Guadeloupe 2016 Wood trip

10 or 12 years ago i had the chance to find this little hidden saw-mill specializing in Mahogany in the middle of the jungle of Basse Terre. Back then I was so impressed with how many trees he had cut and milled. The owner was such an interesting man and great " Ebeniste", he was.... I wanted to buy a few blocks of local Acajou to build some guitars, he refused to accept my cash and say take them and let me know if my wood fits you well.... I did then came back 2 / 3 times in the past decade, couldn't find the location again. The third time the door was locked. The local woodworkers did not know where he was... Today drove by, he was there building a beautiful furniture piece... We walked in and the first thing he said: I remember you, you are the Luthier from Canada. We showed him photos of a few guitars built using his wood. He had such sparks in his eyes... Since he retired and built time to time furniture... He told me that most of the wood is gone and that no one took over as it's quite difficult to log those hardwoods and the hardest is to find a path / way to enter the jungle. He kept some of his best pieces of rare quilted figured wood. He asked how many blocks i needed. I was like i ll buy 10 / 20 / 30 large blocks.... He looked at me and said sure come back in a week all the wood would be ready and resawn. I happily said yes, let me know how much cash to bring. He replies no it's free..... In this location of Pointe Noire, people have been working with wood for centuries and have such love for the craft and nature.... It really taught me a lesson about life.... You enter the warehouse through a tiny door that looks like nothing, underneath runs a river and the big bandsaw is powered by the river flow.... There are goats passing by the machines....
He usually waits 5 years after taking down a tree to mill it. Then wait another 10 years to use it. There's no kiln it's all air dried. The moon calendar is crucial as he was explaining to us that if you cut a tree on the full moon, within weeks the inside will be fully eaten by termites, as an example he showed us a marvellous thick flamed acajou board 3 inches thick by 12+ by 12 feet. You could yield easily 8 archtops back from it (do the math). The board was 30 years old and was cut by mistake on the full moon, he then cross cut it in front of us. All the inside hollowed out by termites..... He was curious to learn how others processed wood and use it. We sat and talk for a good hour. He taught us so many tricks that Ii had to take notes. Just around his house, they are 19 Ebenistes (furniture maker) shop