Author Topic: Sapele  (Read 1640 times)

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2991
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Sapele
« on: April 18, 2020, 01:07 PM »
I’m building an outdoor table and benches of Sapele. I plan to apply several coats of Minwax Wipe On Poly.

OK?
Birdhunter

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Offline Alan G

  • Posts: 48
Re: Sapele
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2020, 01:15 PM »
If you are wanting a film finish I would head toward something like Epifanes, which is made for outdoors.
I usually get it from Jamestown Distributors.

https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=92

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 409
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Sapele
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2020, 01:24 PM »
I have used this product with good results. https://www.penofin.com/wood-stains/tsf-marine-grade

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2991
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Sapele
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2020, 02:29 PM »
Would an oil finish work?
Birdhunter

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 409
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Sapele
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2020, 02:53 PM »
Would an oil finish work?

It stands up quite well. You do need to reapply the oil after a couple of years and then every time it looks like it needs it. You can just sand the horizontal surface and redo them independent to the verticals.

The advantage is you never need to strip the finish. The marine grade oil is the product I have used.
https://www.penofin.com/wood-stains/marine-oil-finish-wood-stain



Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Vtshopdog

  • Posts: 25
Re: Sapele
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2020, 06:07 PM »
I’ve used lots of Penofin products.  Used the marine finish on a Luan plywood outdoor sign about 7 years ago and it held up very well.   It was a vertical surface on north facing wall and needed recoating after 3 years. A table top might need recoating sooner than that. No sanding or stripping needed.

Also have an African Mahogany picnic top that is finished with the marine oil:  I let it go too long before recoating  and it bleached out from UV, but otherwise no degradation to the wood. 

Offline tony_sheehan

  • Posts: 127
Re: Sapele
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2020, 03:58 AM »
How durable is sapele for outdoor use?

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2991
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Sapele
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2020, 06:31 AM »
I didn't learn until yesterday that my client, young friends with zero money, will be using this table inside a screened in porch. It will experience Atlanta's humidity and temperature changes but not direct sun or rain. It will experience wear from their 2 VERY active boys.

My wood supplier, Carlton's, assured me that Sapele was excellent for this project.

I had intended to have the top surrounded by the table's "frame" as depicted in the client's picture. The top and the frame would be flush. The table top is composed of 9" slats that run the short distance 33". Thus, the breadboard end would be the breadboard side running 60". Although the wood is quarter sawn, there would be appreciable movement winter to summer. I just couldn't figure a way to make this work. The new design is to have the top "float" on top of the frame.

Please excuse my ramblings, but this project is keeping me up at night.

P.S. The top is completed and turned out very flat and very square. An El Cheapo door from Home Depot provided the extremely flat and extremely square work surface I needed.
Birdhunter

Offline doug H

  • Posts: 21
Re: Sapele
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2020, 11:56 AM »
A piece of tempered glass works wonders to protect a screen porch dining table. Makes clean up of kid spills, dust and pollen really easy. I have had one on my teak table for nearly 15 years without any damage.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2991
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Sapele
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2020, 09:07 PM »
Is tempered glass ok with kids banging things on it?
Birdhunter

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 908
Re: Sapele
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2020, 09:16 PM »
How durable is sapele for outdoor use?


The wood database is a great place to find information like this:


https://www.wood-database.com/sapele/


It doesn't specifically call out outside use, but does say that it is moderately to very decay resistant.
... and it smells good when you're machining it.

Online Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 1025
Re: Sapele
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2020, 01:57 AM »
On this side of the water, I have made outdoor furniture mainly from Teak, and sometimes Cedar, although the Cedar when used for furniture needs more upkeep.

Not sure on the prices on your side but, personally I would have chosen Teak over Sapele.
We use a fair bit of Sapele for exterior doors etc but, it’s painted with micro porous paint, and because of the build design, stays very stable most of the time. It can be tricky at times routing etc. Lovely timber but, Teak would have been my first choice for an outside table and benches.

Offline doug H

  • Posts: 21
Re: Sapele
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 06:00 PM »
Never had a problem with my kids using our table. Depends on the kids, I suppose.

