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Common Name(s): Ebony
Botanical Name: Diospyros ebenum
Woodworking Qualities: Ebony is notorious for its dulling effect on edged tools with a reputation for being difficult to work with hand tools, as well as to machine. Pre-boring holes for nails and screws is the recommended method if nailing or screwing is required, due to the hardness of Ebony and its density rating. Take care when sawing or sanding this wood, as the sawdust is known to cause dermatitis.
Janka Rating: With a rating of 3220, Ebony excels past the majority of other woods, upward into the repository of the most durable woods available.
Species Characteristics: Ebony’s durability is characterized by its hardness, weight, and stability, all of which are ranked high amongst wood species. It also has a considerable resistance to termites.
Appearance: Fresh cut Ebony sapwood displays a pink coloring, darkening to red brown over time. The heartwood, however, shows the more popular coloring of ebony: jet black, although from time to time streaks can be present. This species has a fine texture with varying grain patterns ranging from straight to curly. The natural luster of the wood may appear somewhat metallic.
Color Change: Because of Ebony’s dark coloring, it is actually one of the few flooring materials that does not change color over time. Primarily heartwood is used, but the sapwood may exhibit a darkening of the light brown and pink tones.
Uses: Ebony’s most notorious use is as piano keys. Cutlery, tool handles, and decorative wood works are also popular, in addition to Ebony Flooring.
Ebony is native to equatorial West Africa.