Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mesquite Sources and Many Thanks!

This month has presented us with a new journey as we work through the steps of having to care for an aging parent. MeMaw (Cheryl’s mother / Lou Quallenberg's mother in law) fell and broke her ankle while visiting at our house.  She required surgery and because her opposite leg had been shattered 43 years ago - almost to the date, her opposite knee was already scheduled for replacement, and she had poor upper body strength, she requires rehab and therapy in the local nursing home.  Ahhh the dreaded nursing home or “sniff” as one doctor called it “Skilled Nursing Facility” Oh my we have so much to learn.... 

November found us in short supply of dried and ready to work mesquite our inventory having been recently diminished creating the Dancing Trees.   Our scouting and sourcing mesquite wood really opened our eyes to how much the Texas Mesquite Industry really is in it’s infancy.  We were quoted any where from $12 a board foot to $100 a board foot and many ranges in between with the average at $24 a board foot. Unable to find what we needed size wise, already dried we ended up with a truckload of logs.

Since promoting mesquite is what we are about we thought we would share our sources and promote these folks who are making a living with mesquite.

Lou w/Mesquite Burl's Dan & Josh
Mesquite Burl
Josh and Dan
1715 Rowe Lane Suite A
Pflugerville, TX 78660
 Phone: 512-782-0497
Barney visiting Mesquite Burl
These guys have some great wood on hand focusing on book matched sets. We ended up buying and strapping two heavy slabs into the back of the truck for a clients dining room table project. As we drove out the driveway we received a call from the client about a change in design.  (Oh well it is mesquite and I know we will use it!!) Barney loved the visit and has requested a trip to see the huge burl that they have at their kiln location. It is reported to be a monster and possibly the biggest ever.  Lou has his heart set on finding a project for it.
Brandon Berdoll's specially designed spacers

Berdoll Sawmill & Furniture Co.
Brandon Berdoll
4754 FM 535
Cedar Creek, Texas 78612
 Phone: 512-497-5910 

Brandon Berdoll at his Mill
Brandon Berdoll met us at the Fredericksburg Mesquite Show with photos of a giant tree.  We were  surprised when he showed up the following day with the tree loaded on a trailer, causing quite a stir and stepping on a few toes. He has since joined the Mesquite Association and learned that lesson.
Lou w/ Brandon Berdoll at his Sawmill

His operation is geared more towards pecan which makes sense because his family has a huge pecan orchard and retail store.  Brandon tried to work in the family business but it was clear his passion was for the wood. Brandon's passion for doing things the right way comes across clearly from his specially designed wood risers that leave a smaller footprint on the slabs of wood, to his system of keeping the wood in flitches.
Flitch: A flitch is a complete log slabbed lengthwise and then placed back together in sequential order. The advantage of having a flitch is to ensure matching grain and color. This can be very important to a project especially with the wide color ranges that mesquite can come in.
We love Brandon's infectious passion for doing things right and his admirable collection of huge pecan trees and slabs.  Lou has even considered experimenting with some pecan but he knows his time is limited and he already has a growing collection of mesquite. Guess you can't have enough wood.   

Sage Creek Farms
Lee Westphal
2350 CR202
Burnet, Texas 78611
Phone: 512-784-2512
Sawmill and woodworking

Lee Westphal is another young whippersnapper that we truly appreciate.  Lou met and befriended him when he was running the mill in Burnet, Texas: Hill Country Woodworks. Lee is a real go getter, always working even his vacations are work. He goes to the Crater of Diamonds State Park and digs for diamonds and he has quite a collection to show for it!!!  Lee bought the saw and will still be cutting some of our wood. He knows how Lou likes it and we are loyal customers.

Ed the Woodsman / Tejas Mesquite
Ed Edwards
1324 FM 2606
Henrietta, Texas 76365
Phone: 940-704-2404
Truckload of  Mesquite delivered to the door.
Ed the Woodsman and Lou Quallenberg

We had heard about Ed Edwards from several sources and only wish we had reached out sooner.  Ed was only happy to bring a load of mesquite logs to Llano, Texas with no obligation to buy.  Lou really liked what he saw and bought the whole load. The logs were inventoried and each given a price so he really was under no obligation but he could not resist. Besides he needed to get started finding the wood for the benches for the chapel in Bandera. Ed Edwards unloaded and organized the logs for Lou even offering to help move them at a later date.  It is so great to work with people that really enjoy what they do. It is obvious that Ed and everyone else mentioned above enjoys what they do.

Ed moved the logs
and moved them
and left them all nice and organized.
Thank you to everyone who voted, and voted, and voted regularly in the British Airways Face of Opportunity Contest! HUGE thanks to Texas Hill Country group on Face book , the gang at 401 creative, and Joe and Amie Prest with Hill Country Mesquite across the pond in Nottighampshire, England.  We still don’t know the results but does it really matter? It was fun. 

Oops! Just found out WE WON!!!!!!  Yeah! A trip to London for ONE in Feb on specific dates because of the conferences in NYC and London. I am checking on the cost of companion tickets as I write this.

 Speaking of thank you's below are photos of Lou delivering a long promised table to the wonderful gentleman and family that contacted us to cut down a tree that threatened their house. This is the same tree that provided the slabs for "Dancing Trees" that went into the chapel in Bandera.  The family felt like it was a full circle moment since his family had come from Spain, building chapels along the way.  I love how God works.....
Lou returns a part of the tree in table form.
Yep it feels nice Lou Quallenberg!!