I made a companion tray for Sally using mesquite burl for the floor, quarter sawed ash for the rails and mesquite for the handles. I like the brown color and very straight grain of the ash in contrast with the wildness of the burl.
Cut and dressed dove tail joints for tray rails and 1/4″ rabbit for tray edge. Made handles by creating a boot to fit over tray rail and then drilling holes for handle ends and pins. Finished handle slot with jig saw, drum sander and round over router bit. Pre-finished tray bottom and rail interiors before glue up.
Sliced one of the mesquite burl sections into 4 approx 1/4″ slices. Opened as a book match in two directions to get a veneer about 17″ x25″. Glued veneers together and laminated to 1/4″ plywood.
Hung screen door and made handle of mesquite from wood left over from dining table project. Closes quite nicely, with a very pleasant “thunk” and click of ball latch.
Built screen door for house. Screen frames are removable and can replace with glass inserts in the winter. Will be nice to look out onto the front porch and to get a good cross breeze going in the evenings. Grill at bottom intended to keep dog from damaging screen.
Using chainsaw and electric planing tool, I was able to get a couple of reasonably flat sides on the burl half I am working on. From there I got the monster up onto the band saw (fitted with 1″ carbide tipped blade) and squared up two sides. Then I cut into 2″ wide chunks, getting 5 pieces that might yield slabs of 11″ x 14″. Moisture meter registered 51 at the interior of the burl, so I am going to have to dry and cure for several months before I can continue work.
Camping trip this weekend. Drove over Reddington Pass down to the San Pedro and along Cascabel Road to Three Links Road and from there up to the Redfield Canyon Wilderness (about 95 miles total). We camped about 4 miles in from the old Muleshoe Ranch homestead (now Nature Conservancy visitor center) along a dry stream bed surrounded by Sycamore, Oak, Ask and Mesquite trees. On Sunday we hiked to the riparian area at Bass Creek for a day by the stream, napping, hiking and looking at wildlife.
Photos from upper left to lower right:
- High on Reddington Pass looking SE towards Mica Mountain
- View down into the San Pedro coming off Reddington
- Cottonwoods along the San Pedro River
- Entrance to Warbonnet Ranch where I worked as a teenager
- Our campsite under a big oak tree
- Sally having a nap along the river
- Riparian scene on the Bass River
- Some unusual rock formations
- A Gila Monster, very rarely seen
Attacking with two newly sharpened chainsaw blades, was able to saw the burl in half today and was amazed at how solid it was on the inside; no cavities, worms or other inclusions. There is a lot of evidence of burling and some great colors are present. We put a moisture meter on the word and its reading very high so that’s not so good, but its so hard and stable I don’t expect too much movement. Pondered next cuts to make to extract best material, need one flat side to act as base while pushing material thru band saw (which takes 12″ maximum cut height). Got the base cut, but ran out of both energy and sharp chainsaw blades before 2nd cut was made. So, result for today: Burl 1, Man 1.
Getting started today on processing the whopper mesquite burl I bought many months ago. Decided on a plan of attack reminding myself that there really is no “wrong” answer on how to crack this thing open. Tried to pick a bisect line to avoid going directly thru any trunk or root stems. Today’s result: Burl 1, Man 0. Dulled both my chain saw blades before halfway thru the bisect. Getting better blades and sharpening file and living to fight another day.