle smoother. I have a sweet heart blade in my Stanley 80. It is flat on one edge and cambered on the other. It does a credible job of smoothing after I cross plane with the Bedrock. How in the world did you know to plane cross grain on the wood. That's something I had never tried and I wouldn't have tried it had you not suggested it.
schreef

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+ + + I did not know it was a big secret. Sorry for letting you in on it! ;-)
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