Ebony is REALLY expensive - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Ebony is REALLY expensive

I was walking around some hardware/ wood store looking for some scroll saw blades and came across this piece of ebony. Good lord I didn't realize how expensive this stuff is! It is a rather large piece but that's still an awful lot of money for a single piece for wood, I would be afraid to even get near it with a saw. They had a big box of cracked and beat to heck cut offs they were selling for twenty five dollars a pound, it was crazy. I've never worked with ebony but geez, is that really worth it? I know that Wenge sells for around twenty dollars per board foot or so last I checked, I like Wenge it's got a really nice grain pattern and man alive is it cheaper. Prices for exotic woods can get crazy, and people wonder why I just stick to the domestic species.
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 07:59 AM
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Ebony is REALLY expensive

Wow! Had no idea the cost either. Certainly may worth the cost for very special use and limited use on special commissions. Ebony, has unique properties, but due to pricing has often been substituted with man made materials. For the purist, in wood there would not be a substitute, but the project must be a heirloom when finished.


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post #3 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 08:25 AM
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$169 per board foot seems just a bit high, but a 2Ē thick piece that big is unusual. If itís jet black throughout, thatís another bonus. I use a little bit of ebony in turnings. When you want black, thereís nothing like it. Itís a bear to work and mistakes are expensive!
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 09:09 AM
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I buy Ebony for fingerboards and bridges on acoustic guitars, and yes, it is pricey. Fun to work, though.

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post #5 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 09:16 AM
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Try veneers...http://www.holdahlcompany.com/lamina...cts/woodgrains ...http://www.treefrogveneer.com/faq

Have several sheets http://www.holdahlcompany.com/cm-61104

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post #6 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 09:32 AM
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I think if you would find a hardwood lumber supplier rather than a retail store you could get it for a lot less. Find a place that supplies lumber for cabinet shops.
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 09:39 AM
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I bought a piece of ebony roughly 2x4 inches by 3 feet long for about $100 and that was 25 years ago. Been using it as accents on turnings and still have maybe a foot of it left. Sure is pretty.

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Find a place that supplies lumber for cabinet shops.
I sold custom and factory cabinetry for 2-1/2 years and never saw ebony used or offered for sale by suppliers. Not to say it wasn't used by some places. Just buy maple and paint it black?

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 01:43 PM
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Ebony is primarily used to accent a piece. Thin strips, small visible splines or a key-hole surround can really change the appearance of a project.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
I sold custom and factory cabinetry for 2-1/2 years and never saw ebony used or offered for sale by suppliers. Not to say it wasn't used by some places. Just buy maple and paint it black?
I've never seen it in kitchen cabinets but used often in furniture pieces...
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
I sold custom and factory cabinetry for 2-1/2 years and never saw ebony used or offered for sale by suppliers. Not to say it wasn't used by some places. Just buy maple and paint it black?
I'm in the Dallas area and I use Brazos Forest Products. They stock a lot of different imported lumber. They would also get it for you if they don't have it. Once more their prices are about half of what the retail stores are. http://brazosfp.com/product-category...lumber/import/
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 02:54 PM
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Local hardwood dealer and mill work shop doesn't even stock ebony, mostly due to lack of demand. He will custom order it if you want. Woodcraft has 2x2x6 pieces for $30.59. The very few times I wanted that black accent, I've soaked maple or holly strips in TransTints or Lockwoods black dye and used a non-water based glue to attach it.

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post #13 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 03:00 PM
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My supplier can get any kind of wood you want and a much lower price then Woodcrafters, I get their catalogs, but have never bough any wood from them, but have taken a pencil to their hardwoods on SALE, Walnut and Cherry run about $20-30 per bd ft, I can get it in DeKalb Tx for about $2-5 per bd ft

Pretty good mark up there, but they own the mill and kilns
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 03:55 PM
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Two sheets will clear on them ....Treefrog veneers..
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-31-2017, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Rebelwork View Post
Two sheets will clear on them ....Treefrog veneers..
Rebel,
Thanks for the tip on Treefrog. Iíd never heard of them and they have a distributor within 20 miles of me.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-02-2018, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
Ebony is primarily used to accent a piece. Thin strips, small visible splines or a key-hole surround can really change the appearance of a project.
I saved the black keys from an old piano I scrapped a few years ago, with this in mind. Also managed to salvage a lot of the ivory from the white keys; not sure what I'll do with that.
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-02-2018, 01:25 PM
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Rebel,
Thanks for the tip on Treefrog. Iíd never heard of them and they have a distributor within 20 miles of me.
Sounds good. This batch came from Italy..Bought in bulk.
I think I will cover two if not four of my MTX speakers with it. Two were damaged and need new boxes. Nice if they matched...
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