Finishing question - Finishing Solid Macassar Ebony

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Forum topic by bfd posted 06-24-2010 10:51 PM 4284 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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502 posts in 4010 days

06-24-2010 10:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing macassar ebony

OK so I have a question for those who have worked with solid macassar ebony. I am finishing a small box made of solid macassar ebony I am experiencing issues with a tacky finish. I first use a coat of BLO and wait for that to dry (about 48 hrs). That goes on fine. I then use a thin coat of wiping poly and the coat doesn’t seam to want to dry. The finish after 72+ hours is still tacky. There is also some Maple Burl on the top and I don’t have the same issue as with the ebony. Has anyone experienced this before? And does any one have a better finish schedule that they would recommend for solid macassar ebony.

4 replies so far

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3936 days

#1 posted 06-25-2010 03:15 AM

Brian, I had a similar problem with cocobolo. Finally removed the wiping varnish with mineral spirits since it was still not dry, wiped the cocobolo part down with acetone, then applied the wiping varnish. Still took a while to dry but it did do so.

Your problem may have been not waiting long enough for the blo to dry. Usually, when I use blo, I wait at least 3-4 days (preferably a week) before applying a finish over it.

Jarrod, allowing the Bullseye dewaxed shellac (Sealcoat) to settle should not result in any solids at the bottom of the container because there is no wax to settle out. Ergo, no need for straining.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

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502 posts in 4010 days

#2 posted 06-25-2010 03:28 AM

Jarrod & Jim,

I very much appreciate the advise. This was just what I was looking for. Thank you both!

View sandt38's profile


166 posts in 3110 days

#3 posted 06-25-2010 05:11 AM

In my experiences with cocobolo I just went ahead and buffed it to a sheen and waxed it. I built several desk clocks using cocobolo, and they turned out beautifully. With the natural oils, you don’t need to finish it, per-se. I assume that the ebony is similar.

-- Got Wood? --- Somewhere along the way the people in Washington forgot that they are there to represent the people, not to rule them.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4077 days

#4 posted 06-25-2010 08:51 AM

Hmmm, good to know.

-- Happy woodworking!

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