Rosewood and CITES

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peter.coombe
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Rosewood and CITES

Post by peter.coombe » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:37 pm

It is now official, all Dalbergia species, including Indian Rosewood will be listed on CITES Appendix II on 1/1/2017. Apparently, unlike Mahogany, the listing will include finished items, but personal musical instruments will be exempt. So in future it is going to be difficult to get any form of Rosewood, and international sales will require CITES documentation, which just about rules it out for most people. I use Indian Rosewood a lot for bindings (from Stew Mac) on my mandolins and guitars so this is a big deal.

The message is - if you want to keep using rosewood, stock up on rosewood before Jan 1st 2017 while you can.
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routout
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by routout » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:33 pm

Interesting that Peter,i was watching an old vid on custom builders and one of the guys said we will eventually run out of the exotics ,I guess more and more species will go the way of rosewood tis a shame .
John ,of way too many things to do.

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by kiwigeo » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:43 am

Let's see how many wood suppliers jack their prices up overnight?

Does the CITES change cover plantation grown IRW from places like Indonesia?
Martin

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by peter.coombe » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:49 pm

Does the CITES change cover plantation grown IRW from places like Indonesia?
As far as I know, it will cover everything - i.e. all Dalbergia species no matter where they have been grown and all wood products. It covers everything so as to assist customs officers in all countries to recognise and stop international trade in all rosewoods. The annotations have not been published yet, so we don't know all the details. However, what we do know is that personal musical instruments will be exempt, but any commercial transactions of musical instruments will require CITES paperwork. So guitar owners do not need to panic, but if you export or import rosewood guitars then life will get a whole lot more difficult.

The main problem is the market for rosewood furniture in China is insatiable and China has been importing vast quantities of rosewood from SE Asia mostly, much or most of it illegally logged in the country of origin. National parks in Cambodia have been almost completely stripped of rosewood. The situation is pretty dire and it is unfortunate Indian rosewood, harvesting of which is tightly controlled by the Indian government is going to get caught up in it.
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by kiwigeo » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:36 pm

peter.coombe wrote:
The main problem is the market for rosewood furniture in China is insatiable and China has been importing vast quantities of rosewood from SE Asia mostly, much or most of it illegally logged in the country of origin. National parks in Cambodia have been almost completely stripped of rosewood. The situation is pretty dire and it is unfortunate Indian rosewood, harvesting of which is tightly controlled by the Indian government is going to get caught up in it.
So now China is sitting on a nice little gold mine of stock piled rosewood logs...this all works out just dandy for them :|
Martin

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by Gung » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:43 pm

This is sad that the plantation EI Rosewood gets caught up in this, I was looking forward to using it in the future :(

Is anyone stocking up? At risk of derailing the thread, Where does everyone buy their back and sides sets and fretboards/bridges from? I'm playing with the idea of stashing a few sets. Cheers.
Peter

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by Bob Connor » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:56 pm

Good thing we've got heaps of Blackwood here. I reckon you'll see the price of that increase.
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by nkforster » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:04 am

I just spoke to the CITES people in the UK. The situation is this if like me you occasionally want to export a sold item from the EU to outside the EU - the addition of all dalbergia (in addition to the ones already listed) means that any commercial rosewood items, either in raw wood, semi finished , parts, sets or finished items like guitars will require an an export licence. The licence is a single use, to a single recipient and costs £59. Cross EU, no licence is needed. But for export outside of each "region" a licence will now be needed. Likewise for importing. Proof of original purchase will be required for the licence to be granted.

These rules come into effect on Jan 2 2017.

So if anyone wants to get some Indian rosewood, I'd crack on, it'll be a few quid more next year.

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by curly » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:17 am

The Rosewood ban has certainly got the manufacturers thinking fast , I've been fielding calls for alternative species .
True enough Bob , my. Blackwood sales have increased . It's the opposite effect on pricing with me though , when the volume goes up , I lower my prices !
Next in line is surely the Diospyros ebonies , the likes of Taylor alone are still consuming vast quantities .
For years I've been mining the technical data for species swap outs . Australia is pretty well placed to supply alternate species from a much more sustainable resource base .
All the best
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by routout » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:35 am

Which reminds me I need to see you in the new year :lol: Yes Talor has been obliterating the Ebony stock be under no Illusion :o
John ,of way too many things to do.

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Steve.Toscano
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by Steve.Toscano » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:29 pm

LMI have put their IRW prices up already.

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DarwinStrings
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by DarwinStrings » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:03 pm

Damn good reason to tell someone no if they ask for EIR then steer them towards blackwood or maybe PNG rosewood.
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by routout » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:53 pm

Interesting when you consider that One Million plus Instruments are sold per year (good bad or indifferent ),can't help thinking that's a lot of timber. :o
John ,of way too many things to do.

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by peter.coombe » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:18 am

For years I've been mining the technical data for species swap outs . Australia is pretty well placed to supply alternate species from a much more sustainable resource base .
Certainly true for Ebony substitutes, but is there any viable substitute for Indian Rosewood? And is it actually more sustainable than Indian Rosewood? The Indians seem to have put an effort into making sure Indian Rosewood supply is sustainable. Many will point to Blackwood, but it is not the same, it sounds different. Nothing I have tried yet sounds like Rosewood, not to say there is something out there that I don't know about. There are Aussie species I can use instead of Indian Rosewood for bindings, and in some cases I do like the look more, but they are a heck of a lot more difficult to bend which translates into more time spent doing the bindings.
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routout
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by routout » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:51 pm

There are some that come close but are even harder to get, as for Aus nothing is like Rosewood .I have used lots of species in small amounts none like it I'm sure ,then I do have a bridge size Aus Ebony for my completely OZ guitar :D
John ,of way too many things to do.

