Sawing and drying mesquite
The above is right. Flat saw with the bow up or down. You will lose a lot of the boards but what you get will be useable. I also saw double thickness and resaw after a few weeks of air drying. For 4/4 boards I cut 2 3/8 thick stock then resaw into 1 1/8. Also stack with the bow up in the stack and lots of weight.
From the original questioner:
So once this wood dries, what movement can I expect? Will it still bow after it has dried and been put into use as lumber? Mesquite is supposed to be the most dimensionally stable wood on earth according to published reports from Texas A&M University. I would like to utilize as much of the trees as possible, but do not want to run the risk of failure and certainly do not want any customer problems with the lumber.
I am building furniture out of mesquite and find no problems with movement after the wood is properly dried. But if not fully dried, the wood is impossible to use. Warp and bow appears the instant an improperly dried board is cut. Dried well it works as easily as any good hardwood. I am in S. AZ. and the suppliers tend to be small operations. Quality has to be watched but I have had no problems with movement after proper drying.
If you are using the produced wood yourself, you will know the minimum length required. Try to mill your logs in the shortest possible length and you will get better recovery. Your mesquite is quite hard and might be best quartersawn.
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Comment from contributor A:
Comment from contributor B:
There are some comments in this thread that I would tend to disagree with. I have seen people cut with the bend up or down wasting a tremendous amount of wood.
Cutting when the sap is down does help to reduce warpage, bugs, and cracking. Removing the bark also helps in reducing beetles. But the only quaranteed way is to kiln dry at a minimum of 125 degrees Farenheit. The center of the wood must reach 125 F for a minimum of 3 hours to insure the eggs are dead. (Source - Texas A&M)
If the bend is large, cut the bend with a chainsaw keeping at least 4 ft length for the typical portable sawmill. Jigs can be set up to cut shorter lengths but you are really wasting time. Slab the boards keeping any minor bends maximizing the amount of wood obtained. Do not cut green material less than 1". Resaw after drying. Canting mesquite usually wastes too much material because you can end up with voids and defects in the middle of the tree.
Then kiln dry with weight applied. The boards do not tend to warp vary much along length and cusping is minimal. We tend to not cut below 2.5" slabs, then resaw after drying. After resaw, you can cut the large bends out before ripping or rip for maximum width and length.
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