View Full Version : Red Oak score ... drying and turning tips?

3rd Feb 2009, 05:08 PM
Half a Red Oak came down in Melb a couple of days ago and Thumbsucker contacted me about collecting it.

Trunk was oval, about 60 x 40 cm. Lot of it is sapwood.

We got a bunch of crotch pieces out of it and a few slabs for TS to dry. The slabs we split with wedges ... TS had been reading up on technique.

So if anyone has experience with this stuff, is it as unstable as English Oak to dry? Any tips on turning the stuff?

Here's (http://www.ernreeders.com/Red%20oak%20conquerer.JPG)a pic of TS most of the way through the first split. The log is a metre long.

We lost a bit of fluid doing it the old-fashioned way :-

Skew ChiDAMN!!
3rd Feb 2009, 05:30 PM
I have a fair bit of Red Oak (well... had. "Lost" it during the move) and I found it to be fairly stable during drying.

I didn't get my hands on it 'til about a fortnight after 'twas lopped and it had only started checking in the heart. I simply used wedges in the existing checks to break it down and threw it straight into my woodpile as I'd run out of end-grain sealer. 'Twas another week or so before I sealed it.

Mind you, this would've been late Autumn/early Winter (I think) so that probably made a difference... but it has showed no problems in the years since.

I haven't turned any yet... I still have a couple of 16"sqx6"(ish) pieces that must be just about ready. :D

3rd Feb 2009, 05:51 PM
Thanks Skew.

This stuff has started end-grain checking in the last few days since the fall. Course it's been pretty warm.

I understand there's a view that the best time to drop a tree for w/w is late winter since the moisture levels are lowest then. On the other hand, ambient moisture hasn't exactly been high over the last couple of months.

Gil Jones
3rd Feb 2009, 06:11 PM
Hi Ern,
I reckon you will enjoy turning the Red Oak a good bit, if it is anything like ours. The bark seems to stay attached pretty well (if you want bark), and thin CA locks it on well if needed. Good luck with it.
This little hollow form, with a square built into it, is turned from green Red Oak, and the pith is running side-to-side through it. The walls are about 2.5mm thick, and it is fully dry now with no cracks. The collar does not fit the hollow form curve very well, but it did fit OK before it dried. I need a bit more patients.

3rd Feb 2009, 06:21 PM
Thanks Gil.

Schmick piece!

... grain looks similar so we might be on the same page.

Thanks for the CA tip.

Sawdust Maker
3rd Feb 2009, 10:06 PM
What was the temperature? TS wearing long sleeves and what looks like a heavy cotton shirt - can see why lost a bit of fluid
- but easily replaced :D

4th Feb 2009, 01:13 AM
I am glad to hear that is relatively stable.

Using the wedges was very informative, and lots of fun, even if it was hard work. It was also reasonable fast. I suspect with practice you could process a good size tree in a few hours.

I have sealed my pieces with some oil paints and look ward to working with it.

No just waiting to see if the council takes down the rest of the tree. The piece we collected was a one half of a fork in the tree.

4th Feb 2009, 01:24 AM
I think this might be red oak...

Looks a bit like english oak but is easier to turn. I got my piece already dry.

Sanding is still a little tedious IMO

http://www.woodworkforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=93360&d=1231220252 (http://www.woodworkforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=93360&d=1231220252)



joe greiner
4th Feb 2009, 02:00 AM
This one was was red oak: http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com.au/showthread.php?t=86136
It's probably similar to Gil's red oak, but maybe the finish is different enough. I'm told there are 400 species of oak worldwide, and 25 in Florida alone. They propagate by airborne pollination, with all the discipline of a fratority toga party.

I recently felled a red oak in my yard, and I'm self-administering some "learning opportunities" in the form of cross-grain donuts from the pith for a proposed project (I'll only use the long-grain quadrants). I've turned only a few of them, but to establish procedures I'm doing some practice on kiln-dried pine or such. They both seem to exhibit comparable ovalling, which I may be able to accommodate in the project. It's winter here, so YMMV.

Splitting from the existing cracks is probably the best way to avoid them in the blanks for spindle work; same with other timbers. I've found paint to be inferior to wax or AnchorSeal. Re-painting occasionally might help a bit.