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The fairy tale of jet-black ebony.

The fact that ebony is black is a widespread certainty and certainly not least known because Snow White's hair was as black as ebony in the Grimm brothers' fairy tale from 1857. Unfortunately, in reality the colour of African ebony is often a little different from that in the fairy tale, namely also grey, at least mostly streaked with grey or sometimes brown. This becomes very clear when you saw open a really old ebony trunk that is completely black on the outside.
In our company, we have a large block of ebony that has been untouched for 29 years. With its 56 kg raw weight, it was certainly not easy to hoist onto the saw, but this circumstance has probably also led to the fact that this thick lump has so far been spared from the saw.
We hoisted this mammoth log onto the planer and planed a smooth surface on one side so that the log could be safely guided past the saw.
As expected, the planed surface showed its best side, a very beautiful almost perfect black colour became visible. And as I had already foreseen, a rather grey colour became visible after the first cut, look at the photos.
The fabulous deep black colour of ebony is always a result of the ageing of the wood, like almost all woods ebony darkens under the influence of light, certainly also oxygen and fermentation processes over the years.
Oils and greases also play a major role in the development of the colour, often the sweat of the hand and the natural trace of grease from a hand that touches ebony again and again is enough to give the wood its much appreciated deep black fairytale colour. Every violin, cello or double bass has a deep black fingerboard because it is touched by the fingers and hands every time it is played.
All the more, any firing surface treatment will help grey ebony to the desired black colour very quickly, any treatment with an oil, varnish or even spirit will make this colour development immediately visible.
You will find in the photos some pictures of this thick trunk before sawing, and the expected result after the cuts through the block: especially nicely visible in picture no. 7, where the planed surface with its deep blackness lies next to the freshly cut predominantly grey striped plank and makes the strong difference clearly visible.
Perfect black ebony only exists in fairy tales. in reality after many years of patience and daily use...
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