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
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.
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...)
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