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Forum topic by KnickKnack posted 1701 days ago 2097 views 0 times favorited 58 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KnickKnack

976 posts in 2203 days


1701 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: exotic wood sustainability

For so long I’ve resisted mentioning this, thinking that someone more knowledgeable than myself would bring it up.
Since they haven’t I think it’s about time I did.

There are so many beautiful projects posted on LumberJocks, often using exotic woods, ebony for example, yet it’s rare to see any mention of whether the woods used are from sustainable sources.
Perhaps everyone here is being responsible, and know where that mahogany, ebony, etc etc came from. If so, I wish they’d write it on their project post. My second thought on seeing these projects, after the initial amazement, is always to wonder where the wood came from.

There are many “wood for sale” sites on the internet, mostly in America, offering “Exotic species” (I even saw, horror of horrors, Burmese Blackwood), yet the ones I looked at made no mention of sustainability.

I’ve been lucky enough to have visited the far east (including Burma), and to Africa, and seen ports and rivers full to bursting point with seemingly endless tree trunks. I’ve also seen the land where those trees used to grow – often, as we all know, they simply aren’t being replanted.

If you know your wood is from a sustainable source – trumpet it loudly.
If you know your wood is not from a sustainable source – shame on you.
If you don’t know where it came from – perhaps it’s worth finding out?

Maybe LJs could invent, or use some existing “Sustainable Forestry” picture for people to put on their posts.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."


58 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5102 posts in 2349 days


#1 posted 1489 days ago

Interesting post…I will pay more attention to where the folks I buy wood say it is from, and if they don’t I will ask. So far the most exotic wood I’ve used is maple and I am pretty sure it was from somewhere in North America :-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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Nomad62

706 posts in 1594 days


#2 posted 1489 days ago

All the distributors I have spoken with in the Oregon area have stated they only buy from sustainable rated suppliers, with exception to the urban logging groups (of course). Good post, humans have responsibilities.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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rhett

697 posts in 2303 days


#3 posted 1489 days ago

80% of the solid wood I use is from the state I live in. I find alot of woodworkers think adding exotic wood to their projects will add some sort of extra value to the piece.

If you know how to work the grain, there is no real need to jazz up a project with fancy wood. Besides, local wood is beautiful and speaks of the area it is from.

“Those are nice ebony pegs, too bad they didn’t make that joint any tighter”

-- http://planeandsimpleblog.wordpress.com/

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JimDaddyO

286 posts in 1715 days


#4 posted 1489 days ago

So far the only thing I have used is local native woods. Actually, the ash I have was growing in my back yard 6 years ago.

-- I still have all my fingers

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woodcrafter47

349 posts in 1742 days


#5 posted 1488 days ago

Well most of my wood is local, and I just keep an eye out for power companys cut down and road clearings.
Some of my wood is take from thining my wood lot. Oak Cherry, ash and some hickory and walnut

-- In His service ,Richard

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Abbott

2570 posts in 1940 days


#6 posted 1488 days ago

Heh, the wood I use comes from the lumber yard, the big box stores or the hardwood outlet. I don’t worry about where they get theirs.

I don’t waste a moments energy on the “Save the Planet” crowd. The planet isn’t going anywhere, it was here long before the human race was and it will be here long after humans are gone.

sustainable source – shame on you.

There is no shame here and I am plenty responsible for myself and my family. LOL

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

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Drew

136 posts in 1736 days


#7 posted 1488 days ago

“I’ve been lucky enough to have visited the far east (including Burma), and to Africa, and seen ports and rivers full to bursting point with seemingly endless tree trunks. I’ve also seen the land where those trees used to grow – often, as we all know, they simply aren’t being replanted.”

America looked like that once too.

-- That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.” ― Aldous Huxley

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miles125

2179 posts in 2642 days


#8 posted 1488 days ago

Trees are like the Earth’s hair. We humans couldn’t give the planet a bad haircut, much less turn it’s hair into an usustainable resource. We don’t have that power if all human ingenuity set out to do it.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5102 posts in 2349 days


#9 posted 1488 days ago

England deforested most of its firests (oak trees) to build its navy, much of S. America is being clearcut for sustance or cash crop farming, much of Africa is being clearcut for charcoal production and sugsistance farming. I’ve seen the strips of clear cut in British Columbia, and various American states. We DO have the power, it doesn’t require ingenuity to clear cut a forest it takes ingenuity to harvest the wood in a sustainable fashion.

