Ebony Anyone?

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Forum topic by Ben Kahmann posted 08-04-2009 02:53 AM 1536 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ben Kahmann

231 posts in 3441 days

08-04-2009 02:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: ebony finishing

Hello Everybody,

I was wondering if anybody has a good practice to ebonize wood. I have a project I am planning and I need a pretty good amount of ebony and we all know it is EXPENSIVE! So, I thought about ebonizing some wood, but have not done it before. All other projects I’ve done with ebony have have very little just for accent. SO. my question is does anybody “ebonize” on a regular basis or know of a good way to go about it. Type of wood, dyes, sanding, ect, ect…...Thanks in advance for any responses.


-- Ben Kahmann Dayton, OH

7 replies so far

View cpollock's profile


34 posts in 3583 days

#1 posted 08-04-2009 03:14 AM

I’ve used rusty water to ebonize white oak and walnut. The WO doesn’t really look like ebony when done, but the walnut really blackens up nicely, and it occurs within a few minutes. I’ll lightly sand it afterwards to knock down the raised grain then brush on another dose of the rusty water.
The rusty water is just tap water that I stuck some steel wool in, and let it sit for a week. Its simple, cheap, and it works.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3938 days

#2 posted 08-04-2009 03:31 AM

personally i dont fuss around with the steel wool and vinegar or chemical ways. i just use a black waterbased dye with some india ink added to it. its gets it about as black as black gets.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3906 days

#3 posted 08-04-2009 03:32 AM

I use only walnut when ebonizing. Take a look at my projects to get an idea. I did a mantle that is in solid maple and ebonized walnut.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Ben Kahmann's profile

Ben Kahmann

231 posts in 3441 days

#4 posted 08-05-2009 01:22 AM

Thanks for the comments everybody. I wanted to get a good feel for differnet methods and I got a couple good ones. And John, that mantle looks really great. Thanks for posting

-- Ben Kahmann Dayton, OH

View mandolin's profile


11 posts in 3387 days

#5 posted 08-06-2009 06:06 AM

I don’t know if tried this dye,,_tints,_and_stains/Black_Fingerboard_Stain.html
but it works pretty well. I’ve used it to mask the brown streaks on an ebony guitar fretboard. I think it is actually a leather dye, but a lot of luthiers use it on wood.

View a1Jim's profile


117265 posts in 3747 days

#6 posted 08-06-2009 06:12 AM

Teenage has the correct approach

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View BeeJay's profile


71 posts in 3357 days

#7 posted 09-11-2009 01:09 PM

Yep agree with teenage. to bring it out to a full finish, just oil, hand rub and finish with a very good quality cabinet makers wax. I used to use metal acid dyes but dangerous and not as easy.

-- If you try to fail and succeed, what have you done?

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