Wenge and Gaboon Floor Inlay - Ready for the first cut!

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Blog entry by Mymyripzip posted 07-16-2014 04:31 AM 1796 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently we embarked on a challenging request from a prestigious client to create a dining room table border that measures 12’ x 16’ x 1’ entirely out of wenge and Gaboon ebony. The border will go into a newly -installed floor of hand-distressed (and bleached!) American walnut. My son is the craftsman and I’m moral support, and R&D so to speak. I’ve veen in the flooring industry by marriage for many years so although I have a fairly good knowledge base on woodworking, I realize I have a ton to learn. Since this project is fascinating to me (and kind of scary!) I’m hoping we can help someone else out there, as these forums have been invaluable in our process thus far. I’ve learned all about the properties, and scarcity of the ebony.

We purchased the ebony and half of the wenge about six months ago. We’ve had it drying, carefully measuring the moisture contents along the way, and we are ready to start the milling process. Stay tuned for pictures and ongoing orogress.

3 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3482 posts in 4347 days

#1 posted 07-16-2014 05:56 AM

This sounds like a very interesting project. We look forward to following your progress.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View jordanp's profile


1086 posts in 2575 days

#2 posted 07-16-2014 03:33 PM

Sounds cool, can’t wait to see more!

-- J. Palmer Woodworks - Rockwall TX -I woke up this morning thinking “man, I really hope someone posted some soul scarring sh*t on LJs today.” -- - Billy

View savalanche's profile


1 post in 2069 days

#3 posted 08-15-2014 06:45 PM

Well, the project is done now. We intended to keep a log / blog as the project progressed and even had a 2nd entry typed a couple of times, however, it has been so busy around here yadda yadda life happened. Now, short version of my process:

Mill all my lumber to 4-S (largest possible dimentions)
Rip 4/4’’ Wenge into 1-5/16’’ strips
Resaw Wenge (resulted in roughly 3/8’‘)
Repeat above steps with Ebony except I made 170 L.F. of 1-1/2’’ for the inner and outer borders (thicknesses ranged 3/4’’ – 8/4’‘)
Plane everything down to 11/32’‘
Cut 250, 9-3/16’’ ‘fingers’ or ‘spokes’ or ‘stripes’ or what ever you want to call them of each spicies
Rip 9mm. Matrix board into 12’’ x 34-3/8’’ pieces
Make a jig for gluing/clamping the hardwood to the plywood, leaving the fingers long on both sides />After the glue dried, I put blue tape on the ends of the hard wood and trimmed both sides resulting in 9’’ stripes on 12’’ plywood
Hit every un-expected & expected bump along the way as you know that is just how it goes, that being said, we planned very well for & took our time this project and it payed off.

yeah yeah that’s great and all but the real ? is : do you have ebony scraps?
answer: HECKYEA! tell us how much you want & what you need it for and I’ll bet we can come to some kind of agreement that everyone feels good about. this is my first post on this (awesome) website so bear with me please and thank you for taking interest in our project. Pics soon!

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