View Full Version : Beware buying direct from India.

Pete Howlett
08-07-2017, 07:47 PM
I have just purchased 200 ebony fingerboards from a vendor advertising through Facebook. I've unpacked 100 and left the other packed..


Notice the hessian/gunny sack packaging? This is because the wood is fresh sawn and it stops the cardboard packaging from falling apart. Neat but a clue as to how I had not been entirely informed as to the condition of this wood.

Though the stuff is good quality it is direct from a sawmill and needs stickering and drying for a couple of years before using - beware when you are buying direct from India off Facebook. There are a number of vendors selling good looking stuff that is FRESH SAWN - ie, unseasoned or dired. If you buy, do so for the long term because the fingerboards will take about 2 years to condition and the sets at least that, if not longer.

What looks a bargain: $35 for ebony sets and $13 for Laurel - a great ebony/rosewood substitute and $25 for Rosewood with CITES certificate; $4.50 for ebony fingebroards and $2 for rosewood... is only that if you are prepared to wait for this stuff to dry.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-07-2017, 08:26 PM
So 200 finger boards will be waiting for you in two years! Kiss your retirement plans goodbye! ��

08-07-2017, 09:18 PM
Common sense helps you in so many situations

08-07-2017, 11:58 PM
Any Kiln drying places near you Pete ???

08-08-2017, 06:27 PM
Unseasoned wood is the biggest problem I think with buying wood sight unseen. This goes for firewood as well as luthier wood. Why? Because wood takes time to season and it takes up space. Time is money and space is at a premium. I imagine in India they cut it down, they mill it up and they ship it out. Not much seasoning. .. Nice looking wood anyway Pete. Just gonna take some time.

08-08-2017, 09:11 PM
A question I've been meaning to ask but never got round to...Does the wax on the end grain of those boards interfere with glueing..co's if you take that wood as it is, and put it in a hot place/Kiln, the wax will melt into the end grain quite a long way, I found this out a couple of years ago when I heated up some cuban mahogany in my back bender and forgot to saw off the thin layer of wax at the edge. After heat was applied, it penetrated about an inch down the grain..and i guessed it wouldnt glue very well in that area so I scrapped it :(.

Pete Howlett
08-08-2017, 09:27 PM
This stuff is for my wood business. I have enough dry ebony and leadwood to put fingerboards on 400 ukulele. I will be stickering it and racking it above my storage heaters. It's all good. Great advice Ken, and as always, never one to criticise :) I really need to take a leaf out of your book of life :)