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Sipo

Common Name(s): Utile, Sipo, Sipo Mahogany


Sometimes called Sipo Mahogany, or simply Sipo, Utile is in the Meliaceae family, and is somewhat related to the true mahoganies found in the Swietenia genus.

Thicknesses

Tree Size: 150-200 ft (45-60 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Distribution

West and Central Africa

Scientific Name

Entandrophragma utile

Specific Gravity: Basic 

0.53

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.63

Janka Hardness

1,180 lbf (5,260 N)

Colour/Appearance

Heartwood is a uniform medium reddish brown. Well-defined sapwood is a paler yellow. Generally lacks any dramatic figuring of grain that is common in the closely related Sapele.

Grain/Texture

Grain is interlocked, with a medium uniform texture. Moderate natural luster.

Endgrain

Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; reddish brown heartwood gum deposits occasionally present; parenchyma vasicentric, banded; narrow rays, spacing normal.

Rot Resistance

Rated as moderately durable to durable, with mixed reports on insect resistance.

Workability

Utile can be troublesome to work in some machining operations, (i.e., planing, routing, etc.), resulting in tearout due to its interlocked grain. It will also react when put into direct contact with iron, becoming discoloured and stained. Turns, glues, and finishes well.

Odor

Utile has a mild, cedar-like scent while being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity

Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Utile has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability

Not frequently available, prices for Utile should be moderate for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.
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