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  #1  
Old 03-08-2019, 02:53 PM
Aaron Foster's Avatar
Aaron Foster Aaron Foster is offline
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Default Queen City Guitars Introduction and a Question

Hey, I am brand new to the forum and thought I should introduce myself. My name is Aaron, I build steel string acoustics under the name Queen City Guitars in Oakland, CA. I'm originally from Denver, the Queen City of the Plains, which is where I got the name.

Currently I am working on a couple guitars for the Vancouver International Guitar Festival this summer. A small Mahogany and a slightly larger curly maple with a lot of Spanish cedar accents.

I am new to traveling across borders with guitars (I went to Guatemala with a Yamaha once, but it was mostly composed of plywood) and I am trying to figure out what exactly what I need to get in order before I try and leave the country with CITES listed woods. I am wondering if anyone has some insight or maybe a link to direct me to with info about what permits might be needed and how to obtain them? Any sort of hints or direction would be much appreciated! I am looking forward to being a part of the forum!

(I am finishing up rosettes on both guitars currently, so I will leave a couple pictures of those as they stand now...)

B8379790-D90C-46AC-AAE7-3DCB0CCB5081.JPG

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  #2  
Old 03-08-2019, 03:16 PM
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Hi Aaron and welcome to the forum. Traveling to Canada can be tricky if you plan to sell guitars there. If you do, then you must pay their sales tax when you cross customs and the guitars then become Canadian property. If you sell the guitar there, great. If not, when you cross back into the states, you have to apply to get your sales tax refunded which takes MONTHS!

Now when we travel there, we declare our guitars as “Trade show samples, NOT for sale”. If someone wants to buy the guitar, we bring it back with us and then ship it to them. It’s a whole lot easier (for us).

I would also suggest taking guitars, made from woods, that are NOT on the CITES list (IF) you don’t have proper permits? If the wood resembles woods that are on the CITES list then the burden of proof falls on you to prove otherwise or customs can seize the guitar. Its rare that it happens but it’s a real possibility.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:25 PM
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Vancouver had suggested as much about declaring the guitars "for exhibition" to avoid having to pay taxes on unsold guitars, which makes sense to me. Unfortunately I am stuck building with stock on hand for the moment, of which I believe Spanish Cedar, mahogany, and ebony are all listed, though none on the most severe restriction list. I do not mind obtaining permits, but I am unsure of the exact permits I need and where I should obtain them. Do I obtain permits from the US(fish and wildlife?) or Canada(???) or both?

I've spent a couple evenings trying to gather info, but so far have not found any solid answers...
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:26 PM
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Also thanks!
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:37 PM
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Hello, Aaron and welcome to the forum! Very nice rosette work.

Is this your website?
https://www.queencityguitars.com

JR
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:09 PM
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Thanks, and yes that is my website.
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:46 PM
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Hi Aaron,
Permits can take 2-3 months.

All CITES permit questions should be directed to the Division of Management Authority. Their contact information is as follows: Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits, at managementauthority@fws.gov or 1-800-358-2104.

Their website answers a lot of questions but itís best to call them. You usually get voicemail but they do return your call in a day or two (IF the government is open)?

https://www.fws.gov/international/permits/
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Old 03-08-2019, 11:45 PM
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Thanks Tim, this is just the page I was looking for. And on the plus side, reading the notes on Spanish cedar in the CITES appendices, it looks like at least that one is only restricted if you are trying to import raw wood, and not traveling with a guitar.

Guess I'll be starting on permit applications this weekend.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:14 AM
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Smile Welcome to AGF

Welcome, Aaron!

Lots of fun here at the AGF candy store and especially the Custom Shop, Luthier's hang out zone...

Pretty rosettes!

As usual, the Luthiers are very helpful. What a cool community

Best of luck with the CITIES permits, and the show too!

Looking forward to more pretty pics!

Paul
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:48 AM
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Reviving a dead thread for a couple of updates...

First up, bordering crossing was way easier than expected or even hoped for. I was not asked anything about wood species in either direction. Basically no interest was shown in the guitars by any border official. The Canadians had a lot of aggressive questions, but generally they revolved around whether I was just driving into Canada to set up in a park somewhere trying to sell things.

Second, I dont know if anyone on here saw me at the Vancouver Guitar Festival, but if you did you may have noticed that these two rosettes were absent. The oval sound hole guitar was something of an experiment in finishing and proved to be a real pain so after the first lacquer session I decided to scrape it all back and change my strategy. I'll be french polishing the body aiming for a vintage mandolin, piano black finish on the back with some bout fades, maybe a similar burst on the top as well? I'm hoping to be posting on the forum with some process shots in the coming weeks.

The Spanish cedar rosette belongs to a guitar that made it all the way to Canada with me, but the bridge lifted under one wing during transit and it spent the show in a case. I had been working up to the last moment before Vancouver so perhaps the fresh cure and the road trip were too much. I'll be pulling the bridge off this week I hope and redoing it, but in the meantime I thought I would put up a couple updated pictures of those two. You can see two of the guitars I did have on display in Vancouver in the Guitars in Stock sticky...







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Old 07-11-2019, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Foster View Post
Reviving a dead thread for a couple of updates...



First up, bordering crossing was way easier than expected or even hoped for. I was not asked anything about wood species in either direction. Basically no interest was shown in the guitars by any border official. The Canadians had a lot of aggressive questions, but generally they revolved around whether I was just driving into Canada to set up in a park somewhere trying to sell things.



Second, I dont know if anyone on here saw me at the Vancouver Guitar Festival, but if you did you may have noticed that these two rosettes were absent. The oval sound hole guitar was something of an experiment in finishing and proved to be a real pain so after the first lacquer session I decided to scrape it all back and change my strategy. I'll be french polishing the body aiming for a vintage mandolin, piano black finish on the back with some bout fades, maybe a similar burst on the top as well? I'm hoping to be posting on the forum with some process shots in the coming weeks.



The Spanish cedar rosette belongs to a guitar that made it all the way to Canada with me, but the bridge lifted under one wing during transit and it spent the show in a case. I had been working up to the last moment before Vancouver so perhaps the fresh cure and the road trip were too much. I'll be pulling the bridge off this week I hope and redoing it, but in the meantime I thought I would put up a couple updated pictures of those two. You can see two of the guitars I did have on display in Vancouver in the Guitars in Stock sticky...

















Nice to meet you briefly at the show. I wish Iíd made the time to stop by your table, I always feel like I donít get to see everything Iíd like at shows.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:53 AM
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Hi Aaron,
I recall meeting you and briefly playing one of your instruments at the Solano Stroll a year or two ago. Very nice! Cheers, /jd
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:08 AM
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Welcome to the forum Aaron ... nice looking work!
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wren View Post
Welcome to the forum Aaron ... nice looking work!
Thanks David, I've been lurking off and on for a while on here, but I'm excited to become a more active member, so much good stuff on here.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeld View Post
Hi Aaron,
I recall meeting you and briefly playing one of your instruments at the Solano Stroll a year or two ago. Very nice! Cheers, /jd
Joeld, Thanks! its interesting that of the hand full of California events I have done, the stroll was the least guitar focused and the also the one that I feel like I got to connect with the most interested people.
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