Wood Library #1: Ebony

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Blog entry by teenagewoodworker posted 05-24-2008 03:23 PM 1097 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Wood Library series Part 2: Hickory »

Ebony (Diospyros ebenum)

Ebony is a really beautiful wood but is also very, very hard to work with. from my uses of Ebony i have found that it is a very brittle wood and chips very often. it is also very hard to shape using hand tools again because it chips so much. really i have found that the only way to shape it is to sand it and because it is so dark i have a hard time of finding in which direction the grain runs and all it does it chip. also when gluing up Ebony because of the oil content Epoxy is the best way to join it as standard wood glue doesn’t hold well or dry well.

Cost again is a major factor and why many piece you see are Ebonized but i would say that if you have the chance to work with Ebony it is a great experience and is a beautiful wood once it is finished. my favored way of getting ebony is just buying cutoffs and using it for accents. for finishing it is good to coat it with a coat of dewaxed shellac first because the oil content might inhibit the finish from bonding correctly. I have a project with Ebony that i am working on now and i will post pictures here once i put the last coat of finish on.

5 comments so far

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 3724 days

#1 posted 05-24-2008 05:17 PM

Piano keys are Ebony…...not a good carving wood. I made a cross out of it. That’s all I ever did with it. Good Luck ! Dave

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4395 days

#2 posted 05-25-2008 01:56 AM

Great addition to the wood library.

Thanks for your insites.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4094 days

#3 posted 05-25-2008 02:46 AM

Is that project the frame you were working on? I was just looking to see if you posted anymore on it? I can’t wait.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3762 days

#4 posted 05-25-2008 02:49 AM

well it is for a picture frame that i made for my ccousins graduation. Its really cool and i filmed the whole thing and should have everything on either by tonight or tommorow. i am working on the other hickory frame too. I have the lumber ripped down to final size now and i should have the construction done by tommorow. thanks for the comments everyone.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3982 days

#5 posted 06-02-2008 11:12 PM

I have worked with Gabon ebony a lot. It does chip out while cross cutting if you are not careful.
Ripping is not bad at all.

It turns great and polishes up great. It’s used for a lot of woodwind instruments.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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