Opepe Wood Uses and Other Woodwork Details
Opepe is a tropical hardwood that comes from Central and West Africa. It has different names based on some regions.
Worldwide, it is known as bilinga. In Germany, it is called Aloma, while the UK names it as opepe. This wood material is mainly used for marine purposes.
However, it is not limited to other applications only. Besides opepe wood uses, you will get to know more about this species here.
Characteristics of Opepe Wood
This wood has such a warm tone with golden orange-brown color.
The color it has is demarcated from the sapwood.
The sapwood has a light or pale yellow color.
The grains of opepe wood are interlocked with slight stripes that look like a rope figure.
It has large pores that give a coarse and uniform texture but still have a beautiful natural luster. This wood has no specific odor.
How Durable Is Opepe Wood?
Opepe may not be as strong as some other tropical hardwood.
Yet, it is still well-known for its durability.
In fact, this material is strong enough for marine application.
It also comes with an excellent rot resistance.
In temperate climates, it can resist the fungus.
It also has high resistance to dry wood and marine borers, which is one of the main reasons for its marine application.
Moreover, it can handle termites pretty well.
Is It Easy to Work?
Opepe timber moderately works well with either hand or machine tools. It takes on glues and polishes nicely too.
This makes the finishing job easier to do.
The heartwood of opepe can resist preservatives treatment.
On the other hand, the sapwood is permeable to those chemicals.
This timber has medium bending strength and stiffness.
And it works poorly in the steam-bending process.
That’s why it is not suitable for parts that require curved structures.
Availability and Pricing
This material is usually available in large sizes.
You can find them sold as structural slumbers, turning blanks, flooring planks, and boards.
About the cost, you may expect a mid-range price for imported wood material.
The number might go up due to the population reduction, as reported in the IUCN Red List.
Opepe Wood Uses
Opepe wood uses are more common in marine applications. But, it is still very suitable for other needs.
In terms of marine uses, it does not necessarily mean the whole boat.
Due to its poor bending properties, its performance is limited as a material for boat building.
Usually, it is often used for flooring and decking.
In addition, the use of this material can be seen in pontoons, jetties, and even hydraulic works used in marine environments.
Heavy Industrial Uses
Since this hardwood has good durability, it is not surprising to see them used in heavy industrial works.
They are great to use in building bridges in contact with water or soil.
They will not easily decay because of the rot resistance.
The other opepe wood uses are railways, sleepers, dunnage to hold cargo, barriers along the roads and highways, and flooring for containers.
The grains in this wood are quite stripey and looking like a rope.
This appearance is very attractive for interior fittings.
Hence, this material will be perfect for furniture, cabinets, or floors.
It looks equally attractive on window and door frames as well.
Opepe wood is very suitable for outdoor equipment.
Terraces, balconies, gates, or exterior staircases are only a few examples you can mention. Furthermore, using it for cladding or other outer coating seems possible.
Despite the varieties of opepe wood uses, this species is an underrated material. Even with its qualities, it is often overlooked in some markets like Britain.
The main reason is simply because of the warm orange-brown tones.
Some people find it quite challenging, especially when trying to use it in current design styles.
Nevertheless, paying for opepe wood can still be a good investment.
The tones can look amazing in the right environment.
They will look warm and cozy.
Not to mention, the durability will make them last much longer than other wood materials.