Jump to content

First Time Milling Wood


Recommended Posts

I went ahead and bought those two steel city tools, they work perfectly.

I live in west texas, and we have no only an abundant supply of oil and strip clubs, we also have one thing that while is rarely used on guitars, is very stable and has the least shrink/swell when exposed to humidity.



There are literally millions of them around here, no one gives a rats ass if you cut them down, and more importantly, it's very easy to work with.

I cut a tree down today and thought I would see how well it milled, I was hoping to get a fretboard blank out of it but alas that was a no go, I did however get a good knack for working it and it planes out gorgeously.

The only con, it can be full of knots, you have to cut down thick branches or the huge middle stump and hope there are no knots. You can see a full on here, but I knew there would be on this as it had branches coming out of it. You can see it has a beautiful contrasting color and interesting grain patterns.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mesquite is tough to find in proper sizes and with straight enough grain for guitars,as you have noted.I have a rather large one on my land i will eventually chop up,and I have seen them here in town as large as a good sized oak.Biggest one I have ever seen was about 4 feet straight through the trunk,with branches about 1 1/2' straight through,and a shaded area of about 80 feet straight through...at that size the trunk and large branches have very few thorns and you can climb unmolested through the majority of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well,I know.They are all through most parts of Texas.Most of the wood you get from one tree will likely only be good for firewood.I suspect in the one in the pic I posted you may find the trunk usable,and the rest should be used to smoke a few briskets. :D

I don't know If I would bother./but others have used it before,so you can for sure,but my point is,focus on a larger tree,not a tiny branch,and you will likely find something you can use.



I do like this one


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mesquite is beautiful when polished and finished. I've done a couple of carvings in it, and have often entertained the idea of using it in a guitar. Like Wes says, it is very tough to find clear pieces of any size. My thought was to use it for a top and just fill any cracks, gaps or inclusions with epoxy or maybe some turquise chips.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that should be noted: Do NOT expect the wood to be ready to use, even if the tree is dead, untill it has gone through sufficient drying.... take your time and plan it out, and i am sure you will have the instrument you want

This also means that if you are using fresh cut logs, that you should not mill to final dimension until after the wood has either been kiln dried or air dried properly to correct moisture content for stability.


edited to add: one more thing, branch wood is more reactionary. meaning it may twist or warp more than wood from the trunk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed! Around the last week of July, put it out on your back porch. Then, around the third week of August, resaw it, thickness it, and quickly bend it around a metal fence post in direct sunlight until it starts looking like a Dreadnought!

(I'm kidding, but at this same time suspicious that it might actually work. It is West Texas.)

Edited by dpm99
Link to comment
Share on other sites

(I'm kidding, but at this same time suspicious that it might actually work. It is West Texas.)

No it won't...I just got some wood from a guy that left it out in the sun to "dry"..it looked like a flag with all of the cupping :D

I know you were joking,but just to be clear for anyone reading this,the sun will not work...unless you like splits and cupping.wood needs to have the end grain sealed(I like just random clear poly in a can)and it needs to be stickered and left to sit for a looooong while.


Here is a good page


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...