Eben Makassar (Macassar Ebony) is one of the varieties of ebony. It is mined in Indonesia on the islands of Borneo, Sulawesi, Maluku. Macassar grows as an evergreen tree and reaches a height of up to 15–20 m and a diameter of up to 40 cm. Some rare adult specimens reach a considerable height of up to 40 m. With such a height, the tree can form a trunk free from branches up to 20 m long. Diameter at chest height can be up to 100 cm or more. Macassar ebony is called “fire ebony” because when processed, the wood has a scaly pattern, where crimson stripes glow with a red flame against a black background. Wood as valuable as African ebony, has identical technical characteristics. Eben Makassar got its name in honor of the Indonesian port city of Makassar, which is one of the main export points for this wood.
Eben is amazingly beautiful, polishes well and gives excellent gloss, is strong, stable and durable. Wood is heavier than water, is not afraid of moisture, fungi and woodworms. It is difficult to process Eben Macassar, given its very high density and high hardness, it is more correct to use milling cutters and saws with carbide tips when sawing.
Macassar ebony wood is smooth to the touch, with a fine and uniform texture, straight-grained. Dry density from 1000 to 1300 kg/m³. Difficult to saw and plan, it is considered first class for turning because it is not as brittle and not prone to chipping as other varieties of ebony. This wood is relatively strong and resistant, but its potential market depends more on its decorative value. Therefore, the main area of use of Eben Makassar is the inlay of artistic and decorative products. Great for making elements of expensive weapons, including knife handles.
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