Hawaiian wood - bring home?

Going to Hawaii soon and I'm interested in bringing some local wood back with me - monkey pod and koa, for example. Has anyone done this before? Should I attempt to bundle some up and ship it with my luggage, or have it shipped separate via UPS or FedEx? I'm not talking about huge quantities here, but enough to make some boxes or similar. Regardless, the stuff is probably heavy.....
Thanks.
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bob wrote:

from Hawaii to the mainland is highly regulated. Whether lumber falls into the same categories is something you definitely need to get a handle on.
They have the Formosan termites in Hawaii that make our species look like toothless ladybugs, and I don't think we have them in California... yet. I'll bet wood shipments from Hawaii are not a simple matter; definitely do not ship via your luggage.
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I went a couple years ago, and brought home a small board of Koa, maybe 1.5 board ft, in my luggage. The board cost $10, and they charged me $25 at the airport for "overweight luggage". If you plan ahead you should be fine. The ag inspectors saw it and didn't stop me.
-Zz
On Mon, 15 Jan 2007 20:46:59 -0600, "bob"

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bob wrote:

At the end of March 2004 I shipped 13 bd ft of Koa from Honolulu to California. I bought it (a plank that was 102" long x 8-1/2" x 2") from a furniture builder whose shop was near the Hawaii Stadium. He cut it into four equal-length pieces and sealed the end-grain for me. I took it to a UPS shop and shipped home for about $105, after paying $388 for the wood. My net cost was about $38 per board foot for some nicely figured Koa. Just a few months ago I sliced one of the four pieces into two bookmatched panels for use in building solid-body guitars - the stuff is gorgeous!
The best sources are probably on the Big Island, but I found this guy through a woman who sells koa back & side sets for acoustic guitars and makes koa shells for snare drums.
There's also a Woodcraft store in Honolulu that has some Koa in stock for prices ranging from $25 to over $50 per bd ft at that time - probably more now.
Good luck!
--Steve
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Yes, you must get yourself some while you're there.
There's a lumber yard in Honolulu down toward the Docks off Mokauea Street. They have a shop, where they were building some big coffee tables out of Koa that were absolutely beautiful (and probably worth $10,000 each). I asked if I could get some shorts to bring home and the guy took me over to their shorts storage area and let me pick through the pile. Since the stuff is so expensive they save almost every cut off, down to only a few inches square (and I thought I saved everything). I picked out 10 pieces that varied in size and thickness from 24"X 5"X 1" and smaller. When I decided that I had selected all that I wanted the guy looked my pile over and said $25. I think I got a pretty good deal because what I got totaled about 4 BF. I had one suitcase that wasn't very full, but with these boards added I almost couldn't get it closed. I even had to move a few things to another suitcase. It went through the luggage check-in and the trip home with no problems at all (know the size and weight limits ahead of time and then weigh the bags at the hotel). The agricultural inspectors weren't at all concerned about it. One of them told me that they were only interested in living vegetation, fruit, and wood that might contain insects. I've made a few small desk accessories (it doesn't make pens very well), but still have most of what I brought back. (Someday that special project will come along). If you are going to ship it back, take it to a UPS Store and have them box it up and ship it back for you. It's about as heavy as teak, so shipping will be expensive, even if you send it by snail carrier.
--
Charley


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You should definitely do it. I brought back about 12 bf of Koa this summer from Honolulu Hardwoods - it took me a bit of detective work to track down a place that would sell small quantities. I had a shipping store wrap it in bubblewrap and pack it in a cardboard box and I had no problems getting it through the agriculture inspection or baggage check-in (no extra fees) - and this was days after the "liquid bomb" scare in London.
More details here on my trip and the koa: http://www.ccsi.com/~mbrown/Travel/Hawaii/hawaii.html
Michael Brown
bob wrote:

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bob wrote:

Beyond any bug related regulations, consider the USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box if you can live with pieces 14" long and less. $8.10 regardless of weight and they provide the box.
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On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 12:55:49 -0700, Pete C. wrote

Yep! My inlaws mailed me one of these boxes full of Koa after we visited Kauai. -Bruce
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bob wrote:

Which island you going to? We went to the big island.
Yes, heavy, but not a problem at the airport except for weight. And I had several boards of suitcase length, and made it through just fine. And I had a pretty good pile of wood shipped for me. All I bought was koa for my bags, but I couldn't resist a 10/4 six-foot length of mango. That's the main reason I ended up having a load shipped by the seller (who, for some strange reason, was very familiar with the process)
There's lumber yards all over the big island. My favorite was Paradise Hardwoods on the east side near Hilo. But if you ask at all the little mom and pop shops with shelves of bowls and boxes, about half of 'em have a rack with cutoffs and nice pieces for people like you and me. :-) Often they were smaller trunk cutoffs, waxed at the ends. Several of those ended up in my luggage. One guy took me out back and let me pick through a batch of older koa that somebody's uncle had cut and dried in a shed for years, and now wanted to get rid of. Not great grain but it was cheap.
Lots of poking around in people's woodsheds, conversations with local woodworkers, picking through piles of wood. It was great. :-)
Oh yeah, there was some sightseeing too.
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