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Palo Verde and Mesquite

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  • Palo Verde and Mesquite

    I am new to the Tucson AZ area and find that I can get easy access to both Palo Verde and Mesquite. Has anyone used these for carving? I've got a couple of samples to try and will let all know the outcome.

  • #2
    Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

    What size does this come in Bob. Please do let us know how well it works out. Lar

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    • #3
      Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

      Greetings to someone in my neck of the country. I am in Alexandria, Mn area. I do not know anything about Palo Verde but have carved Mesquite, it is very hard and mostly has to be power carved or worked with a rasp. If you are interested in seeing some of the results. A good source is the wood sculpture and poetry of j christopher white he does marvelous work with mesquite. Have fun. Gene

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      • #4
        Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

        Mesquite.... hawaii is outrageous hard, it had to be carved with power.... broke a few of my best chisels on it...and a knife before changing to power. And even with power because it was so hard , it was a long hard process. Upside it is long lasting, beautiful wood. I had to laugh because it was easier to carve stone. Some hard woods have to be carved wet....I do not know if that would be easier then dry?

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        • #5
          Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

          O got a pieces of Palo Verde yesterday but it is greener than green. I'm going to try to carve a piece green and see what happens. The rest I'll let air dry. Till then

          Bob

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          • #6
            Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

            Welcome to Tucson Bob. I will send you a PM as I am also in Tucson.

            I have not tried either but some in local club have. I was out to fast food for lunch yesterday and a small branch was down on the ground from a mesquite. If I wouldn't have looked ridiculous and if the branch were larger I may have put in my car

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            • #7
              Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

              Mesquite IS hard..so is ironwood, most arizona desert trees are hard...but....the grains in all of them I have seen are beautiful....really good stuff to turn on a lathe! One that is not very hard and is carveable is Navajo willow, I have made several canes and walking sticks from it...
              "Lif iz lik a box "o" choc lets, ya nevr kno whut yull git!"

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              • #8
                Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

                Well I quarter-sawed a small piece of the palo-verde and found it to have-little grain structure. Kinda looks like aspen or poplar. It is still very green and will let you know how it looks when dry.

                On another note, I had a very old rose bush removed and kept a section of the major stem (3 1/2" dia). it ended up hollow and punky in the core but the remainder showed extremely good color and grain. If you access to this, snap it up. It could be very good material.

                Bob

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                • #9
                  Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

                  Bob, good luck. Let us know your progress. I sent you a private message. Can you please let me know if you got it?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

                    Wow, don't know about PV, but mesquite is harder that hubs of heck. It does have a great grain, and have used it to turn and make coyote and goose calls, and obviously in the smoker.

                    I am not sure what kind of carving tools you would even use on that stuff..it will flat dull a chainsaw in short order.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

                      The Palo Verde has been quarter-sawn and drying for a couple of weeks now and it doesn't look good. I would guess the moisture content (as in most desert plants) when cut was approaching 75% and when drying it is experiencing let's say stress to the nth degree. major cracking and deformation.

                      Doesn't look good. I'll let it dry completely but!!!

                      Bob

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                      • #12
                        Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

                        Well, after stripping the bark and the sap-wood from the chunk of Mesquite, I started work on a cribbage board. with a wizard in the foreground. Those of you who haven't worked with Mesquite, you should give it a try. Working with sharp tools, I found it to be a lot like Cherry or Walnut (cherry was harder). The only difficulty I found was that the grain tends to run in a multitude of directions. You just need to be aware of this. The grain structure also appears to be on the short side. This makes for chips rather than long ribbons.

                        So, sharpen your tools and try this I fond t quite nice to work with.

                        Bob

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                        • #13
                          Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

                          According to http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-...oney-mesquite/ Mesquite has a Janka hardness of 2340. For comparison, hard maple is 1450, black cherry is 950, black walnut is 1010, and basswood is 410.

                          Claude
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                          • #14
                            Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

                            I always wonder how many samples they test in order to assign a number for hardness. Western Red Cedar can go from cheese to bone in the same fence post.
                            Brian T

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                            • #15
                              Re: Palo Verde and Mesquite

                              I've looked at this list before and found it very confusing based on actual experience. As Robson Valley indicated, sticks in the same species lend a variety of hardness. I've found cherry that carved quite nicely as well as some that one couldn't handle. I use this as a reference only and do not hold credence as gospel. Don't chose not to attempt a carving based solely on this. You will not gain the knowledge nor the experience in the carving.

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