Some woodworkers would revel in the idea of living near and endless supply of beautiful hardwood and then retiring early so as to keep the pesky trials of working-for-a-living a pursuit of the past, leaving only time for working the wood and spoiling the grandchildren. Meet Jim King, a lumberman living in the pith of South America’s Amazon Forest, who very well may be living your dream. Here’s his take on the laborious work to make a tree into workable lumber for us guys and gals who like to use wood for fun.
– Mark Stephens
In order to discuss this topic a number of things must be understood. Possibly the most important and misunderstood fact is that people have been led to believe that there is a huge lumber industry in the Amazon. This is simply not true.
The Amazon, as with any tropical forest, is biologically very diverse and it is not unusual for 100 species of trees to grow on one acre; and no one knows in fact how many species exist.
In the tropical forest there are but a handful of species of any value known and exploited for world markets. Generally speaking, tropical lumbermen are small businessmen of little means. They work in a form that could be best related to as subsistence living.