Opepe wood is a highly attractive, versatile timber, found in tropical regions of Africa and South America. It is also known by its botanical name Nauclea diderrichii (Rubiaceae). Opepe wood is characterized by its creamy-white, pink, pale yellow or grey sapwood, which is clearly demarcated from the golden-yellow heartwood. Upon exposure, the heartwood matures to an orange-brown with a coppery gloss. The grain is typically interlocked or irregular, with a coarse to medium texture and a medium to high gloss. On quarter sawn surfaces, Opepe wood can feature ribbon or rope figure. Opepe is often used for furniture, joinery, and turnery, and can be sourced from sustainable and legal sources.
Akondoc, Badi, Aloma, Billinga, Kusia, Engolo, Kusiaba, Linzi, N'Gulu, Opepi, Maza
The Opepe heartwood is very durable, but the sapwood is vulnerable to attack from the powder-post beetle. The Opepe sapwood is permeable for preservative treatment, and the heartwood can also be treatable. Naturally durable.
The drying and seasoning of Opepe is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Opepe - Quarter sawn wood dries well; flat sawn timber sections can suffer from checking, splitting and distortion. Movement in use is small. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.
Opepe works fairly well with hand and machine tools, with a medium blunting effect on cutting edges. Opepe has medium stiffness and bending strength, low resistance to shock loads, a high crushing strength and poor steam-bending qualities. It planes easily but a reduced planing angle is advised for quarter sawn material to prevent lifting of grain. It moulds, mortices and varnishes fairly well and turns and sands nicely. Opepe glues adequately, requires pre-drilling for nailing and screwing. A high finish can be obtained after grain filling.
Boat Building, Flooring, Furniture Making, Joinery, Turnery, Cabinet Making.
Guide - 12-18% for KD
Possible Health Risks:
Dermatitis, mucous membrane irritation, giddiness, visual problems, nosebleeds and blood spitting
Commonly asked questions about Opepe Wood
Is Opepe a hardwood or a softwood? Opepe is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Opepe hardwood or softwood? - Opepe is a hardwood.
Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Opepe family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.
What colour is Opepe? Opepe can be described as brown, light brown, yellow/brown, orange
Is Opepe good for outdoor use? or is Opepe good for exterior use? Opepe is most suited for exterior/external use. Opepe can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).
Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood