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cocobolo VS macassar ebony

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ono69, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. ono69

    ono69

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    I wonder if they are used on a high-end KEN SMITH bass,which is more expencive or better?
  2. Beej

    Beej

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    At my local supplier, they are very similar in price, but the ebony tends to be more expensive...

    Edit, oops, missed the macassar part. At my local supplier macassar is about twice the cost of cocobolo and they have similar density...
  3. OriginalCrash

    OriginalCrash

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    Not sure about price or quality, but I have yet to see a piece of wood more visually stunning than macassar ebony.

    Brian
  4. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

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    I personally like the look of Cocobolo, rather than Mac.

    Cocobolo is revered for being extremely toxic because of the sap, so sanding can be treacherous to the lungs, especially sanding, planing, etc.
  5. cnltb

    cnltb

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    I like mac. a lot.
  6. eleonn

    eleonn

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    Really? What about palemoon ebony?
  7. erikbojerik

    erikbojerik

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    If mac ebony is twice the price of cocobolo where you shop, you're either getting a really good deal on the ebony or a really bad deal on the coco.

    "Better" is subjective. Ebony imparts more attack and more damping than cocobolo.
  8. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

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    Yeah, and if you think Mac is expensive, then you'd hate the price of Madagascar ebony right now. Even gabon is more than Mac. Gabon (Western Ebony) is being used as an alternative to Madagascar's government has on new export restrictions.
  9. Tdog

    Tdog

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    While Macassar is indeed beautiful, it doesn't even make it into my top 10. X-treme Curly Koa, Lacey Sheoake, figured Desert Ironwood, Red Mallee Burl, Amboyna Burl, and Thuya Burl come to mind.
  10. Beej

    Beej

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    I'm guessing this was directed at me, as I'm the only one who referred to cost.

    I'm just relaying what they charge locally for what they have in stock.

    I think its a really good deal on the mac, I've seen places online where a chunk of mac ebony is five times the cost of a comparable chunk of cocobolo...
  11. Sardine

    Sardine

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    I have not used either on an instument, but I have turned cocobolo and I have to say I love it. It is very oily though, and loads sandpaper fast.

    I didn't know mac ebony was so expensive, I recently saw a board of fantastic mac, very black and white, at my local Rockler, like ten board ft. for $80. Wish I'd bought it when I had the chance.:(

    Tdog, I hear you on the burl. Even plain burls are stunning. Rockler has several huge cardboard boxes full of them, mostly for turning but some are pretty big. I think I'll do some digging next time I'm there.:)

    Another favorite of mine is black palm. It is incredibly hard, but oddly relatively light. The grain is unbeliveable. It is either jet black with grains of white shaped like big grains of rice, or white with black grains, or some combination thereof. It does tend to chip though, and is hard to get in big pieces, so it may not be suitable for instument making.
  12. Tdog

    Tdog

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    I love Black Palm also....It can be difficult to turn at times....extremely hard to punky soft within a few millimeters. If I'm doing small turnings such as pens or bottle stoppers. I'll stabilize it first. That make life a bit easier.

    If at all possible, try not to get burl from Rockler. I know their wholesale source and Rockler really jacks up the price. I have a good source that imports direct from Australia and you will get a much better price. Nice Red Mallee...Some big enough for guitar tops! Rockler charges by the kilo and confuses a lot of people who aren't familiar with the metric system. They charge @$15/kg which works out to a little less than $7/lb. Most other sources charge $5-5.50/lb.

    PM me if you are interested in a link.....I'm not sure that it would be proper to post a free commercial!
  13. Sardine

    Sardine

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    Tdog, thanks for the heads up. I appreciate your offer for the link, but I don't like to order wood. Since my woodwork is just a hobby, I can't really justify the shipping costs. I guess burl is out for the moment.:(
  14. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

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    Sardene, turn that frown upside down.....Ebay has many many stores with wood. Keep your eyes open.
  15. ppk

    ppk

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    well i like the look of some cocobolo but i think mac ebony trumps it because i think its easyer to work with cause it doesnt turn into peanut butter when you sand it and it smells badd when you work with it my father describes it as quote "sweaty giraff crotch" unquote. plus ebony is easyer to glue
  16. bassteban

    bassteban

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    Sweaty giraffe crotch. :rolleyes: I want a bass w/a sweaty giraffe crotch top. :D
    Mine(avatar)is mac ebony, bought from TBer Bassjigga for my Stambaugh.
  17. codyAllen191

    codyAllen191

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    I just finished slotting a coco fingerboard for a build and I love how it smells...i was afraid it would bring out my asthma but I was fine:hyper:
  18. vbasscustom

    vbasscustom

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    just a question about coco. how come there doesnt seem to be any peices without knots in it? does the tree not grow very large or something?
  19. erikbojerik

    erikbojerik

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    You can get coco without knots - I personally like the flatsawn look, and the grain can be pretty wild so that it may look like knots, but is really just wild grain.

    Quartersawn it will be much more straight-grained - not as common as the flat/rift sawn, but you can find it.
  20. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

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    Erik might remember this one ;) , a nice sappy piece of coco, with a mac fingerboard.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

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