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Thread: Faults in Sapele lumber?

  1. #1

    Faults in Sapele lumber?

    I normally pick and choose my lumber from sawmills, wholesalers and factory stocks however due to the pressures of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak I've had to have a wholesaler deliver straight to me sight unseen. This is one of two boards showing a dark streak with sapwood off one edge and what looks like a load of crazing and checking on the surface. Any second (and third) opinions on what we're looking at here? I doubt these'll be usable for the doors/frames they're intended for.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Photo two shows a lot of checking. That's a reject, for sure. No way I would accept it.


  3. #3
    That's pretty much my conclusion also. I'll always accept a fraction of waste from the gross volume of a board, but I think I'd be lucky to salvage half of that thickness, never mind the fact the width is shot up. I'm suspecting drying issues, so my longer term answer might simply be to change supplier....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Give the supplier a chance to make good. Please report back. If they did good, sing their praises. If they did bad, simply state their name so others can benefit.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Maltby View Post
    I normally pick and choose my lumber from sawmills, wholesalers and factory stocks however due to the pressures of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak I've had to have a wholesaler deliver straight to me sight unseen...
    This was a good lesson. I'd just bring it back.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Western PA
    Yep, that 2nd board is trash. Id pick out similar boards and have the supplier come back for them.

    Sapele has some issues with drying, i believe. Ive often noticed very small micro checks throughout the board. The kind of checks that are filled in by a film finish, but they are there. Your checking is not something ive ever seen before in about 4-5,000 bdft of 8/4 sapele.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Mt Pleasant SC
    Add up the BF of what you received, maybe the bad pieces were free (hopefully).

  8. #8
    Well, we came to a satisfactory - if somewhat contradictory - resolution anyway. The lesson is that I should stick to my guns and hand pick as I've always done in the past, even if that means paying more by volume. Trash board, free. Thankfully it was the only one with that faulting. Returning boards on the seller's ticket is their call, but it's unsaleable and a waste of everybody's time and money....especially for the next guy. I wonder if I was the next guy for that board? Committing it to fire sounds like a service for all.

    Only the volume of good wood minus faults that their warehouse should have flagged in the first place is being paid for, so at least we all benefit with hindsight. I'd consider naming the source, however I don't believe it would be entirely fair as I haven't got a handle on the full story yet. Funny thing guys, the statement "maybe you're expecting super premium quality" came up in the conversation. I might be rusty in the head these days, however I think "usable" is a better standard to work up from. Since I'd rather build relationships than burn them, I bit my tongue on this. I'm out in Finland anyway, so often things get confused between languages. Benefit of the doubt and you can't go wrong with taking 100% responsibility by hand picking. I'm betting a lot of it is down to what is negotiated and agreed in the office being a world different to the lads down in the warehouses. Both orders were sent out first thing on a Monday. There's your clue.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    US Virgin Islands
    Blog Entries
    That sure looks to me a lot more like African Mahogany than Sapele. It is common for suppliers to either by mistake or on purpose swap the two, although usually they swap with Sipo Mahogany.

    Edit: maybe I shouldn’t say it is common, but I have seen it happen more than once. I even argued with a salesman who sent me a whole lift of Sipo claiming it was Sapele. I asked if he wanted me to send it to a lab and bet me the price of the shipment. He backed down.
    Last edited by Malcolm Schweizer; 11-07-2020 at 12:27 PM.

  10. #10
    There's an outside chance of it being Khaya ivorensis/senegalensis, however we'll see when we plane faces off the quarter better. The trash board shows ribboning like Sapele so I'm thinking it likely is. The supplier deals with these species very specifically however given the current monkeying, who knows? The dust smells like Sapele, but I'll know better once it's drier and pepperier! I'll chalk this one up to not keeping my hands on the wheel. Plenty of suppliers to work with, but I'll try and get to the bottom of whether these guys are doing this as general which case, names will go flying freely.

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