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Any ebony out there


Any ebony out there

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Any ebony out there

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Whether conscious of it or not, just about the entire world loves dark colored woods—and the darker, the better. So, what happens when you mix a strong global demand with small and slow-growing trees? Ebony is cut in Africa to be sold to people like us, to make things like guitars out of. But at the very least, everyone who buys, uses or makes ebony wood products should be aware of the situation, and make informed, conscientious decisions.

This is precisely what ebony is used for. No one is going to make an enormous office table out of solid ebony, but that same office table may very well feature a custom inlay made of ebony. More often than not, ebony is used bit by bit, and you might be the one using that next bit.

On a personal note, I am a woodworker myself, and yes, I have bought and used ebony for a variety of projects in the past. Was I aware of the scope of the situation surrounding ebony at the time? Knowing what I know now, would I still buy and use ebony? Demand for ebony wood is very high: Low supply and high demand means prices go way up. Ideally, most modern industrialized nations harvest wood in such a way that it is sustainable.

Certain areas are logged at certain rates to ensure that there will still be trees around to harvest and use for tomorrow. Gaboon Ebony Diospyros crassiflora. Mun Ebony Diospyros mun. One of a handful of ebony species that are native to Asia: Macassar Ebony Diospyros celebica. So named for the Indonesian port-city of Makassar, which is one of the primary points of exportation. Being a striped variety of ebony, it is not always considered a direct replacement to African ebony species, and is not considered to be as imperiled as other ebonies.

Wenge is another African hardwood whose natural range largely overlaps that of Gaboon Ebony. Wenge is not related to ebony, but is a very dark wood that turns nearly black when a finish is a applied, and has been considered as a direct replacement to ebony. Peruvian Walnut Juglans neotropica. Perhaps the most fitting name would be Tropical Walnut, yet the term Peruvian Walnut is commonly used among hardwood dealers, even though the wood may not always technically come from Peru.

The name Nogal is also used on occasion, which is Spanish for Walnut. African Blackwood Dalbergia melanoxylon. To be considered the original ebony, African Blackwood was imported and used in Ancient Egypt thousands of years ago.

While not at risk biologically, commercially only ten to twenty percent of mature trees are suitable for exportation, and harvesting is frequently done at an unsustainable rate. Alternatives In some instances, the desire to use true ebony makes sense, but in many cases, the usage of ebony is needlessly perpetuated out of tradition or habit. Is the section one solid piece of wood? Black-dyed veneers can also be a good choice for some applications. Oak can be ebonized using a solution of steel wool and vinegar, and multiple applications of commercial ebony-colored stains are effective on a wide range of woods as well.

Does it really have to be wood? The very best and highest grades of ebony are jet-black—free from any traces of color variations, perceptible grain patterns, or imperfections—ironically making it identical in appearance to black plastic. And chances are, most laypeople and customers unfamiliar with ebony will have no appreciation for the real-deal anyway.

Does it really need to be jet-black? This should be the dagger. This is a diamond in the rough. It usually has a lot of sapwood included in most boards. It has a pronounced purplish hue, which contrasts yellowish woods well. Black Palm Borassus flabellifer. Black Palm is economical, sustainable, beautiful, and in a lot of instances, would probably serve the same aesthetic function as ebony—and do it in a more organic and natural-looking way.

Perfect for single, one-of-a-kind, custom projects. Ipe has a lot of color variation between boards, but darker reddish-brown pieces are available. The wood is dense, strong, and economical, though it does pose challenges in gluing.

Hobbyists have experimented with cooking small pieces of Purpleheart in an oven to naturally darken the color. Black Walnut Juglans nigra. Walnut can lose a lot of color in the kiln-dying process. Air-dried pieces of walnut can have exceptionally rich color with subtle variegations of purple and red mixed within a chocolate-brown background. Not all walnut is created equal, and with a little bit of hunting, some very nice pieces can be found. Texas Ebony Ebenopsis ebano.

Texas Ebony can have very dark colors and interesting streaks and grain patterns. However, the wood is quite expensive, and available only in very small sizes. Bog Oak Quercus spp. Given the source dredged up from swamps , Bog Oak is extremely expensive, and only available in very limited sizes and quantities. Although not practical on a large-scale production level, many custom furniture makers and other woodworkers would be well served to simply keep their eyes open during their visits to lumberyards and wood suppliers.

Spotting some mineral-stained or otherwise abnormally dark wood is a more common occurrence than one might expect. One simple example of this is mineral-stained Yellow Poplar sold at hardware stores, sometimes called Rainbow Poplar. To the left is a picture of Southern Magnolia with some very dark heartwood.

Are you an aspiring wood nerd? I have amassed over wood species on a single poster, arranged into eight major geographic regions, with each wood sorted and ranked according to its Janka hardness. Each wood has been meticulously documented and photographed, listed with its Janka hardness value in lbf and geographic and global hardness rankings.

