Advice on working with Ebony

Greetings All, I'm putting up some door and window casings, using ebony inserts to give kind of an Asian twist. Hopefully, the ebony will make it appear as if the components are pegged together. They will be app 1x1 and stand proud about 1/8". I bought a piece of African Ebony (as labeled by the wood dealer) for US $50. As it sat on the shelf, it was covered with something like wax, maybe it actually was wax... What is the reason for the coating? Anything in particular to pay attention to while sawing/planing/routing? This stuff seems pretty damn dense. Thanks, Mark
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Ebony is dense, hard and brittle. It is not waxy.
The denser a wood, generally the harder it is to dry. Much exotic wood - especially those pieces cut for woodturners - are sold green and protected with a heavy wax coat. The wax slows the drying process and cuts down on checking. If yours is still green, you might let it dry before using it.
John Martin
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Mark,
I've often seen small blocks of ebony coated with wax. I can only assume it's to added to protect the wood. At $50.00 a board foot, it probably makes sense to protect it. As John said, it's hard and brittle. The best advise I can give you applies to any wood: make sure you tune your saw. If your blade's not parallel to the fence, you're really going to notice it when you rip that ebony. (And you'll probably curse - or mild explicatives as the case maybe - when you try to sand those babies out...)
Jeff
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That makes sense about the wax, esp to slow down the drying process... Thanks
wrote:

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Make sure your saw blade is "SHARP". If you have to cut much it won't be when you are done.
--
Patrick Fischer
Olalla, WA
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