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Author Topic: Is there bad oak?  (Read 2010 times)

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Offline muck

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Is there bad oak?
« on: March 17, 2014, 09:20:59 PM »
I have a friend that has alot of oak but im not sure what kind it is.
perhaps what is called around here valley oak
is this worth sawing? im brand spanking new to milling.
any thoughts on oak products?
just a hobby sawer that would be making some stuff to sell outta the garage,no big production.
I have two sticks of this wood on deck already but there is a tree that has been down and proped up in the air
on a levee so its easy pickings.
railroad ties?

any thoughts would appreciated.
 ;D

Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2014, 10:32:41 PM »
I have seen some amazing furniture made from valley oak, so I assume it is generally of good quality, but I'm afraid that's all I can say. Some of out California sawyers will know, I'm sure. Welcome!
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Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2014, 10:47:44 PM »
quercus lobata, white  oak family, tasty stuff. I truck it in from your area when it is  available . Old timers used it for wine barrels .
persistence personified - never let up , never let down

Offline SLawyer Dave

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2014, 11:16:01 PM »
Too bad you weren't around last year, I was trying to give away several valley oak logs that I ended up cutting for firewood.  I'm up here in Gridley, and mostly cut oak for firewood.  Valley Oak can make exceptional furniture.  It is not necessarily known for having a straight grain for long planks, but it can be very beautiful when properly finished.  Some people also call them "swamp" or "water" oaks, to refer to their proclivity for holding a lot of water in the wood.  They tend to shed a lot of limbs, because they grow horizontally trying to get sun, and then get too heavy to support the limbs.  However, one of the reasons the wood makes such beautiful furniture is because these limbs and forks, tend to grow extra "spring" or "tension" wood, at these joints in an effort to reinforce their strength.  This spring wood is really a lot of knotty, dense wood that can give the wood a similar appearance to "burl wood". 

Besides not having a straight grain, the other problem with valley oaks is that they tend to have a lot of pith or areas of dry rot in them due to losing a lot of limbs.  However, if you get into a good tree, the wood can be exceptional.  You can check out the most famous Valley Oak ever,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooker_Oak

Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2014, 11:22:58 PM »
thanks alot.
ill get pics tomorrow and make sure before i pursue.
thanks for the welcome!

Offline Ianab

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2014, 11:24:51 PM »
What I can see it's a type of white oak, probably very nice timber. Suggestion is to quarter saw it, makes for more stable boards as they dry. Flat sawn it's likely to cup more than most woods.

Probably a good species to salvage and sell to local woodworkers. You don't worry too much about the actual grade of the boards, just sell some as a "project bundle" of log run boards? "Local" and "Salvage" are selling points in this situation.

Ian
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Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2014, 12:10:28 AM »
Thanks Ian!

Offline giant splinter

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2014, 12:36:59 AM »
Valley oak is popular with wooden boat builders as knees and stems, it is a little heavier than a lot of oaks and has natural curves with dense grain that is  an advantage for the wooden boat builder.
roll with it

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2014, 06:18:01 AM »
From what you posted you are not sure of the species? Your state forestry dept or the local extension should have a website to help identify the tree. A leaf will really help out. 
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2014, 06:37:53 AM »
Pretty much all oaks are usable just some are better than others.  I know little of your variety but I'd go ahead and cut it, that's how we all learn. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2014, 05:13:45 PM »
Heres some pics of my morning.
Weather was great mid 60's and a stiff breeze coming off the delta.
the tree I am working on has been propped up on a levy for 12 months.
I started at the second "Y" and have been working my down the log.
the first two sticks that formed the Y were 14" D
this one I am cutting today is below the Y and 22" D
I am going to try and get the other side of the first Y tomorrow. It is up off the gound barly and Im workingwith a HM126
so that is a good size log for me.
so what do you think, Vally Oak?

 
this is the levee im working on.

Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2014, 05:17:42 PM »
having trouble with pics
going to 

  have to string them in, sorry

Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2014, 05:22:37 PM »
well, stay tuned I guess I need to figure this picloader out..

Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2014, 05:59:20 PM »
ok so here are what I can get. thanks again to all who reply.

  

  

  

  

  

 


I think its time for a piece of plywood in that bed!

