Texas Mesquite Flower Box

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Project by wbrisett posted 04-24-2013 10:14 AM 2374 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Texas Mesquite Flower Box
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Through craigslist I was able to find a deal on some leftover mesquite that a sawer had placed on craigslist. I drove the 100 miles and picked up a load of mesquite. I had one project in mind for the mesquite (and still do!). But going back a few months before this, I picked up some tongue and grove rough cedar and built two very large planters (3ft x 2.5ft), that we put at the edge of our yard. I had a couple of neighbors stop and ask where we got them. My wife mentioned that I made them, and nothing more came of it until one of them asked if I would make her one. I told her I would. I was trying to figure out how to get rid of the remaining t&g cedar and this was my opportunity. I just gave it to her since it was made out of my scraps. But then she asked me about making more for her yard and her mom. Since I didn’t have any rough cedar left, I told her I would see what I could do. A quick call the guy who had sold me the mesquite proved fruitful. He had some leftover stuff that he said he would sell me fairly cheap.

I picked up a load of it and started making a flower box out of mesquite. Unfortunately, what I thought could turn into a side business, turned out to simply take way too much time. Since the t&g cedar was ready to go, I could turn out a box in a couple of hours. But this mesquite had to be worked.

But it isn’t just the dimensioning of the wood, it’s the details. To get a tongue and groove look without actually putting in a tongue and groove, I used a v-groove router bit and ran the panel edges though the router so it looks similar to what I had with the t&g cedar.

I decided to let the mesquite speak for itself. That is, insect holes (and there are a lot of them. Found a few boring insects (mostly worms) while I was cutting the wood) and knot holes were left for a more rustic character. I debated about how to attach the final external parts. Since I was going for the rustic look, I used wood screws instead of pining the final pieces with a finishing nailer.

I put one decorative flare on the box and called it finished (except for sealing it).

Since it took way too long to build to make any real money out of this project and since Mother’s Day is just around the corner. I have decided to make this a gift for my mom.

- Wayne

8 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3309 days

#1 posted 04-24-2013 11:06 AM

Wayne that is a sweet planter
The colours in the wood are very nice and it looks as though
you will have enough for a fair few projects.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View wbrisett's profile


205 posts in 2802 days

#2 posted 04-24-2013 12:09 PM

Jamie: thanks. Once I sand and seal it, the wood takes on a nice rich color similar to oak. Mesquite isn’t used much, but on the hardness scale, it is harder than oak and really looks gorgeous when used in the right setting.

View afranco's profile


54 posts in 3323 days

#3 posted 04-24-2013 03:43 PM

Looks great!! Mesquite is without a doubt my favorite wood to work with

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30411 posts in 2791 days

#4 posted 04-24-2013 04:50 PM

Mesquite is one of my favorite woods to work with in the shop.

Great score and great project.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3319 days

#5 posted 04-24-2013 05:30 PM

I think that this really looks nice and the wood is beautiful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2643 days

#6 posted 04-24-2013 09:35 PM

great planter,beautiful wood.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3143 days

#7 posted 04-25-2013 01:05 AM

Nice planter but I am so jealous of all that mesquite in your yard! My favorite wood to work with but hard to come by here.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View wbrisett's profile


205 posts in 2802 days

#8 posted 04-25-2013 08:22 AM

Thanks all. I’ll post a photo of it when it gets a final coat of spar. The tone of the wood really pops when that happens.

gfadvm, barely peeking out of the corner in far left of that photo is actually cherry. I found that a couple of years ago. A cherry tree had died due to our drought, the owner of the land had a local sawer mill it, but it sat on his property cut for about two years. He decided that he wasn’t going to have the time to do anything with it, so he put it up on craigslist. I was lucky enough to score that material for around $600. I just need to find the time to start working on the coffee table that I’ve been itching to make for a while. ;) The last time I visited the mill, they tossed in three nice 2” pieces of maple that had warped/twisted during the drying process. I won’t be able to get full use of that material, but I should be able to use a good chunk of it.

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