Gluing Ebony: Deep, Dark Secrets Revealed.

Ebony is dense and oily and requires that certain procedures should be followed to ensure a good bond - 1998

By Kent Pitcher

Q. We are working on a project with Ebony. On the edge gluing for the pieces, can we use our RF glue machine (we use southern resin products) or can we just clamp glue with Franklin Titebond?

A. Because Ebony is extremely dense and oily there are certain procedures that should be followed to ensure a good bond. The most important consideration when gluing dense, oily woods is to use freshly machined pieces.

Immediately after machining, the wood should be glued. This will prevent as much of the wood's natural oils from interfering with the bond as possible.

Another suggestion is to wipe the surface to be glued with mineral spirits. This will help to rid the surface of any oils present.

Finally, because of the density of Ebony it may be necessary to sand the surfaces to be glued lightly before applying the adhesive. This will help your adhesive "wet" the surface.

You will probably be most successful using the Franklin Titebond you mentioned. The longer gluing time involved will allow the glue to penetrate the surface of the Ebony. There is a chance you could do it on your RF press, but if you are using a Urea Resin it will probably not give you a very good bond.