A local box store called Woodcraft had some pretty rough cut Ebony out for sale at $80/board foot. I haven't researched it much and don't know if this is a good price, but I got enough to turn a small bowl.

In doing some research, I found this (https://www.trendhim.co.uk/classic-ebony-wood-shaving-bowl-p.html)

I realize there are economies of scale, but it seems odd to me that a finished product that came from, let's say 1/3 bf (~$26 in raw material) would be priced at 29 British pounds as a finished product.

The only things I can think of is a) wood item markup is smaller than I thought...b) I got hosed on the Ebony price...c) they have better distributors than I...or d) they're not being truthful.

I was thinking about selling some bowls, so the answer to this means a good deal to me for pricing out my items.

  • 1
    Welcome to WW.SE! Unfortunately, cost questions are off-topic here (as they are on most SE sites). However, Woodcraft typically does have higher prices on a lot of wood than a local hardwood dealer. Ebony is quite exotic, though, and prices may vary widely even in the same area. Call around and get multiple prices for your wood.
    – mmathis
    Aug 15 '18 at 18:37
  • @mmathis if I changed it to how to spot real Ebony from fake, would that make it on topic?
    – Hueco
    Aug 15 '18 at 18:52
  • I don't think you can fake ebony as a raw material. You can certainly fake it on a finished item, there's a long history of this and in fact the French word for cabinetmaker is ébéniste they were so specialised in doing exactly that historically! But I don't think you can turn a piece of wood black through and through, so anything solidly black should be one of various species sold as ebony. Note that there never has been just one wood species sold as 'ebony' (same deal with 'ironwood' BTW, which is a number of different, completely unrelated, species).
    – Graphus
    Aug 16 '18 at 12:23
  • 1
    Re. that bowl by the by, I don't think you need to worry about that being ebony. It's certainly nothing like what I'd want in an ebony item, and TBH it could be any number of species just with a dodgy black dye job applied!
    – Graphus
    Aug 16 '18 at 12:25
  • If you're serious about selling bowls, then you need to never buy wood at boutique retail prices. Good lumber yards exist (online if you must) that'll sell you good wood at a fair price. Aug 18 '18 at 2:37

There are several different species of wood that are marketed as ebony. Most are categorized as anywhere from endangered to critically endangered and exports are severely restricted if not banned.

Some species, such as Macassar Ebony are less threatened, but still vulnerable due to excessive harvesting. A quick check of prices for various 'ebony type' woods range in price from $70 - $150 /bd ft.

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