Sunday, December 13, 2009

My lucky day?

Here's the story:

I am fortunate to have great car mechanics, brothers Wade and Tom Marston. Old school - can do guys, that work on any model car, from early Model T's to our Audi and Honda Minivan (though I think they enjoy the old stuff the most). These are the guys that are putting our 1969 MGB back together after a body up restoration. They are doing all the mechanical stuff and the engine rebuild.

I stopped by their shop a few weeks ago to check on the MG, and we started taking boat work. Tommy then said "I have a couple sticks of mahogany". I looked at him a little strange and said "OK" (like in I need way more than a few sticks.....)

He continues, "I bought them about 30 years ago when a lumberyard in town when bankrupt. they are about 4" thick". "You have what", I said, well aware that 16/4 (4") thick Philippine Mahogany has not been available for the last 8-10 years. "I have two pieces" he continued, "about 12 feet long and 20" wide". I could not believe what I heard. Though he thinks they might be Honduran, I needed to check them out.

He said, "well, that's easier said than done. They are stored in the back of my shed, with 30 years of car parts, including a couple of MGA's and a few motor cycles on top and in front. To get to them we have to cut a hole in the outside wall, but I'll do that for you".

I went to see him today, and with the end wall open up I could see the two slabs. One is 21" wide and the other is 24" wide.

He had three pieces at one point, and from the 4" x 4" pieces that's left of the last, I took this picture with my cell phone. From this cut made 15-20 years ago, it is hard to see what type of Mahogany it is. Let me know if you have a suggestion or want to guess. I'm sending a sample to USDA Forest Service tomorrow. They should be able to determine the correct specie.

Again, let me know if you can help me out.

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