Dear Gary & Company:
I received the rocker last week and unpacked it as you recommended. It arrived in perfect shape.
The rocker is awesome! The craftsmanship and attention to detail is a special talent. I know that mesquite wood is a challenge to find and hard to work, but you have created an heirloom piece that my wife and I know will have a special inheritance . . .
West Columbus, Texasmore testimonials
We don’t much like having a mesquite rocking chair in the showroom. The wood is unusual and extraordinary. People notice. Sometimes, some people like it so much they have difficulty seeing the beauty of rocking chairs in other woods — rocking chairs that might better fit their budget. All the chairs "fit" otherwise, but mesquite displayed in such a form sets a high bar.
Mesquite trees typically are thorny shrubs infesting range or pasture land in the arid Southwest and Mexico. Useable mesquite wood is very rare, hence the expense. Useable wood is very beautiful, hence the appeal. The trees' irregular habits of growth yield correspondingly wild and variable figure. The rich, red-brown color calls, and you experience unusual depth when looking into an oil-finished surface.
Because almost all mesquite logs are crooked, short, and full of defects, it is best for us if the logs are sawn for our parts rather than sawn for boards. It is a rare mesquite board that has even one chair part, but the odds are improved if the sawyer is looking for a part rather than trying to get the best width and length of board. This link shows the specifications we give to our miller.
Mesquite lumber tenaciously holds its water — especially in thick pieces. Because we have never found any supplier who delivers thick mesquite lumber dry to our standards, we buy it green and dry it in our own kiln. We gently dry chair parts in the kiln for five or six months to get all the pockets of water out and get the percentage of moisture down to eight, throughout every piece. Drying slowly yields bright wood without hairline cracks. Drying slowly can make lead times long.
There is a great body of mythology about mesquite, including the notion that, because its coefficients of expansion and contraction are relatively small, you can be casual about its moisture content when you work it. This may be true for rustic work — it is not true for fine.
(Click for more information about Mesquite.)