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Author Topic: Ebony - Where to purchase  (Read 887 times)

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Offline wesdor

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Ebony - Where to purchase
« on: January 02, 2021, 11:36:02 PM »
A friend in Denmark contacted me today asking for assistance in finding a small amount of Ebony.  
Here is the short story.  He purchased a mantel clock built around 1600.  The woman who sold it to him was willing to sell it only because he would put it back in working order and near original form.  It had been in a fire and was in bad shape.  So far he has the clock works functioning and has built the corners of the case out of oak.  He asked me for help in locating Ebony veneer to finish the case of the clock - it does need to be black.  He needs something about 30 x 10 cm and it can be veneer or he can cut it if thicker wood.

I hope that someone reading this might point me in the right direction to find Ebony for the project.  Shipping to Denmark will likely be costly for what is already a costly piece of wood, but if we get Covid under control, I will be returning to Denmark in August and can take it with me.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.  

Offline btulloh

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Re: Ebony - Where to purchase
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2021, 08:45:22 AM »
That's a tough one.  It would probably be easier to buy and ship plutonium.  It would have to come from private stock and would require proper certificates of origin to ship across borders.  Obtaining certification is challenging, and then it's not always honored.  His best bet would be to find something to reclaim that's already in country.

Ebony and rosewood are subject to all sorts of international laws and are basically unavailable commercially.  I have a lot of friends that travel internationally with vintage guitars and these require certificates to clear customs.  Even then it's not automatic or easy and can end up with impounded instruments and a lot of red tape to recover.  It has gotten a little better, but it is still problematic and can be unpredictable.

These days, people are using dyed woods to simulate ebony.  There are good techniques for selecting wood and dyeing to simulate ebony.  Probably not what he wants to do, but things are tough in the ebony department right now.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Ebony - Where to purchase
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2021, 09:05:16 AM »
There's a company outside of San Diego that is one of the favorite suppliers for custom instrument makers called Tropical Exotic Hardwoods.  They are listing some ebony for sale.  It must be legal, and they would probably know the ins and outs of shipping to most countries.  Besides that, they have some awesome stuff (with awesome prices).  Here's a link:

Ebony Lumber LE10 | Tropical Exotic Hardwoods


Online Southside

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Re: Ebony - Where to purchase
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2021, 10:38:39 AM »
I know @YellowHammer has some exotics - maybe he can help.  
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Online YellowHammer

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Re: Ebony - Where to purchase
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2021, 01:24:26 PM »
Ebony is off and on again, rosewood is open now, I've got some of that.  I don't have ebony right now, but know where you can get some.  Send me a PM and I'll forward their contact info.


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If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

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Offline Larry

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Re: Ebony - Where to purchase
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2021, 05:32:21 PM » has it.  A friend bought a long billet there last month.  It couldn't have any grain run out for his project.  The staff searched the warehouse until they came up with the perfect piece.  I call that outstanding customer service. 
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline danielb

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Re: Ebony - Where to purchase
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2021, 09:27:36 PM »
Willard Bros. in Trenton NJ

Offline DonW

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Re: Ebony - Where to purchase
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2021, 09:55:33 AM »
Do you know how easy it is to get ebony in Europe? I once stepped into a back storage of a lumber yard where I get wood which was full of crates and crates of the stuff, and these were not small pieces either. In France the word for cabinetmaker is ebeniste. It is a strange thing that someone in Denmark is looking to the United States for sourcing his ebony. 
Hjartum yxa, nothing less than breitbeil/bandhacke combo.

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