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.