Also known as: Kanran, Kukuo (Gambia), Mgiriti, Msindi (Tanzania), Nyareti (Nigeria), Omenowa (Ghana)Origin:
Equatorial West AfricaAppearance:
When freshly cut, the sapwood of African ebony is pink-colored, but darkens to a pale red brown; whereas the heartwood shows a uniform jet-black or black-brown color, sometimes with streaks. Ebony has a very fine texture, with the grain ranging from straight to slightly interlocked, or even moderately curly. The luster of this wood may have an almost metallic appearance.Resistance, Durability:
An attractive and popular wood with many decorative uses, ebony is notably hard, heavy, and strong, and also very resistant to termite attack.Janka Hardness: 3220
As a flooring choice, ebony is an incredibly hard and durable one. It is over two thirds harder than merbau, is roughly one hundred and twenty-two percent harder than hard maple, over ninety-seven percent harder than wenge, and just over forty-six percent harder than santos mahogany's ranking of 2200.Workability:
This highly durable wood is difficult to work with either machine or hand tools, due to its relative hardness; and, as any contractor or builder can tell you, it has a pronounced dulling effect on tool edges. It usually requires pre-drilling to nail or screw. However, it finishes to a naturally dark and polished surface. Note that prolonged exposure to ebony sawdust may cause dermatitis.Main Uses:
Besides being used in hardwood flooring and inlaid work, ebony can be found in piano keys and other musical instruments, cutlery and tool handles, decorative carvings, and turnery.