Great tour of the Taylor Guitar factory. They shared their sustainable vision for the wood, and their Ebony Project is  a great example!
 
We started the tour in the shop discovering guitars and signs about the wood and the commitment to more sustainability.
 
In Cameroun and Hawaii they participate in reforestation for Ebony and Koa with local communities and organizations.
They worked with an organization in Cameron to do some scientific research for trees development and reforestation. For example they have discovered that poaching elephants has a negative impact on the forest as those animals eats the fruits ont eh ebony tree and spread the seeds.
 
 
Then we headed to the factory between two buildings and docks. In the back of those buildings, we can find the scraps available to anyone for repurpose, check their website!
 
The Mahogany is first stored outside protected from the sun to adapt to local climate
 
Then the wood enters the milling room for the next step of acclimatation...
 
 
... and will spend again some days adapting to local conditions
 
 
They start the first cuts and assembly in this same room.
 
 
Most of the tools used are designed and built at the factory 
except the lasers for precise cuts, or the robots.
Here is the front of the guitar cuts by laser in the machines behind.
 
 
Then we entered the rosette room, no robots, everything done by hand.
 
 
Some thin pieces on wood are inserted around the front hole.
 
 
 
Buffing department
Robots are used for heavy long lifting, 90% of the lifting. Then people do the quality finish.
 
 
 
 
 
Then the neck department  with again machines and laser to have a consistency in the necks produced for the guitars.
 
 
Here is a machine cutting smaller pieces of Ebony, like fingerboards. They cut also pieces for them or other companies, knife pieces for a knife maker, knobs for Fender Guitars...
They use Ebony also for wall hanger for Taylor Guitars, cutting board for kitchen...
 
 
 
People used to waste a lot of Ebony if it was not plain black, around 1 tree out of 10 has the "nice" black center that everybody was after. It is clearly not sustainable.
 
Bob Taylor started to save it, now they use all of the Ebony with different shades of color, it is still the great dense wood perfect for fingerboards and other things.
 
Taylor Guitar bought a saw mill in Cameroun in 2011 for Ebony, they provide 90% of the legal Ebony.
 
Discover more about the Ebony Project!
 
 
 
 
Getting close to the final assembly with filling the edges.
A real detailed job!
 
It stays several hours with tape to make sure the wood glue holds.
 
 
 
 
When exiting the factory, we can see the ends of the vacuums running in the ceiling to catch most of the wood dust. Then it is given to a company producing mulch.
 
 
 
 
Last testing after final assembly and before sending it.
 
Our guide played for us so we can understand the differences between the models! Thank you!
 
 
Back to the shop a nice raw piece of Ebony is exposed
And you can find another product, with this organization.
Nice cutting boards!