Macassar Ebony is a beautiful and highly sought-after wood species, with a unique black heartwood, streaked with red or brown, and sometimes other shades of brown or yellow. The grain is typically straight, but can be wavy or irregular, and the texture is fine and smooth, giving the wood a glossy, metallic sheen. Macassar Ebony is a very versatile timber, suitable for a variety of uses, including cabinetmaking, furniture, carving and more. It is one of the few woods that can be sustainably sourced, so if you can find it, you can be sure that it is from a legal and ethical source.
Diospyros celebica, commonly known as Macassar Ebony, is a unique and highly sought-after wood species. Its heartwood is black, with red or brown streaks, and occasionally other shades of brown or yellow. The grain is typically straight, but can be wavy or irregular, and the texture is fine and smooth, giving the wood a glossy, metallic sheen. Macassar Ebony is a very versatile timber, suitable for a variety of uses, including cabinetmaking, furniture, carving and more. It is
Syn.: D. Macassar; Also Called: Coromandel, Indian Ebony, Calamander Wood, Camagon, Temru, Tendu, Timbruni, Tunki. D. Tomentosa, D. Marmorata, D. Melanoxylon And D. Ebenum Are Similar Species With Slightly Different Characteristics
Ebony (Macassar) wood is moderately durable
The drying and seasoning of Ebony (Macassar) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Ebony (Macassar) - should be seasoned slowly and the trees are sometimes girdled for two years prior to felling. Deep, long, fine checks can develop and fast drying may bring about surface and end checks. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.
Macassar Ebony is a very dense, very hard and very heavy wood. The black heart is usually brittle. Due to its hardness and brittleness, Macassar Ebony is very challenging to work with both hand and machine tools. Pre-drilling is always required for nailing and screwing and the wood has a fairly severe blunting effect on tools. Gluing is rated as satisfactory to challenging but the wood turns well and can be brought to an excellent finish.
Furniture, Flooring, Musical Instruments, Staircases, Inlays, Cabinetry, Handles, Chess Pieces, Bridges
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)
Commonly asked questions about Macassar Ebony Wood
Is Ebony a hardwood or a softwood? Ebony is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Macassar Ebony hardwood or softwood? - Macassar Ebony is a hardwood.
Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Ebony family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.
What colour is Macassar Ebony? Macassar Ebony can be described as black/very dark brown, dark brown
Is Macassar Ebony good for outdoor use? or is Macassar Ebony good for exterior use? Macassar Ebony is most suited for internal/interior use. Macassar Ebony should not be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).
Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood