Ebony: Diospyros spp. Ebony wood is perhaps the most classic knife handle wood, with Pharohs of the Egyptian old kingdoms using it as far back at 5000 years ago. With its dense, fine grain capable of taking a mirror polish, silky black color and excellent hardness, ebony is a clear choice.
I stock a variety of ebony species, including:
Mun Ebony: Diospyros mun: A beautiful black/ silver and yellow ebony from S.E asia, similar to the classic Makassar ebony. This wood has beautiful subtle color and figure, ultra dense, fine grain and is more resistant to cracking and checking than black african ebony. I recently was able to find some with real birdseye figure, which is a very rare treat.
Black and white Ebony: Diospyros malabaric: Well known for its black and white stripes, this is the only ebony i regularly stabilize, as the pale areas are noticiablly less dense. A beautiful wood, capable of taking a fine polish
Makassar Ebony: Diospyros celebica: A classic striped ebony from S.E asia, the name makassar ebony is used for a huge variety of woods, but real diospyros Celebica has fine, black and chocolate striations with slight silver lines running through.
Ebony may have small cracks. I do my best to show these in photos and to price blocks accordingly, but checks happen in ebony. I recommend storing it in a cool, dry place out of sunlight and wind for a few days to a few weeks upon arrival to prevent cracking. The wood should also not be worked to hot, using only fresh belts. Any cracks can be flooded with thin CA glue to stop them spreading and to allow a smooth surface to be created.