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by Steve.Toscano » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:31 pm

QLD Walnut is probably the closest to Indian Rosewood ive come across - not just looks, but: tone, hardness, density etc.

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by peter.coombe » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:02 pm

QLD Walnut is probably the closest to Indian Rosewood ive come across - not just looks, but: tone, hardness, density etc.
Not really sustainable though.
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by curly » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:41 am

Queensland Walnut does have good tone and potentially awesome colour .
It does have a couple of issues aside from its sustainability being itself in question .
Firstly the logs can be so full of silica as to be un mill able . Many were simply discarded to burn piles at the sawmill after ruining blades .
Secondly it pongs . Anywhere from whiffy cheese through to full blown everyone check your shoe to see who trod in a turd aroma .
I got a bit in recently as part of a deceased estate which is the less silica , less pong variety and it's pretty convincing . I've also handled boards that could not be resawn by any method ( didn't try a laser ! ) .
Pete

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by peter.coombe » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:27 pm

I have used Queensland Walnut on a few mandolins and liked the results, but have not used it in a while mainly because of the silica problem. It wrecks bandsaw blades before you get halfway finished, so resawing is always a challenge. The pong I don't mind, and it can look really beautiful. Some is easy to bend, while other pieces I have found to be almost impossible to bend. It makes great mandolin necks.
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by nkforster » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:10 am

peter.coombe wrote:
FThe Indians seem to have put an effort into making sure Indian Rosewood supply is sustainable.

My experience in India didn't support this Peter - when I was there to buy timber what I found was many companies competing to cut it down as quickly as possible and sell it off. What the Indian government did do which was commendable was to make it law that no wood could leave the country without it having been machined by Indian workers, hence you'd buy a large turning block of the stuff to find a rough tenon had been cut on each end. No need for it other than ensuring someone was kept in work.

The other thing I saw was young logs piled up in the yards. Then to get the width they were being cut off the quarter. Nuts.

This was in 2007, perhaps the government got their act together after this, I'd love to hear they actually did do something, but that's a rare thing in the world, let alone India.

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by Craig Bumgarner » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:00 am

nkforster wrote: This was in 2007, perhaps the government got their act together after this, I'd love to hear they actually did do something, but that's a rare thing in the world, let alone India.
The dimensional size of EIR lumber, bits and veneer has been steadily decreasing right up to today, which suggests trees are being harvested at a younger age and makes me wonder if it is sustainable.

I've used a lot of rosewood, but decided a couple years ago I didn't want to be part of the deforestation of tropical hardwood forests anymore. I didn't throw my stock away (I'm not crazy :-) ) and it took a while to divest, but I no longer use rosewood for anything. I still use ebony for head plates. but will switch out next time I order. I'm still using up my stock of mahogany veneers and neck shafts, but when they are gone, I won't reorder. Walnut, butternut and maple do the job for me on backs, sides and neck shafts quite nicely now. Easy to get locally, reasonable in price. My customers still ask for rosewood and ebony, but they don't cancel orders because I won't give it to them. Most customers support sustainability and It usually takes only a brief discussion about conservation to get them on board. Exotic wood lust has been easier to deflect than I thought it might be.

I no longer use ebony or rosewood for fingerboards and bridges, instead, have been using Rocklite Ebano. It is a "manufactured wood product" and while they do not divulge the process, they claim it is sustainable and "green". We can only hope, but we KNOW ebony and rosewood harvesting is not sustainable or green. Ebano is uniformly black like ebony, seems to be adequately hard. Machines well and works nicely with hand tools. Takes frets well. It is lighter than ebony, and more stable through humidity changes. Does not take as high a polish as ebony, but after playing it for a week ebony goes away anyway. My customers seem to like it and considering that I build guitars patterned after vintage guitars and my customers are fairly tradition minded, that it is being accepted says something about it.
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by DarwinStrings » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:47 am

Nice Craig, and thanks for the Rocklite tip.
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by routout » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:43 pm

I think also the old violin makers and the like used what they called ebonized maple ,a bit of good quality black die :lol: I was using printing ink that was spirit based for bindings worked a treat.
John ,of way too many things to do.

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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by Craig Bumgarner » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:15 am

Dyed pear wood was used fingerboards by lots of the French builders in the early to mid 20th century. No doubt this was to economize. Unfortunately, after 50 years, these fingerboards are usually in pretty bad shape. It is too soft for very long life, lots of wear from fingers and strings and it crumbles when frets are pulled. Usually, if you have to replace frets, a new fingerboard is in order too.

For black bindings, I've been using the composite stuff for years. Easy enough to work, reasonable in price (I buy 200 pieces at a time from Gurian in Seattle for about $0.20/each. For the occasional white bindings, I use PVC. Many of the old guitars used nitro cellulose for bindings but they shrink and crack over time. PVC is much better and looks the same, at least in solid colors.
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routout
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Re: Rosewood and CITES

Post by routout » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:26 am

Pear that's what it was ,Old age weary's me :lol: there is always a trade off I guess with dying wood .
John ,of way too many things to do.

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