Aspiring wood nerds be advised: Nevertheless, the tree clearly has a growth rate adequate to supply lumber dependably, and is perhaps just in need of production techniques. The heartwood is medium to dark reddish brown, and the sapwood is light colored like African and Asian ebonies. Also, just as an FYI, I have several largish ebony carvings that my father brought back from west Africa after World War II, and though they are ebony they have very obviously been colored black.

Fumed oak ammonia from barn animal urine in medieval times has reached a new level with vacuum processing with turnaround times of 4 to 5 weeks. The more tannin the darker, same chocolate ranges from dark golden brown to almost jet black follow natural grain and flaking patterns. At the moment most oak cut by tree removal companies is chipped or at best used as firewood.

Meanwhike, the same white oak in a controlled forest in Germany still produces year old trees six hubdred years adter becoming a managed forest and has fuming in full production.

Meanwhile Americans pay big bucks to have large white oak trees removed and chipped. We are every bit as bad as those third world countries. Look what we did to Redwood and red cedar guants: I asked the arborist to save the trunk when he removed one from my property due to crowding of other trees as it grew faster and larger than expected.

The wood is identical to the best European pear lumber and veneer I have purchased. All these trees go into the chippet, hundreds every day. We only had to look inside. Local wood merchant thought I was ridiculous and laughed when I told him this and shiwed photos of both woods sude by side. Yet he sells holly for top dollar, most expensive under ebony and a few exotics. Last time I asked him if he coukd get European oear wood.

Pearwood, when you can get it, is priced above purpleheart, mahogany and padauk, and if larger than usual and figured rises to match Indian Rosewood. It is extremely common today, growing in planned landscaoes, parking lot dividers, and along streets by the millions.

But instead of selling it they are determined to chip it. At the least it surpasses cherry as firewood. We should be smarter than this. This is a business opportunity for someone willing to get on to thus.

Did I mention that stained pearwood has been the best ebony substitute in Europe for hundreds of years. I sell old woodworking tools and many from 50 to to years old used ebony or rosewood. My concern now is that these can be considered non-saleable due to CITES listing and their history and use may be destroyed with no help in conserving the forests now.

I have also had customers visiting countries to find the listed woods now have no economic value so are used as firewood. If you need really dark thing, use any wood from Prunus genus. Just stain-it-through using the same process as the nature does with bog oak — soak it in iron salts. Depending on initial tannin content in your species, additional pre-soaking in tannin solution may be required.

After that you may cut it, carve it and sand it — first it may appear whitish, but when you fine-sanded and polished it, black colour returns! Sometimes though whitish streaks may persist — consider it as a bonus variation. Finishing oil or lacquer will further blacken things. Our biggest market currently is for black tips on gunstocks.

In Tanzania, villages practice sustainable management of African Blackwood Dalbergia melanoxylon. Income from the sale of this and other woods goes into community development and back into forest management.

Ebony: Dark Outlook For Dark Woods? | The Wood Database

It usually has a lot of sapwood included in most boards. It has a pronounced purplish hue, which contrasts yellowish woods well. Black Palm Borassus flabellifer. Black Palm is economical, sustainable, beautiful, and in a lot of instances, would probably serve the same aesthetic function as ebony—and do it in a more organic and natural-looking way. Perfect for single, one-of-a-kind, custom projects. Ipe has a lot of color variation between boards, but darker reddish-brown pieces are available.

The wood is dense, strong, and economical, though it does pose challenges in gluing. Hobbyists have experimented with cooking small pieces of Purpleheart in an oven to naturally darken the color.

Black Walnut Juglans nigra. Walnut can lose a lot of color in the kiln-dying process. Air-dried pieces of walnut can have exceptionally rich color with subtle variegations of purple and red mixed within a chocolate-brown background. Not all walnut is created equal, and with a little bit of hunting, some very nice pieces can be found. Texas Ebony Ebenopsis ebano. Texas Ebony can have very dark colors and interesting streaks and grain patterns.

However, the wood is quite expensive, and available only in very small sizes. Bog Oak Quercus spp. Given the source dredged up from swamps , Bog Oak is extremely expensive, and only available in very limited sizes and quantities. Although not practical on a large-scale production level, many custom furniture makers and other woodworkers would be well served to simply keep their eyes open during their visits to lumberyards and wood suppliers. Spotting some mineral-stained or otherwise abnormally dark wood is a more common occurrence than one might expect.

One simple example of this is mineral-stained Yellow Poplar sold at hardware stores, sometimes called Rainbow Poplar. To the left is a picture of Southern Magnolia with some very dark heartwood. Are you an aspiring wood nerd? I have amassed over wood species on a single poster, arranged into eight major geographic regions, with each wood sorted and ranked according to its Janka hardness.

Each wood has been meticulously documented and photographed, listed with its Janka hardness value in lbf and geographic and global hardness rankings. Aspiring wood nerds be advised: Nevertheless, the tree clearly has a growth rate adequate to supply lumber dependably, and is perhaps just in need of production techniques.

The heartwood is medium to dark reddish brown, and the sapwood is light colored like African and Asian ebonies. Also, just as an FYI, I have several largish ebony carvings that my father brought back from west Africa after World War II, and though they are ebony they have very obviously been colored black.

