A Tale of Ebony - West Wind Hardwood

This story begins in 1945 with a seizure of ‘contraband’ by Canada Customs.  Not sure when the timbers were actually cut but once seized, used and abused – apparently left outside at times – they eventually found a home with Roch of Salt Spring Island.  Some years ago, he’d heard that 350+ billets were available; ranging in weight from 60-180 pounds each. He told us that many of the billets were quarter logs, which if you put the tree back together would have been 24-30” in diameter at the base; completely unheard of today.


He told us “that size of ebony hasn’t been seen in 80+ years, no doubt won’t be seen ever again.  That’s why I knew I ‘had to’ buy what I could when I had the chance.  Could have made a large down payment on a house, but I knew if I hadn’t done it, I would have regretted that decision for the rest of my life.  It’s all good though, I told Roselyne I’m going to wood rehab, just as soon as I get out of machine rehab.”


Roch’s not actively selling the ebony; thinking that it would need a special project to pique his interest.  And just such a project came his way.  He was approached by “A”, an artisan of fine wood concepts with two ateliers in Paris and LA; his client in Switzerland.  He had been tasked to create a ‘very’ special desk; completion autumn 2016.  He has a non-disclosure agreement with his client and until the ‘start to finish’ story has been made public, details are not to be shared but let me say this ‘stay tuned for a tale of wondrous creativity’.  We’ve been told that we will be kept in the loop as this story evolves.  It IS a tale worth telling!


Our role in the story was small.  We had the machinery Roch needed to slice the ebony and so for almost a week, we had our ‘boys’ slicing and dicing the ebony billets into boards of various thicknesses.  At this point, pictures are indeed worth a 1000 words, so enjoy.


Roch has updated us with this:  “The ebony has done well since the cutting; I stored it here for about a month while monitoring the temperature and humidity, minimal cupping or splitting despite the huge dimensions.  I think most of what is going to happen to it has already happened, and the waste wasn’t nearly as much as I thought it would be.


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