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Welcome to MSW, Michael,

What you'll need to do is test. Put a piece into position and see if it bends.  If it gets hard to bend and feels like it will break, then you can soak or soak and apply heat from something like a curling iron.   The downside of not prebending is that if the glue fails, the wood will try to pop back straight.


I would also suggest that you open a build log as it's a great way to get help and meet other builders.


BTW, PM an Admin and work with them to change your screen name.   MSW (like almost every public site on the universe) gets crawled by lots of bots and your email address is like gold to the spammers.

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Test the wood first - sapele varies enormously. Some of it splinters when you just look at it, in other cases it can be hand manipulated to shape at that thickness.

Heat from any  source will help in bending - I am a user of soaking in hot water or steaming myself but  just try it with your soak and bending tool approach.


HOWEVER soaked wood shrinks on drying  so best to not glue straight on until its totally dry - I prebend and fit when really dry


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