Fumed oak ammonia from barn animal urine in medieval times has reached a new level with vacuum processing with turnaround times of 4 to 5 weeks. The more tannin the darker, same chocolate ranges from dark golden brown to almost jet black follow natural grain and flaking patterns. At the moment most oak cut by tree removal companies is chipped or at best used as firewood. Meanwhike, the same white oak in a controlled forest in Germany still produces year old trees six hubdred years adter becoming a managed forest and has fuming in full production.

Meanwhile Americans pay big bucks to have large white oak trees removed and chipped. We are every bit as bad as those third world countries.

Look what we did to Redwood and red cedar guants: I asked the arborist to save the trunk when he removed one from my property due to crowding of other trees as it grew faster and larger than expected. The wood is identical to the best European pear lumber and veneer I have purchased. All these trees go into the chippet, hundreds every day.

We only had to look inside. Local wood merchant thought I was ridiculous and laughed when I told him this and shiwed photos of both woods sude by side. Yet he sells holly for top dollar, most expensive under ebony and a few exotics. Last time I asked him if he coukd get European oear wood. Pearwood, when you can get it, is priced above purpleheart, mahogany and padauk, and if larger than usual and figured rises to match Indian Rosewood. It is extremely common today, growing in planned landscaoes, parking lot dividers, and along streets by the millions.

But instead of selling it they are determined to chip it. At the least it surpasses cherry as firewood. We should be smarter than this. This is a business opportunity for someone willing to get on to thus. Did I mention that stained pearwood has been the best ebony substitute in Europe for hundreds of years.

I sell old woodworking tools and many from 50 to to years old used ebony or rosewood. My concern now is that these can be considered non-saleable due to CITES listing and their history and use may be destroyed with no help in conserving the forests now. I have also had customers visiting countries to find the listed woods now have no economic value so are used as firewood. If you need really dark thing, use any wood from Prunus genus. Just stain-it-through using the same process as the nature does with bog oak — soak it in iron salts.

Depending on initial tannin content in your species, additional pre-soaking in tannin solution may be required. Ebony is a dense black hardwood , most commonly yielded by several different species in the genus Diospyros , which also contains the persimmons.

Ebony is dense enough to sink in water. It is finely-textured and has a very smooth finish when polished, making it valuable as an ornamental wood. Species of ebony include Diospyros ebenum Ceylon ebony , native to southern India and Sri Lanka ; Diospyros crassiflora Gabon ebony , native to western Africa ; and Diospyros celebica Makassar ebony , native to Indonesia and prized for its luxuriant, multi-colored wood grain.

Mauritius ebony, Diospyros tessellaria , was largely exploited by the Dutch in the 17th century. Some species in the genus Diospyros yield an ebony with similar physical properties, but striped rather than evenly black Diospyros ebenum. Ebony has a long history of use, with carved pieces having been found in Ancient Egyptian tombs.

By the end of the 16th century, fine cabinets for the luxury trade were made of ebony in Antwerp. The wood's dense hardness lent itself to refined moldings framing finely detailed pictorial panels with carving in very low relief bas-relief , usually of allegorical subjects, or with scenes taken from classical or Christian history.

Modern uses are largely restricted to small items, such as crucifixes , and musical instrument parts, including black piano and harpsichord keys, violin , viola , mandolin , guitar , double bass , and cello fingerboards, tailpieces , pegs , chinrests , and bow frogs.

Many plectra , or guitar picks, are made from this black wood. Traditionally, the black pieces in chess sets were made from ebony, with rare boxwood or ivory being used for the white pieces. Modern East Midlands-style lace-making bobbins , also being small, are often made of ebony and look particularly decorative when bound with brass or silver wire.

Due to its strength, many handgun grips and rifle fore-end tips are made of ebony, as are the butts of pool cues. Ferguson, who previously served as editor-in-chief for Jones Magazine, a fashion and beauty magazine for women of color, opened the Los Angeles office for Ebony Media when she took the helm of Jet in February. Formerly a weekly digest, Jet became a digital-only publication in but is set to return to print on a quarterly basis this year.

The magazine targets an urban millennial audience. Founded by John Johnson, Ebony has been the centerpiece of a Chicago publishing dynasty for more than 70 years. Gibson said there are no plans to change the format of Ebony, which has documented and shaped African-American culture throughout its history, coming of age as it reported from the front lines of the Civil Rights movement during the s in powerful photos and prose.

Its recent history has been somewhat rockier as the publisher struggled to adapt to the evolving digital media landscape. Those included taking on a minority partner in and taking the money-losing weekly digest Jet out of print circulation. The historic collection spans seven decades of African-American history, chronicling everyone from Martin Luther King Jr.

Not once has EBONY stated "for Blacks only" in any issue of the magazine. EBONY very few, if any, African-Americans pictured or mentioned in their articles?. Formerly a weekly digest, Jet became a digital-only publication in Gibson said there are no plans to change the format of Ebony, which. Then we move into another country, and we take their ebony till it's all gone. Why do I say 'we'?—because ebony isn't cut in Africa for use by Africans. Ebony is.