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Aesthetically, the wood is similar, also, to its African first cousin, Sapele (with both being species of the Entandrophragma genus) -- although Sipo is more pourous, and has richer color.
Between the tree's natural oils and latex production, resawing the wood tends to gum up saw blades. Difficulties aside, the wood turns and finishes well, and its density and pleasant aesthetics make it popular with wood carvers, as well.
Its grains are typically straight (although sometimes wavy, or even interlocked) with a high natual oil content. This generally makes for favorable working characteristics, although the wood does possess a high silica content.
African Walnut's grains are typically straight or slightly interlocked -- yielding good working properties -- with a fine to medium, consistent texture and a fine natural luster. Finding figured pieces is not uncommon. It turns, glues and finishes well. The wood is considered moderately durable.
As far as working characteristics are concerned, Yellowheart is generally very cooperative for a fairly dense and durable wood. (Although sharp blades may be necessary with some interlocked-grain boards.) It glues and finishes very well. The wood holds its color well: slowly darkening, to a degree, as it ages, often giving it an even more striking appearance.
While it is considered to be typically straight grained, because of its toughness the wood can be very diificult to work; splintering and tearouts are not uncommon. It is a dimensionally stable wood, but it requires sharp blades and precise-angled cuts to get acceptable results when resawing this wood.
African Rosewood works well, although it can have a moderate blunting effect on tools. It glues and finishes well. It needs to be dried slowly and carefully, to prevent warping and cracking. It's a durable wood and is considered stable, once dried.
The wood typically has a high natural oil content, which can make gluing challenging.
Known in the US primarily as "Genuine Mahogany," Swietenia Macrophylla, its scientific name, is what most in the exotic lumber industry consider to be the true species when referring to "Mahogany." Historically, it has been a very economically important wood throughout the Latin America region. Its color can range from a pale pink to a light to medium reddish-brown, and it is renowned for its chatoyance. Grains vary; although generally straight, they can be interlocked, irregular or wavy, also. Its texture is fine and uniform, with a rich natural luster.
Lumber which originates from the wood's indigenous natural regions is considered to be significantly more durable and stable than its plantation-grown counterparts.
Once a mainstay in the cabinetry, furniture and guitar building industries, here in the US, Genuine Mahogany has become increasingly more difficult to source since its inclusion in CITES' Appendix II, in 2003. It is still imported, although a significantly high percentage are of plantation-grown origin -- which is less desirable and considered to be of inferior quality to that grown in native habitats.
While the net effect of all this has been to create a 'mahogany substitute' segment of the exotic wood import industry -- bringing woods such as Sapele and African Mahogany more into favor -- the demand for Genuine Mahogany hasn't waned.
Its grains are typically either straight or interlocked. It works, turns and finishes easily, and beautifully, although boards which feature interlocked grains can occasionally pose tearout issues when planing, joining or resawing.