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Mesquite may never reach great commercial importance for woodworking outside its regional range because of a relatively small size and commonly bent and twisted trunk. However, many small companies throughout the Southwest (especially Texas) offer the wood as turning squares, blocks, and in board form. Sawn veneer is some times available, too. Expect to pay up to $10 per board foot for premium stock. For a free, soft-cover directory of mesquite suppliers (some selling by mail order) and users, send a request to Mesquite Industry Directory, Texas Forest Products Laboratory, P.O. Box 310, Lufkin, TX 75901. Or telephone 409/639-8180. Also use this address to contact the two active promotional groups for this cabinet-class woodworking stock, Los Amigos del the Mesquite (Friends of the Mesquite) and the Texas Mesquite Association. Mesquite seasons exceptionally well, with little checking, shrinkage, or warp. However, the hard wood has a high extractive content which tends to overheat cutting blades. Use carbide-tipped blades and cutters for your power tools, and follow these tips to work mesquite.

Continued on page 5:  Machining methods


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