Offline Vtshopdog

  • Posts: 25
Re: Sapele
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2020, 07:43 PM »
Just happened to refinish my outdoor table top this afternoon and thought to upload a before/after (actually halfway done) photo of results using Penofin ultra premium (red can, they make several varieties) The top was very faded, but made surprising comeback with just a bit of sanding. 

This stuff would look great on Sapele, the Marine finish discussed above is more muted amber and does not pop red toned wood nearly as much.


Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 908
Re: Sapele
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2020, 11:45 PM »
Just happened to refinish my outdoor table top this afternoon and thought to upload a before/after (actually halfway done) photo of results using Penofin ultra premium (red can, they make several varieties) The top was very faded, but made surprising comeback with just a bit of sanding. 


Nice - I may have to try this on a Massaranduba deck that I need to power wash and re-finish this summer.


And speaking of outdoor use, what kind of UV protection, if any, does Penofin have?

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2991
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Sapele
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2020, 11:00 AM »
I'm nearly finished with the Sapele table and benches.

I ended up using Minwax Wipe-On Poly in satin finish. I will have 3 coats on everything when I am finished.

The look is stunning. Only time will tell on durability. The nice thing about Minwax Wipe-On Poly is that the finish is really easy to patch if damaged.

When I'm done, I will post some pictures.

Birdhunter

Offline Vtshopdog

  • Posts: 25
Re: Sapele
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2020, 01:29 PM »
Just happened to refinish my outdoor table top this afternoon and thought to upload a before/after (actually halfway done) photo of results using Penofin ultra premium (red can, they make several varieties) The top was very faded, but made surprising comeback with just a bit of sanding. 


Nice - I may have to try this on a Massaranduba deck that I need to power wash and re-finish this summer.


And speaking of outdoor use, what kind of UV protection, if any, does Penofin have?

I've used it for about 15 years on my aging redwood deck and redwood siding.   I live in Utah and we have lots of sun, Penofin seems quite a bit better than most products I've tried, but they charge a premium, about $45 per gallon which adds up on a dried out deck.  If you find their website they used to send little sample containers for free.  They have lots of tinted product but I've never used anything but clear/natural shades.

Birdhunter -
I love Sapele, maybe you could post some pics??

Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 261
Re: Sapele
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2020, 10:07 PM »
Penofin has some excellent products.  I used their special formulation for hardwoods(Ipe, etc.) on my Batu deck and it still looks great on the pickets and rails.  The deck surface needs to be refinished - held up pretty well almost 2 years with lots of direct sun and junk from evergreen trees.
I'm also using it on a Batu fence I'm installing.
The wood importer highly recommended the specific formula of Penofin and I've had lots of recommendations from contractors and wood suppliers.
It's a few bucks more per gallon than something like Cabots, but seems well worth the extra bucks.

Definitely post pictures of the Sapele table.  I'm a big fan of the wood and hadn't thought of using it for outdoor products.
I have a few Sapele accent pieces - like a 2x4" mantle trimmed with walnut.

The UK poster suggesting teak hasn't seen our prices... Last time I was at the lumber yard I swear I saw something like $40/bf.  Walnut is something like $10 depending on the dimension and Sapele is even cheaper than Walnut. 
Usually on par with Maple and Cherry - $5-7/bf.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2991
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Sapele
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2020, 01:50 PM »
I used MinWax Wipe-On Poly on the table top.

I tested the Sapele with MinWax Wipe-On Poly with a glass of ice water on some scrap. It did leave a white ring. Boo. Should have done this test before doing the top.

I ordered a can of Epifanes Matte finish and their thinner. I read all the product literature I could find and put a coat on the tabletop after thinning the finish per the manufacturers recommendation. The finish was very thick. It did not flatten very much and had little. “Pimples” all over the surface.

I sanded the top with 320 grit and removed most of the Epifanes.

I refinished with General Finishes Enduro-Var in a satin finish.

Thankfully, the top looks great. I applied the Enduro-Var to a piece of scrap Sapele. I’ll repeat the ice water glass test later today.

My conclusion is that the Epifanes product is probably a wonderful protective finish but requires much more expertise than I possess. The manufacturer’s literature said to thin the finish 10 percent using their thinner. My extremely limited experience says 10 percent is not enough. I’ll try some test, but I will start at 25 percent.
Birdhunter