Rocklite Ebano Physical Properties

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Phuong Hong
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:08 am
Location: Southwestern Illinois

Rocklite Ebano Physical Properties

Post by Phuong Hong » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:35 pm

Hello all,

I am currently having classical guitar built on commission from a respected luthier on this forum, and was wondering about having an alternative fingerboard wood to ebony, which can be a bit sensitive to humidity. I have contacted Steve Keys at Rocklite for information on the physical properties of the Ebano, but he stated that they are still working on finalizing the data to be released later this year or next year on their website. For those who has worked with Rocklite Ebano, what has your experiences been with it as a fingerboard wood in terms of wear resistance, playability, stability, etc.? How does it hold up after months or years of rigorous playing? Has anyone gathered scientific data on it including Janka hardness, density, and accelerated wear tests? Thank you in advance.

Regards,
Phuong Hong

amezcua
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Rocklite Ebano Physical Properties

Post by amezcua » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:50 am

I thought Rocklite were the only people making Ebano . Unless there are others making it there will not be any long term results. I used some Ebano for bindings because the natural ebony decided it wanted to twist as well as bend. It can be very stubborn wood if the grain gets awkward. I did little tests on some Ebano like snapping in two to see how it broke. It did not burn in a different way . When heated it behaved perfectly for bindings. So if Rocklite make it into fretboards it should be very good. Hardness seemed the same as natural ebony . Does rigorous playing become a danger to ebony ? What are you doing to your poor guitars ?

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Phuong Hong
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:08 am
Location: Southwestern Illinois

Re: Rocklite Ebano Physical Properties

Post by Phuong Hong » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:25 pm

amezcua wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:50 am
I thought Rocklite were the only people making Ebano . Unless there are others making it there will not be any long term results. I used some Ebano for bindings because the natural ebony decided it wanted to twist as well as bend. It can be very stubborn wood if the grain gets awkward. I did little tests on some Ebano like snapping in two to see how it broke. It did not burn in a different way . When heated it behaved perfectly for bindings. So if Rocklite make it into fretboards it should be very good. Hardness seemed the same as natural ebony . Does rigorous playing become a danger to ebony ? What are you doing to your poor guitars ?
Thank you for your response, Amezcua.

I understand that Ebano has not been out for a long time. Short of having concrete data, I was hoping to hear the experience of builders or players of guitars with Ebano fingerboards after a few months or a year of playing and how they would compare to guitars with ebony fingerboards during similar time spans (perhaps an informal A-B comparison). I am looking for alternative choices to fingerboards partly because of the reasons you described: in addition to being non-sustainable, ebony is also finicky to work with and maintain. Rocklite seemed to put out the most attractive product at the moment since their boards actually look like wood compared to other manufacturers.

amezcua
Posts: 303
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Rocklite Ebano Physical Properties

Post by amezcua » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:21 pm

It`s sad that much of the brown and stripey ebony wood is wasted. As wood it is just as good as black and on this planet it will not grow forever. Be gentle with your guitar(s) .

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