Custom mesquite furniture, handcrafted by Butch Corrington, reflects his love and appreciation for the woods that he grew to know while managing lumber yards in Texas and California. As the manager of lumber yards for thirty years, Corrington was exposed to all kinds of woods, and began creating handcrafted furniture on the side. In those days, Corrington worked mainly with pine, oak and poplar. He used mortise and tenon joinery for the framework for his furniture, and dovetail joinery for the drawers. In other words, his finished pieces are very tight, smooth, precise and simply gorgeous.
About five years ago, after retiring from the lumber business, Butch and his wife, Donna, moved to Williams, Arizona. A friend introduced him to a "cowboy/preacher" from Wickenburg who cut and milled mesquite wood to slabs of rough lumber that he found on the ranch where he worked. The cowboy/preacher's son was also a woodworker and used mesquite lumber to make furniture. At the same time, Corington recalls, "I had just read an article in 'Woodworker' magazine about a blanket chest project I wanted to make that was made with mesquite wood." Suddenly he put two and two together and jumped in his truck and drove one hundred thirty miles to Wickenburg to get some mesquite lumber for his project.
However, after about two hours of sorting through all the stacks of lumber, Corrington began to feel that maybe this is not the best lumber choice to build furniture out of. All Corrington could see were the knots, the splits and the blemishes that he felt were unbearable. Not wanting to go home empty-handed, Corrington decided to give it a try. Wow! Was he glad he did! All those same knots, splits and blemishes turned out to be the very features that make each piece of custom mesquite furniture unique.