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While visiting family in Oregon recently I stopped in at Woodcrafts of Portland.  They had a bin of Brazilian Ebony on sale.  Anyone ever used this wood?

Price was a fraction of Gabon Ebony.  The wood is very hard, fine grained and black.  Not as fine and black as true ebony but very close.  It does have a visible grain when you look closely at it and the color is not as black as ebony.  However after smoothing up a small piece and finishing it with a clear coat it looks good.

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I'm not familiar with this wood - had to look it up.  Brazilian Ebony, Swartiza tomentosa vs. the various species of "real" ebony, all from the genus Diospyros.  So we are not talking about a variety of ebony, but something that resembles it.  Very dark brown to nearly black with not so dark streaks.  Newly cut wood is yellow/orange until it oxidizes to the dark color.  It works well.  Dust hazard was listed as unknown - don't take this to mean there isn't one; protect yourself. 

 

The highest quality ebony will be solid black but will still have streaks/pockets of brown that will decrease the yield of solid black wood.  You must protect your self from ebony dust.  The oil in most most tropical hardwoods makes gluing problematic unless you wipe the surface to be glued with acetone just before the glue is applied.

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In chasing links for this wood, it reads as though it would be insanely difficult to cut or rip or slice as hard as it is. I suspect doing much of it will effect the cutting edges of the tools used. This is a hidden cost.

There is not all that much that is black as far as deck furniture. 

Topside planking will involve a lot of ripping.  Wales, especially top and butt or anchor stock involve a lot of cutting.

This hardness may lend it to being worth it for miniature scale models.

 

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4 hours ago, Jaager said:

In chasing links for this wood, it reads as though it would be insanely difficult to cut or rip or slice as hard as it is. I suspect doing much of it will effect the cutting edges of the tools used. This is a hidden cost.

There is not all that much that is black as far as deck furniture. 

Topside planking will involve a lot of ripping.  Wales, especially top and butt or anchor stock involve a lot of cutting.

This hardness may lend it to being worth it for miniature scale models.

 

I have found that to be very true. I have one blade that I only used for ebony as the wood leaves a serious stain on the metal.  Luckily, I don't cut much ebony even though I have a stock of it that was rough cut.

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