This link is to an article titled “Guitar Frets:Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear” was published today in the Wall Street Journal. It was sent to me by Mel Hancock, a woodworker and one of our readers. Mel wrote, “While it doesn’t go much beyond the use of controlled or restricted woods for musical instruments, this is a subject that many woodworkers should be aware of. We all have a responsibility to ensure we are using wood that is in compliance with all applicable laws for harvesting, especially exotic hardwoods.”
I agree with Mel, but I know that a lot of woodworkers are addicted to exotic hardwoods. I admit that there was a time when I was star-struck in the presence of a new and intriguing exotic wood. When I was turning a lot of tool handles, I always kept an eye on the sales my local Woodcraft in Rhode Island would have on 2″ x 12″ blanks of exotics. I wanted to see how the different woods turned on the lathe, but I was also a sucker for the gorgeous figure and rich colors of the woods. Exotics made great gifts, with a big “wow” when the gift was opened.
Is this something that has you concerned? Are you willing to pay a premium for responsibly harvested exotic hardwoods? Or will you be willing to give them up and only use domestic woods? Aside from lumber, as many of you know, many infill handplanes and other woodworking tools use exotic hardwoods. What are your thoughts on the responsibility of woodworkers with exotic hardwoods?
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