Mesquite Bowl Blank M-1164
3.5" x 8" x 8"
This is a very nice half-log bowl blank of Texas Honey Mesquite. The overall color is the deep reddish-brown of Mesquite heartwood surrounded by a thin band of yellow sapwood, with a mostly complete and dark brown bark on the backside. The pith has been cut completely out of this blank. ** There are a few cracks in this block that will need CA glue or epoxy treatment prior to turning ** The block is discounted because of the cracks.
This piece was "baked" by a fire that appears to have been lit near the base of the tree, perhaps a small campfire. It did not kill the tree, but it toasted it causing a very pretty reddish hue to develop. The wood feels like it has a different texture than unbaked Mesquite, so it may have a unique turning character, perhaps harder than usual. Sharp tools are a must!
This half-log bowl blank should be suitable for a shallow bowl 8" in diameter and ~3" deep. The bark is mostly complete, so you have the option of turning either a conventional bowl or a "barky" natural-edge bowl. The bark is a bit loose and some pieces have fallen off, as you can see in the photos. If you want a full bark edge on the natural rim, you will need to secure the bark with CA glue before and possibly during turning. The bark is visibly scorched, and there are some extra bore holes associated with the scorched bark. My guess is that it allowed boring bugs access to the wood that is normally resistant to bugs.
This is a GREEN to partially air-dried bowl blank, meaning that it still retains a lot of its original moisture from when it was a living tree. It has been well-sealed with Anchor Seal and is in the process of slowly drying; this process can take years if you leave it in whole-log form but faster once cut into bowl blanks or turned for a first turning. It was measured at 35% MC in March 2022 and 20% in July 2022. If you need a current moisture content, please message us, and we'll check its status for you.
About the Tree
This Texas-grown Honey Mesquite tree was harvested in El Campo, Texas in March of 2022. It was cut down by the city for reasons unknown to us, and we were happy to help save the tree from a burn pile. It is possible that this tree was damaged by the Valentine's Day Freeze that Texas suffered in February 2021, which is when our state lost a lot of beautiful trees in an unusually deep and long freeze.
You can feel good about this American-grown hardwood being responsibly harvested and turned into beautiful art by YOU. The tree was in healthy growing condition, with a minimum of bug damage and a nice healthy girth to the trunk. There is some minor evidence of fire damage, perhaps from a campfire, near the base of the tree on one side. It may have been in a fairly protected area such as a city park, as the Mesquite is less twisted and gnarly than trees grown in open pastures. The grain looks generally long and straight and of excellent quality for green or dried turning.