Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Spring/Summer 2012 Newsletter - The Lacey Act

Some time ago I set about the task of writing a newsletter that would be a little more serious than usual but that had content that I thought everyone should know.
Having only a medium quality education, I finished working on this piece but was left unsure whether I had all my facts straight.
I decided not to proceed any further with it because I felt it would be worse if it were to mislead or misinform people than if I did not let it out at all.
By the way, this piece was about the Lacey act and illegal logging in Madagascar.
On 15th March the BBC transmitted a program in the ‘Natural World’ series titled ‘Madagascar, Lemurs and Spies’. It was a high profile, prime time programme with the full authority of David Attenborough’s narration. I watched it with mounting interest because it felt like I could have written part of the script myself. One by one the programme confirmed the facts in my old abandoned newsletter. I now feel perfectly at ease reviving and releasing this newsletter and it follows here...

Monday, 12 July 2010

Lemonwood Update - Summer 2010

Good news for longbow makers
- Summer 2010
Lemonwood on its way
Part of my last newsletter was concerned with the frustrating situation with my shipment of Lemonwood and Lignum vitae from Paraguay. I rudely included photographs of this consignment of timber lurking in a warehouse in Paraguay so that those of you wishing to buy these timbers from me might share my pain.
It lurks there still and I remain baffled as to why it will not move. I am a willing buyer and I have the money waiting to pay for it at a moment’s notice.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Spring 2010 Newsletter

Rocks, Boot Polish and Exotic Hardwoods
Ebony with a difference
I tell the story sometimes of my Dutch friend, a timber importer in the same area of decorative hardwoods as me, who imported a consignment of ebony from Sri Lanka. He gleefully attacked the crates with his claw hammer and jemmy and discovered that his shipper had substituted the ebony for an equivalent weight of rocks.

A similar thing has happened with the eagerly anticipated consignment of ebony from India. My first inspection of these pieces revealed 800 out of the 1000 pieces were defective. Most of the defects present were the normal nightmarish ones such as heart shake and silica. This shipment introduced a whole new level of inventiveness on the part of the shipper – boot polish – the smell gave it away, a few passes through the drum sander revealed that which you see in the before and after photographs below.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Winter 2009 Newsletter

Many Small Steps
(and a few big ones too)
Big Steps
There have been a lot of small steps forward and not very many big steps forward regarding the arrival of new stocks over last few months. In particular there is a container that is quite late from Paraguay containing lignum vitae (palo santo) and Lemonwood and another late import from Cameroon containing ebony, some other West African favourites and a new wood to us called Black Limba, destined for electric guitar production, both several months late and with lots of customers inconvenienced as a result.
These two containers will arrive in the not too distant future but I will not give an ETA until I am sure they are steaming up the channel. Do get in touch if you'd like to be kept up-to-date on their arrival.