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Discussion Starter #1
There is an organization that you may have heard of called the "International Wood Collector's Society", or IWCS.

They set the standard for formal wood samples at 3"x6"x1/2". Years ago many of their members made up samples of this size from trees they had personally felled, or at least positively identified, and they traded them amongst themselves and some sold them to other members and to non-members (like me) who wanted them.

Some members accumulated thousands of species this way and many more collected hundreds.

Today there are only a handful of IWCS members in the USA who actively create and sell samples and they have relatively few species compared to what was available say 10 years ago because they are not as active (most are retirement age) and they have fewer other members to trade with. Outside the US, there are even fewer IWCS members, by country, that create and sell samples and in total they also add up to only a handful around the world.

My friend David Clark from Australia (Timbers in Australia in Colour --- yeah, he can't spell :icon_smile: ) is buying up, on behalf of a couple of Chinese wood scientists, all the samples he can get his hands on, up to a current limit of 4 of each species that a collector has for sale. Many collectors only have a few of each species for sale except for the most common ones so David is seriously decimating their sample sets.

Personally, I have no beef with this, and I'm very appreciative of the fact that David is funneling many of these samples through me so that I can take pics of them for my site before forwarding them on to him. Those he buys outside the USA he has sent directly to Australia.

BUT ... I am mixed about the fact that China is buying up all (well, most) of the samples currently available and IWCS members are producing fewer and fewer new ones. David currently plans to buy at least 7,000 samples, including 2,000 or so already purchased, from no more than 10 or so IWCS members (that's all he can find to buy from) and this will come close to wiping out all of their stock for some of them.

Comments? Thoughts?
 

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Interesting... how much is a sample generally worth? They probably created their study design more on cost than on sample availability, got their grant money and are going to proceed once that part of the budget has been spent.

Depending on who the sponsor is, the samples may be auctioned, destroyed, or archived once the study is complete.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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I don't know that I have a feeling one way or another....it's a tradable good...I don't see any reason to be against it...
 

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Wouldn't one centralized place be better than with many people scattered throughout the world? And unless these are the last pieces of a tree species in the world, I don't see much problem. There is always the ability to make more samples unless a tree becomes extinct.
 

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My question would be why are you concerned? It's not like the samples are doing any good to anyone unless they're categorized and made available to the public, like you have been doing. What's the issue?
 

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It seems like it's one of those dwindling supply items due to the demand being greater than the supply. It's not like the samples are disappearing, but rather they are changing hands, and some of those hands are doing most of the collecting.

I suggest you stick your requests where they can be addressed. If you know who is stockpiling, they may be your best source.





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Discussion Starter #8
The Chinese are building xylariums for the purposes of (1) identifying imported wood species and (2) training wood scientists.

The samples cost from $1.50 for stuff like pine to as much as $25 for obscure rosewoods. The average is probably a few bucks.

I'm concerned just because these samples are leaving the US, undoubtedly never to return. If one of our own universities were to decide to create a xylarium, they would be hard pressed to stock it. The IWCS folks are the only ones creating the samples and they pretty much aren't doing it any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would hope that they will eventually be acquired by a major university where these assets can be accessed by all.
Possibly, but they'll move it to China :smile:

David tells me that the Chinese wood scientists will not cooperate with each other AT ALL. They are working to gain prestige and helping someone else gain prestige is not on their agenda.
 

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Why are you worried about little blocks of wood? Most of the hardwood lumber harvested in the U.S. goes to China. The log yard across from my parents sends truck after truck of veneer logs off to China. It has really screwed the small woodworkers in the area over. Only one of the five hardwood mills in the area will sell any less than 1000 bdft and prices are through the rough on what they do sell. Primarily because they'll make more selling it overseas.
 

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Why are you worried about little blocks of wood? Most of the hardwood lumber harvested in the U.S. goes to China. The log yard across from my parents sends truck after truck of veneer logs off to China. It has really screwed the small woodworkers in the area over. Only one of the five hardwood mills in the area will sell any less than 1000 bdft and prices are through the rough on what they do sell. Primarily because they'll make more selling it overseas.
Now that your blood pressure is on the rise check this out.
For the full effect download the .pdf at the right. Your beloved capitalism in full swing.
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/reports/fish-story/
 

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Funny thing. There's not as much wood in china as the US, so we actually export chopsticks to them.
Most chopsticks are made of bamboo, not wood. I'd be interested where you found this out though, to see what wood species are being used. I've seen a lot overseas being made of palm woods and such as tourist items to bring back to the US, but obviously haven't been involved in exporting them to China.
 

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bzguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelsochris
Why are you worried about little blocks of wood? Most of the hardwood lumber harvested in the U.S. goes to China. The log yard across from my parents sends truck after truck of veneer logs off to China. It has really screwed the small woodworkers in the area over. Only one of the five hardwood mills in the area will sell any less than 1000 bdft and prices are through the rough on what they do sell. Primarily because they'll make more selling it overseas.

Now that your blood pressure is on the rise check this out.
For the full effect download the .pdf at the right. Your beloved capitalism in full swing.
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/reports/fish-story/

Presenting the "Big Picture" is waste of time on this forum.
I spoke of jobs gone to and inferior tools coming out of China only to be poo-pooed by people who drank the "Capitalist Cronies and Congress" Kool-Aid.
They can't see beyond the Walmart/Home Depot parking lot.


 

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frankp said:
Most chopsticks are made of bamboo, not wood. I'd be interested where you found this out though, to see what wood species are being used. I've seen a lot overseas being made of palm woods and such as tourist items to bring back to the US, but obviously haven't been involved in exporting them to China.
http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/02/smallbusiness/georgia_chopsticks/index.htm

And I've seen chopsticks made out of lots of materials. Bamboo for the super disposable ones, wood, plastic, and metal.
 
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