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Basses/Guitar and The Enviroment

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MarkMgibson, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. I've read a lot articles recently about how much wood is used to make guitars, especially electric guitars ad basses. Gibson has been fined a number of times for illegally exporting wood from Madagascar, for example (and they're not the only company). The manufacturers of guitars (and basses) are said to be the biggest users of exotic wood from the Amazon and other rainforests around the world.

    I know there are some companies who have pledged to use recycled wood to make their guitars/basses, and I think we, as musicians, should think about this when buying new instruments.

    I'm not having a go at anyone (or any company), I just think people should be aware of it.

  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In my view, more wood gets turned into sawdust than into musical instruments. AFAIK the issue with Gibson was that they were importing raw lumber instead of finished goods, not that they were involved in poaching. Countries that have those resources want them used as a source of employment to benefit their own economies, rather than simply cut down and shipped away.
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I intend to have a bass built using wood that is native to my local. I'm thinking ash, maple, and walnut.
  4. That's true, but I think they meant the more exotic woods (old growth stuff). Anyway, I didn't mean to make a big issue out of it, but a lot of companies are starting to use recycled wood, and I think that should be encouraged.

    There's probably millions of guitars sitting around gathering dust - the hardware might be crap, but the wood is probably pretty good (especially if they're older instruments). It seems a waste not to reuse that wood. Wood gets better with age, after all.

  5. Go to warwickbass.com to see what they do, they're pretty green
  6. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
  7. Is that some sort of secret code? Please enlighten us?
  8. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    Seems to me you are already "Enlightened". ;)
  9. Yeah, there's a few companies now starting to offer money for old instruments. Mahogany, Ebony, Rosewood - such wood is becoming rarer every year, so it seems silly not to recycle as much as possible. As I said, it's just something to keep in mind.
  10. I've been called plenty of things, but never "enlightened". :)
  11. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    This company recovers sunken logs lost from the industry at the bottom of Lake Superior a century ago.

    I used to live a few blocks from their warehouse and know a couple of people who work there. Fantastic company, IMO.

    Check out some of the stunning guitars in the photo gallery.

  12. Wow, they look very cool. Here are some of the website's pics of guitars, violins, & a drum set. I don't see a bass yet. Someone needs to make that happen.




  13. I remember seeing a documentary about them years ago - very good idea. I remember them saying there were probably hundreds of thousands of logs of high quality timber sitting at the bottom of rivers. That must be true, because I reckon I saw that program well over 15 years ago. Obviously they're still going strong, and there's some damn nice looking wood there.
  14. Be careful what you wish for because banning the use of exotic
    woods can actually have the opposite of the intended effect.

    In the Mahogany forest of South America, outrage over the
    lumber trade’s responsibility for deforestation caused the levy
    of a logging ban. Sawmills shut down, jobs were lost, and a
    valuable timber resource suddenly lost all value. Now
    landowners are forced to find a way to derive value from their
    land. Instead of logging it for profit, they choose to burn it to
    the ground to make room from soybean crops or fields for
    cattle grazing.

    People need to make a living.
  15. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    Enviroment? Qué? :bag:
  16. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Attached Files:

  17. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Bob Taylor related a story about ebony loggers in Africa not getting paid for ebony that wasn't black all the way through, so if they cut down a tree, and it had imperfections, they just left it to rot in the forest because there was no point in dragging it out. Taylor is one of the guitar companies that's going to the forests all over the world and investigating these practices to prevent wood from being wasted. There's a video on Taylor's Youtube page about it.

    I considered building a bass out of mesquite because it's a plentiful Texas wood. A buddy just had a tree processed and I'll end up with some wood out of it, but without a connection, it's too expensive to use.
  18. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Some builders are using sustainably harvested woods.
  19. I'm not advocating banning anything, and your point is well made. I would like to see companies use recycled materials as much as possible - that's just common sense.

    I didn't mean to start any sort of crusade, just open up a discussion.
  20. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I agree. It's not like wood grows on trees.