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Sourcing wide ebony boards

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JDGA fan, Jan 24, 2005.


  1. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    NC
    Hi, Can anyone point me to a wood supplier who would be able to sell me some well-seasoned (no more than 6% moisture content) gabon (black) ebony boards for a bass project? I need a board or boards that seem to be wider than most suppliers have in stock. I need at least 4 pieces that are 19" x 6" by 1/4" in size or some variation that would allow me to cut pieces of those dimensions from it? On a related issue, is there such a thing as figured (flame) ebony? Thanks.
     
  2. galleryhardwoods.com ...larry is a great guy, call him! now! doit! doit! doit!
     
  3. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    NC
    Thanks Wilser - I will give them a try. Anyone else have any suggestions?
     
  4. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Never seen any. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I'm using some macassar ebony on a project right now. It has black and brown streaks in it. Looks cool.
     
  5. Well, I didn't know there was but I bought a piece of macassar from a vendor at last years WoodCraft show that sure as shootin' was flamey. If it wasn't macassar and streaky it probably would have been too dark to tell. but the brown streaks mixed with the black let it through. Nothing was showing on the outside and I was so glad to get the piece for what I did that I sure wasn't expecting anything when I resawed it. But after resawing the board and sanding it to thickness and then enough polish sanding to get some shine, it had about 3/4" wide waves all over it! You could've knocked me over with a feather. I ran into the house to show the wife and...

    :crickets:

    But as soon as I put the teak oil on it, the ebony darkened and the flame went away. Se la vie'

    So it does exist but it's a fleeting thing.
     
  6. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I know the reaction I have heard the crickets too....... :rollno:
     
  7. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    NC
    Look at the attached photo - which the seller described as having flame ebony facings.
     
  8. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    [HankHill voice on] What the....dangit, Peggy, I'm tellin' ya, that boy's just not right! [HankHill voice off/]
     
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Good luck finding 6" wide Gabon. Not even Larry had it last I checked. I'm having enough trouble finding 4" wide stuff.

    I've seen the invisible curl that Hambone talks about, too. It's too bad, but I think black just doesn't work with the light in the way that is required to exhibit curl. I've got some macassar that shows some curl on the lighter grey-brown streaks but not in the black.

    If you do manage to find some, drop me a line ;)
     
  10. Well, looks like he was telling the truth. The fact that he actually got the flame to show up in the pic is about a half miracle. It almost looks like there's some sort of transparent smoke clearcoat over the maple flame to give that look.
     
  11. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    NC
    Bump - still looking. Larry at galleryhardwoods was a bust, can't even get him/them to return my voicemail messages, so anyone else got any suggestions? Need four pieces of gabon (gaboon) ebony at least 6" wide and 19" long and a 1/4" thick, preferably with a moisture content of ~ 6%. Thanks.
     
  12. That's Odd. He always returns my email messages and I always get him on the phone when I call. I just bought some stuff from him last month, I even bargained for a better price and he 'playfully' agreed! But he did mention he was getting eye surgery, so I don't know if he's in the shop these days.

    Send him an email through the website, he always answers, even if he doesn't have what you want.
     
  13. Tdog

    Tdog

    May 18, 2004
  14. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    NC
    Wilser - I did eventually reach Larry and he could not help (guess e-mail was the way to go from the start). Thanks Tdog - I will give Hearne a try next week.
     
  15. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Larry had been away or busy with something but he seems to be reappearing. Last I checked he did not have 6" wide boards but ya never know.

    I recently contacted Hearne and they had some boards 4" wide but they did not indicate whether they had wider. I would be very surprised if the 10-12" wide pieces listed on their web site were black ebony and not macassar.
     
  16. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    NC
    Sadly, Larry had none, nor did Hearne. Guess I will have to rethink my project; does not seem to be anything available at 6+ inches width.
     
  17. have you considered using a different wood? maybe have it stabilized?
     
  18. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Maybe you can use a swartzia (like wamara) or wenge...
     
  19. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    NC
    I could, but I had my heart set on a design like the Sei bass shown in the picture shown in post # 7 above. Really wanted to use satin finished ebony instead of black paint.
     
  20. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I'm going to a hardwood place this weekend, let me see what I can scare up...I'll be looking for ebony as well. Don't give up hope just yet...