finger boards

finger boards



Our standard choice of material for fingerboards is Macassar Ebony. Macassar Ebony comes from the Celebes Islands, the Sulawesi Islands and eastern Indonesia. Its botanical name is Diospyros celebica.

The timber has a very attractive appearance showing black and a greyish brown stripe with sometimes hints of purple, red and pink. The grain is generally straight but has often some movement in it which adds to the beauty. An absolute horror to work, tools lose their edge almost instantly, saws are blunted and abrasives are quickly reduced to polishing cloths. But, on a positive note, these characteristics make for a very hard wood which is stable and has a fine resonance. Finishing with scrapers and burnishing with wire-wool produces a fabulous lustrous surface which your fingers will glide across as if through air.

Undoubtedly fine virtues for such a critical part of a stringed instrument, but not the whole picture for our preference for this material, there are other reasons too!

Extraction is strictly supervised by the Government and heavy taxes are imposed on every cubic metre produced. As the ongoing welfare of the local population is dependant to a large extent on the condition of the forests, they have an intrinsic interest in maintaining their integrity.

Growing on the whole high up on steep craggy mountains or in deep valleys in between logging is carried out manually with chainsaws and brought out of the forest by teams of men and/or animals. When it rains, which is frequent and very heavy nothing can be done in any event. All these factors help to naturally protect the species from mechanised commercial logging which because of the environment is impractical. We can be confident that this species of ebony will not suffer in the manner in which most other easily accessible timber species have done from mass clearances and quick profit policies.

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