Sapele for a workbench?

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benjamino613

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Looking for thoughts on using for sapele for a workbench possibly for all parts, legs , top etc.

I know Ash and Beech are some of the usual preffered options, but I am wondering how sapele would fair with this. Interested to hear why as well!

Truth be told I have a lot of sapele to hand immediately (enough to build a workbench) and no Ash so that is my motive here ;)

Cheers :)
 
A very hard wood could cause the workbench to mark pieces you are making, but sapele hardness is similar to other woods you mentioned. Sapele can tend to splinter when worked and the splinters can be wicked things. not sure this is a reason not to use it on a workbench. It's not quite as dense as Ash or Beech but only by a small margin so again no real difference. It's considerably darker in colour so perhaps small items screws etc may not be as easy to see on the worktop.

Overall can't think of anything that would be a showstopper. Personally i'm building from Sycamore, it's not ideal as it is quite soft and marks easily, but I got a boat load at a good price from a local chap so I'm using it.
 
Should make a super bench, the only drawback I can think of is that it wouldn’t be easy to flatten in the future. Not that I’ve ever done such a thing anyway.
A previous bench was made from Mahogany and it was very good. My present bench is Steam Beech, and the one I’m building in America is local Ash, it has dried out too much in a steel shipping container and is a swine to plane.
I think we need to see the occasional photo of the build if that’s ok?
I do love a bench build. What style are you going for?
Ian
 
Should be a super bench not quite as easy working as mahogany but a really good wood with not to much tannin.
 
The best wood for a bench is the wood you have. A good functional bench can be made from most woods. I would be bowled over by the cost If I was buying that much sapele.
Regards
John
 
I've never had any bleeding issues with sapele and water based paint. As you say its only an issue if there's a lot. Some mahogany had large amounts.(very hard to paint)
 
Should make a super bench, the only drawback I can think of is that it wouldn’t be easy to flatten in the future. Not that I’ve ever done such a thing anyway.
A previous bench was made from Mahogany and it was very good. My present bench is Steam Beech, and the one I’m building in America is local Ash, it has dried out too much in a steel shipping container and is a swine to plane.
I think we need to see the occasional photo of the build if that’s ok?
I do love a bench build. What style are you going for?
Ian
Cheers Ian, yeah I will try to log my progress when I actually get started!

In terms of style I am not sure yet, still doing lots of reading etc.

Leaning towards some sort of shaker style (with draws etc) and roubo style hybrid or something like that...
 
The best wood for a bench is the wood you have. A good functional bench can be made from most woods. I would be bowled over by the cost If I was buying that much sapele.
Regards
John
well I recently started up a small side business selling planed hardwood lengths online etc so I have had to buy big m3 hardwood packs to get started haha. When buying in big packs (1m3 and upwards) the price is pretty similar to Ash, but yeah more expensive than beech.

thanks John
 
A very hard wood could cause the workbench to mark pieces you are making, but sapele hardness is similar to other woods you mentioned. Sapele can tend to splinter when worked and the splinters can be wicked things. not sure this is a reason not to use it on a workbench. It's not quite as dense as Ash or Beech but only by a small margin so again no real difference. It's considerably darker in colour so perhaps small items screws etc may not be as easy to see on the worktop.

Overall can't think of anything that would be a showstopper. Personally i'm building from Sycamore, it's not ideal as it is quite soft and marks easily, but I got a boat load at a good price from a local chap so I'm using it.
good point about the screws. I think they beauty will outwiegh the annoyance, but ill have to remind myself of that when hunting for that pesky tiny screw...
 

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