It's been a long time coming, but with the Australian dollar at last reaching parity with the U.S. dollar (and predicted to climb even further), the parcel delivery van has been an increasingly frequent visitor of late. With such a strong local currency at present, Australian exporters are feeling the pain, but as an importer of "must have" guitar-building tools and exotic woods, I'm in my glory.
For too long, as my finger hovered uncertainly over the "Buy Now" button on the Allied Lutherie or Luthier's Mercantile web sites, I was forced to add up to 50% to the advertised U.S. price as I made a rough conversion to my own currency - and that's before I'd factored in those truly horrendous international freight charges. Often, I'd indulge in a little harmless fantasy and fill my online shopping cart and then, after a moment or two to savour the experience, grudgingly click the "Empty Cart" button after reality had kicked in and I'd calculated the final cost!
East Indian Rosewood
I've never been one to horde wood, preferring instead to order materials to satisfy immediate needs, but after my recent purchases I must admit it's nice for a change to be able to pick and choose from the growing collection of soundboards and back and side woods awaiting my attention. I can see why wood acquisition can become an addiction for many builders!