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Texas Ebony is probably my favorite wood to turn. It's pretty hard to come by even here in Texas, but it sure is pretty. Texas Ebony trees are VERY slow growing, kind of messy with droppings, and kind of thorny as well. The only wood I have come by is from way down south texas in the Rio Grande Valley area.

Here are two small boxes I turned out of a nice little piece. You can see some nice spalting in the sapwood. Sometimes the wood is very dark, but others it just has rich chocolate tones.

I rough carved both of these boxes and let them sit for a little over a year to stabilize. Worked well as they have nice and subtle vacuum fits.

I'm curious if other LJs out there have come across or ever used this type of wood before?

Cheers,
Richard

Gallery

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very nice .. really like the color of the wood
 

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Nice shapes and designs. Really like the colors in the wood. Great job.

Keep it up.

Scrappy
 

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I'm from Dallas, but my husband is from McAllen area. Think I can find any down there? Maybe I can get something useful out of my next visit to the in-laws?
 

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Deedee,
McAllen is a perfect area to look for Texas Ebony. They even have a nature center there where you can see these trees and know what to search for. BTW, another very interesting wood from that area to keep an eye out for is called Huisache. Huisache is typically a short scrubby tree with yellow flowers (also called Sweet Acacia though I've never heard anyone in texas call it that :) Good luck in your search!

-Richard
 

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I live in Mission. I have a small mill operation, its more personal but I like meeting new people with wood craft interests and your welcome to stop by.
 

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Great turnings I've never seen any in person
 

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Texas ebony also grows on both sides of the AZ-Sonora border. The only piece i ever found was from a landscape tree in Tucson. It was not as dense as ironwood, but denser than oak, with grain like ironwood. Related leguminous species. I have found excellent but expensive chunks of ironwood through McBeath. If amyone finds a source for Texas ebony please post! Nice projects and posts!
 

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Never heard of it before, but it is beautiful! Great job!
 

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Thanks VanLewis, it is definitely hard to come by - I've got a couple of small pieces before from friends down in south texas, and have seen a couple of chunks every now and then in Woodworking shops here in Austin.

I believe LJ member BlueStingrayBoots runs a milling operation down in south texas and may have some of this for sale…here is one of his old posts with a picture of just how beautiful the slab lumber is. I definitely have to think up a project for one of these some day:

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/1593
 

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I've made several cane handles with Texas Ebony and I purchased a few logs from BlueStingRayBoots. You want to specify if you want more solid brown wood or if you like the wide variety of gold/brown colors. I like the veins of gold running through the brown heartwood as it has a lot of character. I've just recently finished a cane if you care to take a look at my projects page.

BTW: Nice turnings!
 

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Texas Ebony I Love it. There are two slightly different names for this species: Pithecolobium or Pithecellobium which is Greek for monkey and ear-ring. It is known as Texas Ebony, Mexican Ebony, False Acacia, or Ebony Blackbead. Flowers generally occur at the ends of branches. The leaves are small, dark green.

Height: Up to about 30 feet.
Flowers: Dense, plume-like spikes of very fragrant, light yellow to white blossoms at the ends of branches. Enjoyed by bees.
Blooming Time: June to August.
Stems/Trunks : An attractive gray smooth trunk; the stems have small curved thorns.
Leaves: The leaves are small, dark green, bi-pinnate (compound), arranged on a 1 inch to 2 inch long stems. Leaves fold up at night or in subdued sunlight.
Seed Pod: A dark brown to black, woody seed capsule four to six inches long, maturing in mid to late summer. hanging on till late spring the next year. Seeds are dark red - brown.
Elevation: 0 - 3000 Feet.
Habitat: Low elevation landscaping in Arizona. Native to Texas and Mexico.
I do have some of it in my woodshop. I'll get it out and see what I can come up with. It is a very very dense wood. Even the sapwood is dense. A Good solid heartwood is considered "prime" wood as the older trees usually have the heart rot from the pith out. However, not on all. One of the rare trees where heartwood sometimes on rare occasions is white inside the outer limits of the dark heartwood. Which makes for interesting turnings. An interesting story, My Grandfather once told me, when he was young, he built fences out of "Ebano Blackbead", and said he had to "soak the nails in oil the night before" for them to penetrate the wood. One of those stories, that I just nod my head yes, and quietly laugh under my breath. Yes sir , Grandfather…...
 

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Leo, Great background and especially the story about your Grandfather. It reminded me of a story an old farmer told me back in the southeast about the bodark (osage orange) fence posts that he had planted…he said "you plant the pole, and put a rock on top, when the rock has worn completely away…it's time to put in a new post" :)

I think there are probably lots of interesting domestic wood species that don't get much woodworking attention…I've come across some other surprises such as Texas Persimmon, Madrone, Texas Mountain Laurel, Crepe Myrtle Roots, etc. None of these would work well for large scale projects, but make interesting turnings or smaller boxes, etc.
 

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Charles:

BlueStingRayBoots here on Lumberjocks, Usually has some Texas Ebony for sale. I've bought some pen blanks from him.
 

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My first posting. I am seeking advise on how to harvest a world champion south texas ebony tree. I have property in cammeron county with many large ebony trees. One old dinasoar is in the way of a new barn. I wish to learn how to cut, dry and process the usable product. Thanks for your advise. Bruce
 

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Hi Bruce, Welcome to LJ's. Sent you a PM about the texas ebony. Definitely a prize to have an old one available. Several people on LJ are particularly skilled in the art of harvesting and milling wood. I consider myself a rank amateur especially for such a valuable tree! I know BlueStingRayBoots on this thead has harvested and milled Texas Ebony before and perhaps he can provide some good advice.
Please post some pics of the process!
Thanks,
Richard
 

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Hello! You rang? 8 )

Are you gonna bulldoze it?

Once you have the limbs and trunk cut to length size, you'll need some anchor seal. To protect as much as possible brush on more sealer every 2 months. Paint will even work. Spray with insecticide. The bark will peal off or fall of eventually after about 6 months. Then mill it into pieces you can work with. Those pieces will require sealer or I use shrink wrap. Then store in a shaded place till you need um. after about 6 months you can remove shrink wrap and they wont check anymore. They will be dry and stable. But you will need to check um occasionally to see how the drying process is going, it varies. Ebony trees in humid areas or very old ones have more softwood in centers. the softwood is useless so dont save it while milling. Good luck. Oh, and this wood is toxic so careful while you mill and sand. Seems the more beautiful something is the more deadly it becomes. Mesquite is much sweeter.
 

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Thanks for your post Bluestingrayboots

I have a place on the Arroya Colorado. You are in Mission about 50 miles away. I am not going to bulldoze.
This is a magnificant tree that is in the way of a new barn and has to go in the next few weeks.
A few questions?
What is the proper length size?
Are all surfaces sealed or just the cuts?
Where do you buy shrink wrap? Is this plastic sheeting?
What type of insecticide do you use?
"After 6 months you can remove shrink wrap and they won't check anymore" Please explain what this means
After 6 months milling can take place?
Will you consider milling the tree.
What is the time process after milling to completely cure the wood?
Thanks for your time here with such a rookie.
I will be back in the valley in a week or so. Perhaps I could visit you in Mission.

Thanks Bruce
 
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