Text Box: The Exotic Wood Newsletter
published by Griffin Exotic Wood

Summer 2009

Woodturning a fast growing hobby, jump on the bandwagon!

Woodturning is one of the most popular hobbies now.  With that new expansion in awareness that woodturning is fun, rewarding and a great artistic outlet comes an increasingly sophisticated group of  turnery devotees.   It has been fascinating to watch the development of so many of our customers from not knowing the difference between walnut and lignum vitae to becoming very aware of all the types of exotic woods.  Many people are now pursuing artistic vocations that use exotics as a full time business.   By studying books such as "Wood for Woodturners" by Mark Baker you can begin to appreciate the vast array of colors, density and uses of wood for woodturning and other woodwork.   We have seen a great increase in people using wood for other interesting projects, such as sunglass frames and body jewelry.   Send us an email if you'd like to try a new exotic and are wondering what we may know of its qualities and workability. 

The "Green" Question: "Where's the Beef"

Many of us are becoming aware of the ecological question of sustainability of many of our habits, from the type of car we drive, the way we get energy for our homes, and of course, where our exotic wood comes from.  The goal is to make sure that future generations can enjoy clean air, water, and exotic wood!  Like every issue, the one of exotic wood use is not as simple as many think once some research is done.  In a recent Documentary Channel documentary about the state of Para in Brazil, it was mentioned that 80% of the lumber being harvested was due to a need to clear land for cow pasture.  Of that, 95-98% of the wood cut in that area is used within Brazil for native uses (not exported). 

It is a surprise that cow grazing is by far the biggest issue when it comes to tree-cutting in Para Brazil.  In other words, if most of us become vegetarian we could save 80% of the trees?  While it is not that simple, the fact is that it takes at least 3 times as much land to produce meat from cattle as it does to produce the same amount of food energy from vegetarian sources.   While we'd never suggest what people should eat, it is an interesting fact, and is one of the greatest impacts on timber worldwide. 

Please remember our info page for all kinds of important questions you might have.  Feel free to suggest any other questions to answer that might help others.

Whats New?

Bloodwood News: Have you noticed the bloodwood you buy at many suppliers is beginning to look less red, more pink with some blonde areas in it?  The reason is that it seems no one can get permission to import bloodwood from the part of Brazil where the dark bloodwood grows.  We recently thought we had some on the way but when the wood was checked it was found to be the type with blonde streaks.  We still have small amounts of the dark red bloodwood but we also will run out.  Looks like the new standard for bloodwood will be the lighter color soon.  The situation may change in the future.  We'll keep you informed of any color changes on the website.

We are now starting to carry some of the exciting woods from Hawaii, starting with high figured Koa.  We also plan to add ultra rare Hawaiian sandalwood (smells just like East Indian Sandalwood) as well as macadamia and some others as they become available.

Gift Certificates available!
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Discounted/ Sale Items in:

We've done a lot of housecleaning lately: keep checking the clearance page for some great deals with free shipping!

Don't forget to check out the great figured pieces of Pyinma on the figured woods Page!  A figure like top quality maple, only more easily gotten.  Currently lots of availability in smaller sqaures!


Rare woods that are beginning to disappear from the market . . .if you want them get them soon!:

Lignum Vitae--reason: Import/export nearly banned (available by permit but these are very hard to get).  Probably going to be nearly impossible to get soon.

Thuya Burl:  This wood is disappearing from the market.  High figured pieces are rapidly becoming very rare.  There is a problem getting this burl imported, which is apparently permanent.  We have some high quality pieces, not on the website, ask us.
Quilted Sapele--reason: Chinese and other buyers are paying very high prices for the veneer quality wood, making it a winner take all situation, with almost none coming to the USA. 

Bois de Rose--reason--No more exports from Madagascar.

Brazilian Rosewood--reason--trade bans

Argentine lignum vitae-- Likely to increase greatly in price due to very likely import restrictions in 2010. 

Cocobolo: High possiblity of import restrictions beginning in 2010. 

 1-866-518-9663 or email to james@exoticwood.biz

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International callers and questions: (USA country code)+970+241+2827

Note that everything on this page (photos too!) are copyrighted and may not be used
without written permission.  Copyright 2009 by James Griffin.  The wood turner photo copyright is Fotosearch.com
If you are a customer and desire to use some of our photos on your website, call us with your request.  Nothing
written on the website (including the newsletter) should be construed as professional or other advice.