Still Legal to Import Rosewood?

I have an acquaintance who will be traveling from Brazil to the US in a couple of weeks. Is it still legal to import a small quantity of Brazilian Rosewood?
I'd like to make some new parts for my collection of planes. Any thoughts on the "best' way to produce totes and knobs that are "exact" replacements? They are not all that expensive to buy but it might be fun to make some. I guess I could use about 20 sets right now.
Yes, I could do a Google search (tm), but this is both a legal question and a subjective question. Neither is best served by Google.
Thanks for your input.
Dave
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Dave asks:

Well, OK. But check out http://www.cites.org /
Found that through Google.
It may help.
Dalbergia nigra, the Brazilian rosewood, does have trade restrictions, but...couldn't locate exactly what restrictions. There are related, non-endanger species. Useful Woods of the World lists 8 dalbergia. Probably the closest related is cocobolo in terms of distance is (dalbergia retusa). Dalbergia stevensonii is hard to find outside Belize, but...I think it's prettier than many of the others, if you can find it. For a non-rosewood form, check out dalbergia decipularis, tulipwood. From Brazil, gorgeous, straw-coolored background with varicolored streaks of pink, rose and maybe some violet, with some stretches of yellow. It would make some very unusual totes and knobs.
Given all that, the stuff is probably going to be expensive, even in Brazil, but probably nowhere near what it costs here.
Suggestion: check with U.S. Customs as to restrictions on bringing some in. Those are the guys who will give you a hard time if you bring it in illegally, so they certainly should be able to tell you whether or not it is legal, and, if so, in what quantities and with what paperwork.
Good luck. Pop up some photos when you get your new handles done.
Charlie Self
"In the final choice a soldier's pack is not so heavy as a prisoner's chains." Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) appears in CITES Appendix 1, which pretty much means it isn't going to be an option for importation. I'm don't think I'm willing to do the amount of paperwork it would take to import a board or two. (I'm extrapolating from my knowledge of importing bird species).
I think I'll look around for some "used" Rosewood for a bit and then move on to the other options. I'll research dalbergia decipularis too. I'm not experienced at "exotic wood," but the options at the local woodcraft vary from around $8 to $13/bf so I doubt I'll be going that route either.
Perhaps I'll make a few from various species and make a subjective choice. Santa is bringing me a few plane books and is pretty excited after using the LN 60-1/2 at Woodcraft last weekend. I think she just thinks they look cool, but that is ok too. I told her I only have a few dozen old Stanley's and she suggested I purchase a few more.
Anyway, thanks for the responses.
Dave

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Nor UseNet. Call the US Customs Bureau. If they say it is OK try to get that from them in writing.
It is better to work through a competent lawyer.
Don't take chances, violations can result in jail time.
--

FF

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as far as I know yes. Plus is it really the real thing? it's hard to find it in good shape. myself cocobolo looks nicer.I thought brazilian rosewood was not too colorful just dark smells great but it is terrible in the lungs. I made a couple of infills from it. but old dark cocobolo is nicer I think.
--
Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
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Executive Summary:
Don't try to import Brazilian Rosewood.
===========================
Just for fun I tried to chase this one down.
Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) is listed on CITES appendix 1, making it almost impossible to import. Interestingly, it is in the legume family. On a positive note, I determined that it is the only Dalbergia with restrictions.
Here is some interesting info on the properties of the wood. http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/TechSheets/Chudnoff/TropAmerican/pdf_files/dalber2new.pdf
I called US Customs who sent me to USDA. Of course USDA didn't have a real answer on the specific species in question, but they did say that there is really no duty on lumber for personal use (< $2K). The fee would be "around $5 or $10." She then said that if the Fish and Wildlife Service would let it in, so would they.
Continuing my armchair journey, I called US Fish and Wildlife. Agent was very helpful and we finally found the species listed in the bad book.
So to import Brazilian Rosewood you would have to have a permit from the country of origin, a permit from the country of destination, and pay a small fee. The permits are generally reserved for scientific use or "something that would help the species recover in the wild."
Now for the unexpected part:
I told the guy I was restoring some old Stanley planes. I was surprised when he started asking questions. Turns out he has some very old Swedish carpentry tools that he tried to restore with poor results. I didn't catch what acid he used but it gave the characteristic gray metal color. He specifically mentioned chisels. I gave him the down and dirty version of electrolysis derusting and a brief intro to Scary Sharp(tm). The info seemed to make his day.
He suggested Hickory and Walnut as alternatives to Rosewood and wondered aloud what Chinese Rosewood might actually be. Said he sees a lot of that coming through. Also mentioned that he had antique literature touting Eucalyptus for tool handles. He thinks there are around 400 species of Eucalyptus, but only around 40 that are suitable for tool handles. Apparently some rich guy named Sutro planted the wrong species all around the hills of San Francisco:).
I'll keep contemplating the perfect wood to make my own set of trademark handles. I have recently considered Mesquite after seeing some of the gorgeous items in ABPW. I have also thought about Maple, Beech, Laminate, Cocobolo, and a few that have been mentioned in this thread. I can't remember what wood the black stained handles (type 17, etc) were made from. Your thoughts welcome.
Dave
PS. Anyone want to trade my old planes for your old planes?
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I can't answer either of your question, but I had a similar plan once and just found it to be too much of a PITA. Unless your acquaintance wants to kill at least a day finding somewhere to buy the stuff, ship it home or pack an extra suitcase, etc then it probably isn't a realistic plan.
-- Larry C in Auburn WA

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PITA = Huge
Chance(Jail) - too high.
:)

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Keywords:

This is probably an urban legand, but I heard of someone who bought something else and had it crated in some fancy wood. Paid a small duty on the object, and got a lot of nice lumber past the customs folks without any hassle. I suspect they are on to this dodge, so I wouldn't recommend trying it.
Doug White
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I don't know if it's illegal to import but there is some of it available in the US, Martin Guitar Co., and Taylor Guitars, have stocks of Brazillian Rosewood. They may have some scrap pieces w/ gnarly grain (not usefull for guitar backs and sides) that they possibly be willing to sell. Be aware that this might cost you a small fortune (a set of good Brazillian Rosewood back and sides for a guitar cost $3K or more)
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