Reply by TexasTimbers

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Posted on Mesquite tree harvested and available

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67 posts in 3811 days

#1 posted 04-27-2008 03:15 PM

Hey BSR,

Nice hunk there. Don’t know what part of Texas you are in so I don’t know what species of Mesquite you have there. Looks like Honey though.

I am interersted in knowing why you are under the impression you must let it lie before it is “ready for milling”. If anything, the opposite is true. Alot of people like the rustic look of the borer holes that are certain to come from the oncoming attacks if you are allow those logs sit around. They won’t usually go too far into the log before being satisfied though, and will stop at the outer inch or two. They do not confine themselves to the sap they love the heart just as much.

Shake is a very common problem with Mesquite espesially Honey Mesquite, and don’t be suprised to mill large slabss (mantles etc. as Mesquite mantles are downright popular) that actually fall apart when you take ‘em off the mill. Not always, but it is not uncommon on larger trunks especially of the Honey flavor.

Milling your logs right now is advised inless you want the borers to help you cater to ther rustic market. You can actually hear them eating the wood after they call all their relatives, if you leave them lying on the ground long enough. Keeping them off the ground will delay the inevitable but not prevent it.

Mesquite as you know has only a 1% difference between the tangential and radial shrinkage so you can mill without fear of movement. It is a rare thing to see a piece of Mesquite, large or small, any species of it, move much if at all. Before I started milling this species I read as many articles as I could, and in hindsight I know there is alot of dis-information about this species. If you are afraid the wood is going to move on you as I read in one article some years ago forget it. Wood with low shrinkage percentages ands the tangential and radial being so close (2% and 3% can’t remeber which is which but either way that is low) it is a urban legend that any wood this dense, with such short wood fibers, is going to move. Some industry refernces cite Mesquite the most stable wood on the planet and all the other ones call it “one of the most” stable.

I don’t want to sound like you cannot allow it to lie around befoe milling for other reasons relevant to some species like Osage etc because you can. But your statement that it will not “be readyy for milling” is a puzzler unless you are referring to the allowing the borers to do their work because you already know you want the holes, but it does not sound like you are planning that.

If you want to cater to the turner markets you ought to be getting it in front of them know. Turners who have turned this wood DO NOT want it any other way than green. It is a pure joy to turn green and a favored wood among them. Look at my powdercreeksawmill,com website on the Mesquite page and you will see how I market it. I don’t cut it until it is ordered.

I am not a Mesquite “expert” and don’t want to come across as a self-procl;aimed-guru, but I have milled my share and what little knowledge I have shared here is based on my experience so take it for what it is worth.

I do know this, that’s one nice trunk and if it stays together don’t allow it to go too cheap. And remember, voids in Mesquite are not considered defects any more than knots are in Eastern Red Cedar. Nice find!

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."

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