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Mcsquite Boards are Short and Narrow

Mesquite trees have short trunks with lots of branches. Consequently, the lumber doesn't easily fit National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) grading guidelines. Although an NHLA grading standard has been developed lor mesquite, few sawmillers use it. If you tell a mesquite sawmiller,"! need eight or ten 12-ft. mesquite boards to build a large table," he'll probably tell you lhat he's been cutting mesquite for more than 20 years and has only seen a couple of boards near that size. With mesquite, the watchword is "short and

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Mesquite trees are small, so the boards are short and narrow.They are usually not graded by standard hardwood grades, but by appearance.

narrow." A clear 2-in. x 6-in. x 6-ft.-long clear board is extremely rare.

Straight mesquite logs are typically 5 to 8-ft.longat most, and 15 to 18-in, in diameter. Longer and larger logs usually contain excessive ring shake or are too crooked to yield long, straight, clear lumber.

You should expect to pay $5 to S8 or more per bd, ft, of kiln-dried, surfaced lumber and $12 or more for premium boards with exceptional beauty. However, air-dried rough lumber is often all you'll be able to find.

Mesquite lumber is often graded into four general appearance grades: Premium: large size and fine figure No. 1: large size and/or much clear surface measure

No. 2: average size and average clear surface measure

No. 3: much defect with ihe integrity of the board compromised. This grade is usually cut up for small projects.

The rule when buying mesquite is to work closely with your supplier (see Sources, page 53). Make sure they know what you want regarding size and color, because mesquite, with all its detects, is extremely variable.

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Shoots 3 Different Length Brads

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