how can I repair an ebony wood sculpture?

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Forum topic by Toxness posted 04-25-2013 08:01 AM 4894 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2057 days

04-25-2013 08:01 AM

Hey LumberJocks,
I’m not a woodworker like all of you on this site, but I hope you can offer me some effective guidance for repairing some personal items.

On my recent trip to Africa I acquired two “statues” that are made of ebony wood.

One piece broke in half; the other, which includes more fine carved pieces about the thickness of a pencil; broke more badly.

Any suggestions on what glue I should use to (try to) repair these “statues?” I’ve read some information from epoxy G-2, to Titebond II, to Gorilla glue. Since I’m gluing pieces that are broken, I want to try to use most effective glue for a ragged/broken surface.

Any ideas?

Thanks guys!

2 replies so far

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2271 days

#1 posted 04-25-2013 09:54 PM

I would use a titebond III. It will dry dark. The trick in gluing ebony is to clean the two surfaces well with mineral spirits, to remove oils in the wood, prior to gluing. I will be tricky to apply the pressure needed to hold the joint until the glue dries, which is necessary. I would dry fit the broken pieces and rehearse making the connection with various rubber bands to hold the piece together. Once you find out what works, clean the edges carefully with cue-tip or fine clothe, apply the glue with a brush to both surfaces, after the spirits dry, make the joint and “clamp” with the rubber bands. Be prepared with a damp, not wet, cloth to clean up any squeeze out well. Leave in banded until the glue sets and start the next repair. Good luck.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3847 days

#2 posted 04-25-2013 11:47 PM

I filled/repaired some ebony guitar binding recently with
2 part epoxy with powdered aniline dye mixed in. I did
not test the color before and it dried grey rather than
black, but once I put shellac on, the dyed epoxy turned
as black as the ebony. The epoxy can be scraped
with picks and x-acto knives after it dries. A black
magic marker works as a touch-up for ebony too.

Black lacquer repair burn-in sticks match black ebony
pretty well too. Black shoe or leather dye is effective too,
but if you mix liquid dye with epoxy don’t expect good
results. I suppose black dye can be reduced to
aniline dye powder by leaving it in a pan to evaporate
in the sun.

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