Offline golddredger

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2014, 06:14:21 PM »
Hey Muck,
Those trees look like cottonwood to me. Which guys call "river Oak" But it is cotton wood for sure and not oak. You will find local firewood sellers cutting cotton wood up and taking it into SF and selling it to city folk and telling them it is "river Oak" and charging them top dollar per cord. It will still mill ok but those are cottonwood for sure. It should have a pretty bad odor when you cut it. That is also a dead give away. Also when the season turns the trees will lose the little puffs of cotton that float around. Sorry man not oak trees. :-[  But still millable and will make some good lumber.
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Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2014, 06:24:35 PM »
cottonwood! boo.
I think I just found my trailer wood...lol
thanks!

Offline Wellmud

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2014, 10:28:41 PM »
muck, back in this part of the country you could sell that bed for enough to buy a trailer, somewhere between a 69-72 chevy?
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2014, 10:33:24 PM »
Welcome muck.  I was also thinking that a guy with a new sawmill should not have to depend upon plywood anyway.   ;D
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Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2014, 12:13:36 AM »
yes Welmud its a 71 3/4ton
I paid more for the winch then the trailer..
thanks Magicman I agree.

Offline golddredger

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2014, 12:17:02 AM »
Home built bandsaw mill and trailer for a mini logging operation. Lots of chainsaws and love the woods.

Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2014, 10:10:58 AM »
Thanks Golddredger, I found that one too.
after a quick lesson on oak tree ID im going back today to see if I can find one.
the Farmer has 400 acres with acouple good size patches of trees.
pics to follow.



Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2014, 05:19:24 PM »
OK! now were cutting oak!

Dropped two small trees and got this little bit.
amazing how much water is in this oak. it literally poored out of the hinge cut on the second one.
its about a 20 min ride out on farm roads and when I finnally made the levee gate it was still drippen.(see pic)
 

 

 

 



Moving Right Along!

Offline golddredger

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2014, 05:33:33 PM »
LOL yep we cut some Live Oaks down last summer and the water was pouring out the end. Could have filled a glass up with it for a drink! 8)
Kinda crazy. But that is why these Oaks fill up with water and then break all the time. Just nuts. Here in Chico by Chico state college there is giant oaks I am talking 6ft trunks. Big trees. A branch broke off and killed a student just a few months back. They get filled with water to make it through summer and they are heavy. I have milled a bunch of it. Just sticker with 3/4" stickers. Let dry slow in the shade for 1+ years. so long as they are under 2" thick. They will not twist up much if they dry somewhat slow via air drying. But make darn sure they are not in direct sunlight or they will split and twist to high hell. They will be fire wood. Paint the ends of the logs as well. You must paint them or they will dry to fast and crack a bunch/ When they do they split full length.  That crotch log on the left side of the trailer will make a very nice table.
Home built bandsaw mill and trailer for a mini logging operation. Lots of chainsaws and love the woods.

Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2014, 05:57:21 PM »
Thanks Golddredge
I'll do all that for sure. (The stupid cottonwood even got painted..lol)

Im hopeing to get some nice quartersawn peices for tabletops.

the pic sure does look like a crotch piece but its 4 separte logs. but now that you say that theres alot of great table stuff out there to be found.

Offline hardtailjohn

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2014, 11:22:34 AM »
The only "bad" oak I've ever heard of is "poison oak"! :D   That's all  nice looking stuff, and I'd be lovin' it if I had some up here!!!
John
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2014, 02:03:08 PM »
I sawed another kind of bad Oak this morning.  Foreignigus Metalullous Oakonus.  That stuff is murder on saw blades.   :-\
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Offline muck

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2014, 02:35:26 PM »
how well do metal detectors really work?
with my scavanging logs from almost any source
i'm sure I will need one.
@hardtailjohn
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mostly firewood but I remember the Fir and Tamarak
were monsters!

Offline Magicman

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2014, 03:14:00 PM »
Any one of the three metal detectors in my truck would have easily found these.  None will if they are in the truck. 

Fact is, I very seldom scan logs, and it is a "catch 22" situation.  I'm sawing hourly rate, scan logs, and find nothing.  Whose clock was I on?  If I scan and find nothing, and still hit something, who pays for the blade?  I do often ask if the customer wants to scan.  That way it is his time, and still his nail if he doesn't find it before the blade finds it.

The blade will always find them and I charge $25.  Actually, hitting metal is a very small percentage considering the number of logs that come across my sawmill.
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Offline hardtailjohn

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Re: Is there bad oak?
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2014, 11:47:09 AM »
Muck, Libby is about 60 miles from me...yah, there's still some good sized stuff around once in a while. ;)
John
I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead!


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