ArBolivia - Bolivian Hardwood Invitation

The ArBolivia project has been supporting settler and indigenous communities in the Bolivian Amazon since 2007. The Bolivian timber market has been in crisis for about 7 years now, mainly due to the devaluation of the Brazilian Real, which swamped the Bolivian market with cheap but high quality wood from its much bigger and more economically advanced neighbour. This has been compounded by the equally over-valued Boliviano and government, which has not exactly encouraged the international investment community.

In order to overcome this, we are now hoping to introduce our woods, which are either “lesser- known” or completely unknown outside the region, to the UK market.

I have just taken delivery of 15 tonnes of “surplus stock” from the community of Santisima Trinidad, in the “Autonomous Indigenous Territory” of Monte Verde. It includes a range of about 8 species, rough-sawn into boards of either 1" or 2" thickness and varying lengths and widths.

Since my own plans for turning this stock into added-value commercial products have now stalled,

I have just ordered an Axminster Spiral planer/thicknesser, so that I can utilise my time at least to prepare the boards and add a little value myself. However that is probably where my competence ends!

I would therefore be happy to deliver supplies to any woodworkers, who would like to use their own spare time in the midst of the current lockdown to transform any of this wood into anything that will show case its unique characteristics and qualities.

I will not charge for the wood as such, although I would appreciate any donations towards the quite considerable costs to date and the cost of delivery. However I would like the finished piece(s) to be donated to our exhibition, originally planned to begin in the autumn and culminating in a charity dinner and auction in the run up to Christmas. This may of course ow be deferred to a later period - but will definitely be going ahead at some stage.

If you are interested in taking up this offer, I would really love to hear from you.

In the meantime, Happy Woodworking!!

Hi David, what a great idea. I have been turning now for about 10 years, just as a hobby so most of my output is used at local fairs and I have sold quite a few items, although there is no profit when I do sell. Obviously I have to buy all the materials so I am well aware of the cost of wood and indeed sourcing it can be quite difficult.
I would be interested in your offer and would welcome the chance to experiment with different species.
I would be happy to pay for a selection of what is on offer, including postage.
Could you let me know the sort of quantities you would envisage selling. My workshop is just my garage of standard size, so I would only be able to store a small quantity, although I may have a possible extra shed for storage.
My email is Regards Steve Lyne

Thanks Steve, great to hear from you! Here’s a link to some basic tech specs on each of the available species:
ArBolivia Woods
I have 15 tonnes of the stuff sitting in my own garage and on the driveway under tarpaulin - so I don’t think I will run out any time soon! - I’ll pick this up with you via email.