The history of ebony wood often includes many references to its magical properties. Ebony wood has been used in the making of goblets for hundreds of years. Many thought it would be an anecdote for poisons that might exist within. It was even used for the handles of Samurai swords, to offer greater power to the bearer. Today it is an exotic wood for turners and yes, the occasional magician….
Some customers use the gaboon ebony wood to make magical wands and have found a booming market with those that believe that it helps to focus their power. Others have created amulets to hang around their necks believing it gives them an added level of protection.
But most of us just love the wood as a feature strip in our woodworking crafts. The Gaboon ebony is the one member of the family that is generally a pure black with occasional reddy brown streaks. It adds a dramatic flair when laminated with other woods and then turned to make bottle stoppers, napkin rings, knife handles and various forms of jewelry.
I particularly like it as an edging strip on all my small boxes. Create a one piece wood box and then route out a small quarter inch square rabbet on all the corners. Then gluing in an ebony inlay into this notch gives the box corners amazing durability and a designer appearance.
The wood is so dense that your tools need to be especially sharp, but then cuts like a charm creating super fine dust particles. It is for this reason that wearing a dust mask to protect your lungs is especially important, but the effort is worth it when you see the amazing sheen it takes on with careful attention to finishing.
You do have to take special precautions in laminating it with other lighter woods to prevent transfer of a black film that can muddy the brightness of the neighbourhood species. I do have a few suggestions on my website at thewoodbox.com.
I encourage you to add gaboon ebony wood to your list of woods to try, if only in small quantities for jewelry or boxes. It is like no other and should be on every woodies “to use” list.
Source by Karen Lacasse