~ History and Anatomy ~
During the 1800’s, cattle trains from Mexico brought the infamous mesquite trees to present day Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The wood has long been relied upon by shrimp fishermen for building seaworthy vessels. However, it wasn’t until the last 25 years that furniture makers have increasingly begun to realize its potential for unique furniture.
Thousands have tried without success to rid their property of mesquites because of their thorn bearing branches which flatten tires within minutes. Since most landowners, then, consider mesquite trees a curse, we have worked to come in contact with folks who want to rid their land of their larger mesquite trees and help them out by cutting them down and then sawing them into our lumber.
When milling our lumber, it is difficult to procure consistently straight, long boards from the majority of our mesquite logs, as these trees tend to grow at odd angles and curves. Every log displays its own unique grain patterns and color. We thus put our mesquite lumber into three classifications:
Premium: includes wide, straight-grain lumber with consistent color and characteristics over the entire face of the wood. Products may exhibit small sapwood highlights and/or black fillings.
Premium figured: includes the rare pieces that exhibit intense swirl, curl, birdseye, burl, quilt, crotch figure, or otherwise unusual grain patterns which add incredible beauty and character to the piece.
Natural/Rustic: Each piece exhibits unique characteristics including, natural edges, boar holes, mineral streaking, spalting, fillings, and any of the figures listed in Premium figured category which create a once in a lifetime piece.
~ The Wood ~
No other hardwood offers the incredible range of color, figure, and texture like mesquite. Due to its weather resistance and extreme strength, mesquite can be used for anything from creative furniture, to premium quality cutting boards that will last a lifetime even when washed occasionally in a dishwasher. Spoons carved from this wood are structurally sound and very attractive. Like cedar, it is resistant to the outdoor climates even in an unfinished state.
The American Hardwood Association writes that mesquite is “replenishable, rare and exotic.” This wood is both harder and more stable than either oak or maple. The black streaks seen in mesquite are stable cracks that we have filled with epoxy resin which bonds the crack so it will never open up over the years. The colors found in mesquite range from lemon and honey, to caramel and brick red, a range of colors unmatched by any other hardwood. Caleb says, “Mesquite is definitely our favorite of all favorites, both to work with and to provide for our customers. It makes every day exciting and unique; we will never see another board exactly like another. Most have to see it to believe it.”