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WEIMA June 2023 Leader
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ThermalWood Canada develops ebony alternative

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ThermalWood Canada is proud to announce the creation of the only real wood alternative for ebony, called Obsidian. The music industry has long relied on ebony for its instruments, and now with the exotic hardwood on the endangered species list, ThermalWood Canada has answered the call.
Through a process of torrefication and resin infusion, Obsidian replicates ebony not just in colour, but also in weight, density and overall workability. By using maple, which is abundant, ThermalWood Canada has found a way to help keep ebony from going extinct, while not lessening the quality of the product.
President and CEO of ThermalWood Canada, Bob Lennon, says “that whole process has allowed us to create a product that is durable, very dense, glasslike and has also been validated by companies like Fender, Martin Guitars, and a number of different lathers around the world.”
The process of conception to creation of this product took around five years. It included work and research with local New Brunswick scientists, and engineering students who created a technology to process this wood that had never been done before.
Obsidian ebony was primarily used for guitar fingerboards, but its use has since expanded.
Now ThermalWood Canada is supplying fingerboards, bridges, headstocks, and frogs. They also offer customized sizes to supply bass, cello, violin, and viola fingerboards and accessories. As part of a recent marketing strategy, ThermalWood Canada has sent free samples to luthiers around the world, and has asked only that they share it on their social channels, should they like the product. This has led to validations from across the world, articles, podcasts, and YouTube videos, which have amassed over 60 thousand views.
ThermalWood Canada is a manufacturer specializing in thermally modifying any species of wood, using a heat and steam system that requires zero chemical additives. Located in Bathurst, New Brunswick, ThermalWood Canada is a family-owned business, which specializes in processing various wood species, with a speciality in hardwoods.
This heating process essentially cooks the wood, improving its resistance to decay, and creating a uniform dark colouration throughout the thickness of the lumber. This allows woods like maple, birch, ash, oak, and other hardwoods, which are normally used for indoor projects, to be modified for outdoor applications, like siding, paneling, and decking. Find out more here.

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