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
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.