Local Flavor: Mahogany Field Trip

The crew and I (Ancel and Andy left to right) visited with my friend Tom Steventon (far right) up the hill in town to do an inventory on his mahogany-and-others supply. Tom used to work for Stanley Tools back in the day and saved all sorts of "ends" that would otherwise wind-up as scrap or destined for woodstove burning. He's amassed a pretty great collection and is ready to part with the bulk of it, so I told him I'd help him do so.

All of this has been in storage, air-drying, for a couple decades, pretty-much.

Stack A: Neck blanks?

In this stack are a huge amount of mahogany pieces that might work well for smaller-instrument necks -- either bolt-on electric-style or layered to make an acoustic neck. They're long enough for some 12-fret guitars, too, and measure about 20 1/4" x 2 5/8" x 1 1/4" usable.

As with all of this wood, some of it will have small cracks or flaws but there's plenty of it that's actually nice and clean and ready to go. The vast majority of this is "proper-looking" mahogany of the probably South American variety -- medium-brown-red and a lot with mild figure or interesting grain.

ON HOLD: Stack B: One-piece electric bodies or blocking?

This stack is a selection of big, thick mahogany slabs. These measure 18" x 18" x 3" and only the top one has edge wear. I think this stuff would be reasonably lightweight when resawn thinner and turned into... electric guitar bodies! Why not?

I, myself, have used a smaller section of this stuff to make a one-piece neck for a project as well.

There are 5 or 6 of these available.

ON HOLD: One-off: The Big Guy: ...a body?

At just shy of 23" and  just shy of 18" x 3" depth, this is the largest chunk on offer.

Stack C: Roughly 18x12x3"

These have the same length and depth as Stack B but are narrower and so would probably suit for use as blocking or small instrument necks or bodies. Electric mandolins or ukes, anyone? Or thinner electric guitars? They're roughly 18" x 12" x 3" and some have shortish hairline cracks in them.

There are 25 or 26 of these available.

On the right in the above pic is the continuation of "Stack C."

Stack D: Roughly 18x10x3"

These are roughly 18" x" 10" x 3" chunks and there are 9 or 10 of them.

Stack E: Roughly 17 1/2" x 7" x 3"

There are about 11 of these.

Stack F: Roughly 17 1/2" x 10" x 3"

There are 6 or 7 of these.

Stack G: Small flats with half-rounds 17 1/2" x 3" x 1/2" usable

Tom has... cases and cases... and stacks... of these. Many actually have quite pretty grain and figure and I've used a few before when building things around the house and made a couple of quick fretless uke-like instruments for people with them in the past, too. I could imagine one could even do whole walls and floors with this stuff but that would be quite deluxe, no?

Here's Ancel praying to the wood gods...

Stack H: Small flat maple 12" x 3 1/4" x 1/2"

This is nice, sanded maple that's ready to go. Again, you can see that there's a lot of it here. Maybe 250 pieces?

Stack I: Long mahogany blanks 47" x 3" 1 1/2" usable

These 3 pieces are perhaps the most interesting for builders -- what with the fact one could make a one-piece neck through with the stuff easily! This is nice, darker-colored mahogany as well.

Other stuff...

Tom has various other odds and ends -- some 40" x 3" x 5/8" maple flats... random thin ply... and a few more mahogany blanks that are a little more cracky up in his annex. There are some very thin/narrow pieces of walnut and rosewood around as well, but not really useful for instrument making.


Unknown said…
Hey Jake-How don’t arrange to contact him to purchase?
Rob Gardner said…
Wow, I didn't know Tom had all that wood. The Stanley factory was one of ten little factories we used to have in the valley. All gone to China.... Looks like a great field trip.