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Plotting the Iraqi-Caster

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by TRexF16, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Short version - I'm here, for a while... beautiful, romantic Balad Air Base, Iraq. Barncaster remembered the matched pair of Teles I built for my best friend and I from a huge truck tire chock brought home when we were both flying in Abu Dhabi, and reminded me to hunt up some wood over here too. Well, only four days after arriving in-country I stumbled on pretty much the Mother Lode:
    Wood.JPG
    It's been a month but I finally got around to going over there. It was a bit toasty and the workers at this site had gone home for the day:
    IMG_6160.PNG
    There's a slight warming trend coming up...LOL.
    Though my Iraqi security guy was pretty nervous and in kind of a hurry for us to bug out, I grabbed three pieces suitable for bodies and one very interesting neck blank. Here they are back at Home-Sweet-Home:
    IMG_0102.JPG
    I took some more pics then brought 'em in the hooch so they don't suffer a bad death - there's a morale fire pit only about 10 meters from my door!

    Next post will be name that wood time...

    Rex
     
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  2. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    So, help me ID the wood in the neck blank please.
    The three thick 4x4-ish are pine, the shorter two are some type of a wide-ringed white pine, extremely light and soft. Would probably make a nice body but the "look at it wrong and it dents" type. The long one is a yellow pine of some sort, and a fair bit denser. I could get two bodies out of them if I had my shop but now I don't have so much as a saw. I have to scrounge one of those to break these down to fit in my suitcase when I come home on R&R.
    IMG_0103.JPG
    The neck blank is a mystery to me though. It's 3 7/8" by 1 5/8" by about 6.5' long, more than enough for two necks if it had no checks. It's the yellow-ish one in the pic. It is very hard and dense and looks like maple on the surface, but it's not. It is porous, like mahogany, not like a ring-porous hardwood like oak or ash - there are no apparent growth rings. From the pattern of the checks in the surface it looks as if it has a very twisty, interlocking grain structure like some eucalyptus tends towards.
    I shaved off a small bit with my knife. It leaves a very shiny surface behind the blade, and the exposed surface shows that mahogany-like pore structure.
    IMG_6165.JPG IMG_6166.JPG IMG_6168.JPG
    Any ideas on what kind of wood this might be?
    And "Yep, it's wood."
    There, that's out of the way. ;o)

    Cheers,
    Rex
     
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  3. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Island NY
    Maybe Santos Mahogany ? Pretty far from its natural range though . It sure has the mahogany family look to it where you carved with your knife .
     

  4. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Theftcaster. :)
     
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  5. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    If it smells good, it could be Lebanese cedar.
     
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  6. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Holic

    806
    May 29, 2016
    Kansas
    The grain sends my mind racing in the direction of Mahogany. Not an expert on the different types, but that's my best guess.
     
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  7. Bugeater281

    Bugeater281 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    242
    Nov 30, 2016
    Omaha

  8. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Interesting idea. But the palm wood I have seen is characterized by distinct specks on the end grain, as shown by these two pics, and this one does not have that when I slice across the end grain with my knife. But having done so, I can see very closely spaced and thin growth rings, and no apparent pores, at least not big ones, on the end grain.
    10260.jpg Coconut-Palm-tree-wood-Eco-Material-4.jpg
    I hope it'll be more identifiable when I plane it down. Based on the thickness and grain flow, I should be able to create a nearly flat-sawn 1" thick neck blank. I have about 3 weeks R&R in October and will try to take it home then and do some milling.

    These, BTW are the plan for the pickups:
    s-l1600.jpg
    I bought these from Q Pickups out of Croatia off eBay a couple weeks after I got here. Thinking about straight Strat wiring, and maybe go all black on the body, hardware, and pickguard. I have a full set of Schaller and Gotoh black hardware I got as part of a package deal off Craigslist a couple years ago and have been saving for the right project. Might look good with the neck natural finished.

    Rex
     
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  9. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    It pretty much smells like Iraq, only nicer. And it's really dense and hard. I reckon maybe it does have a hint of mahogany smell to it - it's kind of hard for me to recall since I haven't worked any for at least six months. It's pretty mild.
    It does have every indication of being a fine candidate for a neck though.

    Thanks for the inputs so far, friends.
    Rex
     

  10. Bugeater281

    Bugeater281 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    242
    Nov 30, 2016
    Omaha
    If you look at the bottom left piece in the photo you posted it doesn't have much endgrain. My reasoning for guessing palm is most palm available to woodworkers is high quality.
    Same with wood like maple. There's basic maple all around, but Birdseye or quilted are more rare and usually sold to woodworkers. I'm curious as to if all palm is heavily grained. The long deep grain kinda resembles palm. I could also be wrong, I'm still new to all this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017

  11. Barncaster

    Barncaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Dang it Rex, I was gonna wind you a donation set but you beat me to it!

    Some of my pups have gone to Iraq but thankfully made it back home to Texas.

    Rob
     
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  12. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Didn't you see where I said there's enough here for two bodies and two necks? (and a heck of a lot more where that came from!) I'm still Jonesing for a set of those Firebirds if the offer's still good!
    Heck I'd even scrap the whole initial pickup plan if a set of Barncaster Firebirds was in the mix.

    Cheers, Rob
    Rex
     

  13. Barncaster

    Barncaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Hey Rex,
    The offer is more than still good. I may even insert the build in the thread if that's OK with you.

    Remember, you'll need a Gibson spaced bridge to use them. The Fender Mexican narrow spaced bridges work well.
    Rob
     
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  14. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Tele-Afflicted

    May 5, 2015
    Alaska
    So you've absolutely ruled out Oak? Cause it looks oakish to me. It's cribbing, right? Used for shipping something? So its gonna be something common or cheap.

    Or maybe walnut. It definitely looks like a hardwood. I'm no good at identifying wood, so FWIW.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
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  15. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Yep Mike, I am certain it isn't walnut or oak. I'll try to shave a bit more off the end grain after work today and see if I can get a shot of that. I need to try to grab another of these hardwood boards off that pile, but to answer your other question, I don't think it was for shipping. They were used for bracing something that softwood was not fit for, not sure beyond that. There are no nail holes in the neck blank.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     

  16. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    And so I reckon a MIM tremolo (2 1/16") would work too? If this migrates from the three pickup plan to Firebirds, I may want to be able to put a little whammy to them. Would 2 1/8" spacing be too much? That's what the Wilkinsons with the 5 oblong holes are and I really love how they function - smooth as silk and there is no play whatsoever in the trem arms.

    And of course, it would be an honor to have you post the building of a set of Firebirds in this thread. I am hoping to get into pickup winding myself soon and we can all learn from you! I'm humbled by your offer and appreciate it so much.

    Cheers all,
    Rex
     

  17. abrianb

    abrianb Tele-Meister

    242
    Mar 5, 2014
    Indiana
    It looks like nato.
     

  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    I suspect the 'pine' type boards are local cedar and the mystery piece is one of the palms, wood database shows some of the palm woods are the same density as oak (so quite heavy).

    Stiffness tends to follow hardness in materials so while that board is heavy, is it hard? If so then a good fretboard and/or neck.

    .
     

  19. Barncaster

    Barncaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Hey Rex,
    The magnets in Firebird bobbins are just about exactly 2.125" or 2 1/8" wide. Alignment is critical and so is bridge placement.
    Rob
     

  20. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Then that would be the name for about half my builds. I'm a scrounged wood junkie ;)
    "Liberated" is the more traditional term for such spoils of war.
     
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