Yup the ‘Save the Planet’ crowd can be irritating at times, and I myself thought much as you did at one point… then I realized yeah the planet will go on but quite possibly with out any humans or more complex creatures on it. We can make this environment unsuitable for human habitation, why would we not want to take care of it?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Abbott's profile

Abbott

2570 posts in 1940 days


#10 posted 1488 days ago

I will phone Home Depot right of way and tell them they had better buy their wood from renewable tree sources or else the Lumberjocks will get them! :)

Or maybe I will just go there when I need to and purchase what I want. I really couldn’t care less where they purchase their lumber as long as it holds, nails, screws and glue….these days that’s asking a lot from the box stores I know.

why would we not want to take care of it?

I prefer to live my life without all of the Save the Planet worry. If it makes a few of you fellows feel better you may worry twice as hard about it to make up for my not worrying about it. Enjoy :)

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View wch's profile

wch

45 posts in 1594 days


#11 posted 1488 days ago

The planet may not be going anywhere, but many of the resources sure are. There’s a reason it’s pretty much impossible to get very useful woods like lignum vitae (ironwood) and Brazilian rosewood. It’s the same reason that the lumber available these days is of lower quality than it was just 40 years ago.

I suppose if you’re old and selfish, it might make sense to use up everything you can without thinking about the future. But if you have a long life ahead of you, or if you care about what your children and grandchildren will be able to do, then it’s another story. Imagine what a nightmare it would be if the only lumber available to them was pine, red oak, and plywood!

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Betsy

2914 posts in 2532 days


#12 posted 1488 days ago

“If you know your wood is not from a sustainable source – shame on you.” Trying to shame a group of people into thinking/doing the way you do grates me the wrong way. There are lots of folks that are very passionate about their responsibility to our planet but they don’t wear it on their sleeve or push it on others. They live it. I don’t tell people in my church how much I tithe, I don’t need to trumpet it. Same thing here.

If you would have stopped your topic before reaching——
If you know your wood is from a sustainable source – trumpet it loudly.
If you know your wood is not from a sustainable source – shame on you.
If you don’t know where it came from – perhaps it’s worth finding out?—-

You would have had properly educated a bunch of woodworkers who have not thought about your point without shaming them into any particular action. An educated person usually makes good decisions. A person who is preached too or shamed into action may just get their backs up and not go anywhere near where you want them to go.

Just my two cents.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View DAWG's profile

DAWG

2850 posts in 1773 days


#13 posted 1488 days ago

Thanks Betsy, well said.

-- Luke 23: 42-43

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poroskywood

614 posts in 2000 days


#14 posted 1488 days ago

As a lumber Co.
All of our lumber is sustainable.
That is, not illegally harvested or harvested from genetically altered sources. We practice selective harvesting and prepare erosion management plans. We do everything to comply with what sustainable harvesting means and stands for.

Here’s the problem

For our lumber company to be “certified” sustainable we have to pay for the Certified Stamp… That’s right organizations like SFI, FSC, Tree Farmer, whatever, have all developed programs where they come in to your company, check you all out and before you get their approval…...You have to PAY and not just a hundred bucks…. $ Thousands $, based on a percentage of your net business.

These certification programs are a special interest rip off, created solely to take advantage of the “Green Movement” and exploit the North American Lumber industry in to shelling out $ Money $

Example The State of West Virginia has some of the most rigid and stern timber harvesting laws in the country. More regulations than any of the Certification programs could come close to implementing. Why would any lumber producer in that state need to sign up and pay out money to be certified sustainable? They already surpass all the program standards. “Well if they want to be part of the Green Movement and be able to stamp their product certified, they will pay”. That was the answer I heard right from the representatives mouth.

Heres another example I sell lumber to large distributors. They are certified FSC, SFI. Once a year (all of them) send me a waiver form to sign stating that our lumber is not illegally harvested and sustainable blah blah blah… So I sign it and now, on just my word, they can sell my lumber with (and as) theirs as certified sustainable.
Guess what…. the certification program doesn’t care. They are getting paid by the large company…. BIG $

I believe in and run our company in a green, earth friendly way, We practice sustainability.
However all this certified sustainable bull is just a lot of money making CRAP.

I’ll be glad to discuss this issue with anyone.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

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juniorjock

1930 posts in 2402 days


#15 posted 1488 days ago

I agree with KnickKnack….......

But I agree with Abbott and Betsy too…. and a lot of other posts here.

KnickKnack, I think you had a very good point which could have been a good topic for a thread, but with these LumberJocks, you went about stating your view in the wrong way. No one likes a finger shaking in their face. Including me. ( and by the way, I am very selective about what type lumber I use and where it comes from ).

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