although frequently advertised as "Nigerian" ebony, it is my understanding that "Gaboon" is the more correct term, although some reports say that it's just a matter of giving it a country name, such as Nigeria or Gaboon and that they're all the same "African ebony".
a couple of planks. The one on top has been sanded.
end grain and end grain closeup of the upper plank directly above. The striations are all sanding marks, not rays in the wood.
plank about 2 feet long photographed at a woodworking store
small plank and small pieces cut from a 1/8" thick sheet
turning stick and end grain closeup. Even at the 2nd enlargement you don't really see any grain pattern, just a really well-focused shot of lots of sanding scratches, both straight and orbital.
veneer --- farily rare, as the tree is small and does not lend itself to veneer production. LATER: Uh, well, since the time that I made that statement I have discovered that the veneer is less rare than I had thought.
NOTE: all of the following samples are veneer from the same flitch and I had the devil's own time getting the color correct. I finally had to settle on a correction process that made the black as good as I could get it (not quite perfect, but close) but that washed out the orange color in the sapwood and made the white background and ruler look very gray. I've added one shot of the sapwood to show it correctly.
these two are the ones in the sapwood shot directly below
because the sapwood in the rest of these pics is washed out, I've taken this shot and corrected for the sapwood color without regard to the heartwood color. The sapwood is shown in a very accurate representation of the orange color, but the heartwood is too red, which is why I could not use this correction scheme for the rest of the pics. Also this pic shows the worm holes that were fairly prevalent in the sapwood (but not the heartwood) of most of this flitch.
more veneer from the same flitch --- very little of this flitch was pure black: most of it had a distinctly visible grain. The sapwood is washed out and not shown as the true orange it really is: see the sapwood pic above this set.
plank with wet and dry sections
log --- according to the description that accompanied this, the yellowish color of the sapwood is accurate. It wasn't stated, but I assume the bark has been stipped off.
logs without bark and with the ends sealed
misc small planks
planks and turning stock listed as ebony / Diospyros crassiflora
planks listed as West African ebony / Diospyros crassiflora
plank listed as Diospyros dendo
plank listed as Madagascar (not to be confused with macassar) ebony but which might in fact be incorrectly labled since it looks a lot like macassar ebony
veneer sheet closeups with both levels of enlargement
these are from the BogusColorVendor so I assumed that the orange is bogus but I've now seen other vendors showing exactly the same color, so I guess it's real even though I've found no reference in the literature to orange streaks, just white streaks. Further note: now that I have some samples of my own from a similar flitch (see pics at the top of this page) I can see that the orange sapwood is almost correct, with just a touch too much red. The BogusColorVendor actually got something right for a rare change.
plank and closeup
two views of a bowl
bowl by Steve Earis
bowl by Bryan Nelson (NelsonWood). Bryan fine-polishes his bowls with 1200 or even higher grit sandpaper while they are spinning at high speed on the lathe and then finishes them there with a friction polish of his own devising, thus achieving a shine and color vibrancy that is beautiful to behold.