Here is a new shipment of Ebony. This time it’s been imported from India (we get different Ebonies from Cameroon (West African) and Indonesia (Macassar). Indian Ebony has grown surprisingly popular, and at this time (June 2018) we are out of stock in some sizes. For those waiting to place their orders, we humbly ask that you wait a while longer. A lot has to happen before it goes from the crude burlap packaging we receive it in until it is ready for sale.
Importation: LMI does all the paperwork and tracking to make sure the wood we sell is 100% legal and that an ironclad paper trail exists to back this up in the unlikely chance that the wood’s legality is challenged. Fees are paid, documents are submitted and received, licenses are maintained in a lengthy process that happens for each incoming shipment. All this so that you can order easily and confidently!
Initial inspection: After receipt, we go through the wood to pull out any obviously defective pieces and make sure the shipment matches the packing list and invoice. If something is off, then we must negotiate with our supplier before final acceptance of the order.
Stickering/Stacking: Sometimes the wood gets neatly stacked onto a pallet and other times we move it directly to stickers. But eventually, all the wood is stickered in preparation for drying it in our dehumidifier. As you can see, we use a ton of stickers (this photo shows less than half of what we have here).
Drying: Ebony fingerboards can take up to 8 weeks in the dehumidifier, but it depends on the condition we receive them in. Our Macassar boards often require air drying before they go into the dehumidifier.
Sanding: Once dry, they are removed from the stickers. The wood is then sanded in batches (we rarely sand the whole shipment in one operation). We run two Time-Saver belt sanders in our shop, and they are working almost all the time. We sand each side flat and bring them to a thickness just proud of our final dimension (5/16”).
Grading and final inspection: Once the wood is sanded we can embark on the time-consuming process of looking over each piece carefully and determining what grade it is and what SKU it will receive. Many times the sales, shop, and purchasing staff will consult so that our grading remains consistent with our advertised standards.
Once graded, the wood is basically ready for sale, but many times it spends some time in our warehouse. When it is ready for our customers, each piece is transferred to our retail inventory tracking system and each piece receives a barcoded SKU sticker. Then the pieces are neatly stacked in the shipping department -ready to be sent to a happy customer!