Ebony - Gluing and Bending - HELP

I have a project that involves gluing ebony to maple. What glue should I use?? Any tips?
I need to bend 1/4 inch thick ebony to about a 30 inch radius. How well does ebony bend? Should I steam it?? Any tips on steaming/ bending?
Thanks very much,
Eric
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I've used CA ("super glue") with good results on ebony. Sometimes what's needed is to put a thin coat of glue on the ebony and let this dry before doing the actual glue-up. A light sanding on the dried glue helps too (don't sand through the glue!).
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Ebony is dense, impermeable and very slightly oily (nothing like teak). Most glues will work, but don't rely on something that needs a permeable surface. I'd be slightly suspicious of neat PVA, but the yellow aliphatics are fine. Personally I use hide glue, same as most other decorative inlay work. Certainly most "modern" (i.e. anything non water-based) glues work fine: cyano, rubber contacts, epoxy.

Ebony is hard and brittle. Brittleness varies, but some can be _very_ brittle. Old, long-dried ebony is very brittle.
It's also endangered and near impossible to obtain. Most new "ebony" you can buy isn't true ebony anyway, it's one of the blackwoods (which we haven't managed to endanger yet, but we're working on it). These are less brittle, pretty good timber, but the sapwood is pale brown and you usually can't use the whole blank.
I only use old recycled ebony, and only in small pieces for decoration. Most of it is from damaged clarinets (I was given a boxful by an instrument shop when they moved).

Nice easy radius, but 1/4" is thicker ebony than I'd ever expect to have success with bending.

It doesn't! Too impermeable to get steam into it and steaming anything thicker than veneer just isn't going to happen.
I'd consider laminating your ebony to get 1/4" instead. Personally I'd probably use ebonised maple (or sycamore, locally) instead. That will bend well, ebonises nicely, and a good piece of hard maple gives a smooth surface that's hard to distinguish from ebony at this size.
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Can you provide a Reader's Digest version of ebonizing maple?
Jeff
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The wood looks black from a distance, but if you stare closely enough at it, you'll see that it's really Red underneath.
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What's worked great for me is black leather dye. I bought a bottle at my local shoe repair shop.
Joel
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Search the archives for a recipe based on vinegar and steel wool. Works great on tannin-rich timbers like oak or chestnut, but maple might need a pre-treatment with tannins first. It's all standard stuff and searchable for.
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