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Mesquite

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Shop-Tested Techniques

Shop-Tested Techniques

Any exceptions, and special tips pertaining to this featured wood species, appear elsewhere on this page.


  • For stability in use indoors, always work wood with a maximum moisture content of 6-7 percent. Wood for outdoor projects can have 12 percent moisture.
  • Feed straight-grained wood into planer knives at a 90 angle. To avoid tearing, feed figured wood or that with interlocking grain at a slight angle of 15, and take shallow cuts of about 1/32".
  • For clean cuts, rip with a rip-profile blade that has 24-32 teeth. For crosscutting, use a blade with about 40 teeth.
  • Avoid drilling with twist drills. They tend to wander from the start hole and cause breakout. Use a backing board under the workpiece when drilling.
  • Drill pilot holes for screws.
  • Rout with sharp, preferably carbide-tipped, bits and take shallow passes to avoid burning.
  • Carving hardwoods generally means shallow gouge bevels-15 to 20-and shallow cuts.

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