How much 8/4 Mesquite are you needing? I would be very interested in
trading with you for some Fiddleback Maple if you are interested. I am one
of a few that sells kiln dried mesquite lumber. I have a couple of nice
pieces of 8/4 in my shop and a few more in the kiln now, although most of
it is 4/4. I will be drying a load of 8/4 next month.
I am in the Texas Hill country close to Austin and San Antonio and cut
trees off of ranches in the area. I just found six that are 36"+ in
diameter this morning that will all be 8/4 stock for rockers, doors &
Ya done good Mike,
Mesquite is a gem of a hardwood that is undiscovered by most
woodworkers. Honey Mesquite is most common in Texas, although in Arizona
screwbean mesquite grows as well. It works easily with carbide tools, has a
nice smell & it takes and retains crisp clear details from router/shaper &
carving knife and polishes up to a gorgeous finish. Sunlight will turn it
to a deep rich reddish brown & sometimes almost purple color in a short
time (even a few hours will be enough to see a change).
The high silica content makes it a little hard on planer/jointer
knives. Seeing sparks coming off of my saw blades is not uncomon. :-) It is
almost twice as hard as oak with expansion being very low and almost the
same in any direction. It is heavy as well, with a specific gravity around
.69 to .77
Mesquite finishes beautifully. I have used shellac, BLO/Turps/Tung
oil, laquer, and currently use a poly/oil mix that David Marks showed me,
when he was in Austin a few months back. All of these finishes work great,
but shellac and laquer don't bring out the depth of the wood quite as well
as the oil finishes.
It does raise a very fine dust when worked, especially when sanded.
Some folks are pretty allergic to it because of the extractants(sp?) in the
wood, others develop a reaction to it over time. Just use a good filter
mask and you will be fine. Be sure to wear crappy clothes when you work it.
The sawdust stains something terrible when you get dust on your clothes and
you are sweating and since you are in AZ, I would supect you will be doing
exactly that. I have ruined many a good t-shirt this way. Hah!
When you finish your project, save all your scraps! It is excellent for
BBQ and imparts a distinctive flavor in food, just be sure not to use green
wood to stoke your fire while the meat is on the pit, yuck. In addition to
being a beautiful furniture wood, it works great for fuel, since it puts
out more BTU's per pound than any wood known to man. (Don't burn it in your
fireplace or in those stamped metal grills. It burns so hot that it will
break your firebrick and ruin your grill) My grill is a piece of
There was an effort made sometime in the 80's to try to use it
commercially here in Texas for power plant boiler fuel, but harvesting it
was cost prohibitive, thank goodness. You would be hard pressed to find a
BBQ place in Texas that doesn't use mesquite exclusively. Here in Llano,
the three places we have burn 1000-2000 lbs of it a day depending on
whether it is a weekend or not. I keep two big plastic garbage cans beside
my shop to keep my scraps in.
PS: Warning -- Shameless plug to follow:
If anyone wants to see a big collection of mesquite stuff, come to
Fredericksburg, Texas October 8, 9, & 10 for the Texas Mesquite
Association's annual Spring Show and Sale. Lots of really nice mesquite
furniture and artwork will be there. Rough lumber will even be available. I
believe seven vendors will have lumber for sale and at least 72 with
furniture, art, gun stocks, etc. A blacksmith buddy and I will have three
I'm coming to the show. I recently joined the TMA. I received a packet of
newsletters and roster, but no membership card. Will you be selling your 8/4
stock at the show? What lengths will there be available. (Can I haul it in
the Tahoe or do I need to bring the F150? I'm looking for rocking chair
"Michael Burton" <mhburtonatmomentdotnet> wrote in message
That's a fun show, for sure. I also got a bunch of good ideas for
various projects by browsing the booths. (Like this lamp:
) While there is a fair
amount of kitschy stuff there, you find some real artisans. I also ran
across a guy who had a slab that was 8/4 by at least 24" and maybe 10'
long ... and almost totally clear! I've never seen a piece of mesquite
like that. It wasn't for sale, unless you wanted to pay him to make
something for you from it. :-)
So, Michael ... do you have any clear 12/4 stock? My stash is
almost gone, and I was hoping to get a clear piece to use for a wooden
Chuck Vance (in Wimberley)
Nice looking lamp, Chuck. I have been thinking of buying some crushed
Turquoise for some future projects from a place in Albuquerque(sp?) I asked
the native american jewelry folks use. Its called Rio Grange and they have
a huge selection of stuff in their catalog. www.riogrande.com
Thanks, Michael. I stole the idea directly from one of the guys who
was showing at the TMA festival. (Except I added the inlaid star.) I
even told him what I was planning to do, and he just laughed and said,
"Good luck drilling the hole for the pipe". He evidently breaks a lot
of bits trying to drill them. I had hoped to see him this year and
suggest he might have better luck using a ship's auger bit and a
handbrace like I did. :-)
Thanks for the info. When I started on that project I got my
turquoise from Craft Supplies, U.S.A.
FWIW, I played around with some different methods for doing the
infill, and I got the best results by packing turquoise with epoxy to
just below the surface and then coming back and filling the rest of the
way with epoxy by itself. The epoxy then acts sort of like a lens and
gives a very nice effect. Just a head's up for those who might be
playing around with the stuff.
So will you be at the fest all three days? I'm thinking of heading
up on Saturday for a while.
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