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Author Topic: Red Oak posts and beams  (Read 855 times)

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Offline Rhodemont

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Red Oak posts and beams
« on: February 04, 2023, 01:17:44 PM »
In a previous post titled Rafters I asked how Tulip Poplar would do for rafters on a new garage/barn.  The poplar has been sawed and stickered to dry.  Now I am looking to fell and saw the post and beams from Red Oak.  I will be using 6x6 posts and 6x8 beams.  I have sawed and built several horse run in sheds with green Red Oak.  Looking at them now the oak has shrunk, twisted, and cracked, This has been just fine for the sheds but I do not see how it works for a finished structure.  I had thought I would saw the oak 1/2 inch oversize, let it air dry for couple months to hopefully allow some movement and the surface to dry some to plane to a nice finish size for construction.  I just do not see how I can realistically handle and plane these timbers even with a 20 inch planer and roller tables.  How do you make oak timbers?
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2023, 01:52:20 PM »
At a recent workshop event, I told a story about why you should plane your timbers;



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Offline Rhodemont

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2023, 02:14:37 PM »
Jim, that was quick.  Following Yellow Hammer and other's advice I will be changing my blades often on the LT35 to get as smooth and flat surfaces as I can.  But The movement upon drying has got to cause construction issues.  So, I am not too concerned about cleaning but keeping everything square and flush for construction due to movement is.  Maybe I better stay with the planning plane although a 6 x 8 x 12 beam is going to be a beast.  What I still do not understand is you can purchase kits from timber frame guys.  What happens to those perfectly dimensioned timber and joints between them making the components and ship/build.
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2023, 02:31:00 PM »
I have heard of guys taking the base off the lunch box planers, setting the beam on saw horses and letting it run the length of the beams. WM sells a planer that goes on your LT15 tracks. I believe you can even put shaped blades for T&G. There are 12" hand held planers also. 
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2023, 04:23:26 PM »
I believe that standard process is to cut all your joinery first. Then just plane the showing faces, as mentioned in my video.
There was a long discussion about this on Facebook and many said just use a 3 or 4" hand held power plane. It is easier to bring the hand planer to the timber, then to try and bring the timber to the planer.

I had an entire order for a timber frame house planed once many years ago. That involved trucking the timbers to the planer millwork company, and then shipping from there to the site. The four-sided planer millwork company had a machine that could size a 12x16" timber. and the shortest they would run was a 10' stick. To do 8' pieces we had to either do a 10' one or two in a 16' piece. Each timber has to be oversized by 1/2" as each face was trimmed by the four-sider 1/4".

With any type of wood, you're going to get drying cracks/checks. It is the nature of wood, and you should expect that.

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Online Don P

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2023, 06:41:27 PM »
Red oak moves quite a bit which is a surprise if someone is used to white pine. As for the packages that are milled green, shipped and assembled, then they shrink and distort? Make sure the client understands what is going to happen and they are ok with it.

I don't believe a few months makes much difference, wood doesn't begin to shrink until the moisture content is below 30% or so. At a year drying will have some positive effect. Then just before joinery is when I have milled timbers true if you are going to. I have access to a Lucas mill with a planer head so can set up timbers, joint, flatten, square and dimension. Not fast but accurate for mill rule. I think Brad's planer setup on a bandmill track is doing the same thing.

Prior to that and on plenty of stuff, well, I think I'm on power planer #5. You know Chip and Dale would have been hewing with them if they had only had drop cords from our century back then :D.

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Offline Wudman

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2023, 10:55:55 PM »
https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=23672.0

Take a look at this.  It may be of some help.  As for checking, consider a kerf in a hidden surface to concentrate the check there.  A circular saw can accomplish the task.  Otherwise, you can saw 6/4 and make laminated beams.  Once they are planed, your glue lines will pretty much disappear.  

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Offline Rhodemont

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2023, 07:33:06 AM »
The mill mounted planer is pretty neat.  Although, I would think it would bend the mast on my LT35. I am seriously considering getting a hand planer.  I have started to skid in the oak logs and will start sawing soon.  I will stick to plan of going oversize, sit couple months, then resaw to size and maybe hand plane.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2023, 09:58:26 AM »
I love my MP100 mill mounted planer on my LT15.  It's been worth every penny.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline logman

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2023, 10:09:30 AM »
I love my MP100 mill mounted planer on my LT15.  It's been worth every penny.
I've had one on order since November.  No big deal though, too busy to get it set up right now anyway.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2023, 10:44:44 AM »
@logman  The HSS knives chip pretty easily so if you're going to use it a lot, I recommend having extra knife sets on hand.  I think I have 8 sets(of 4).  At the time they were back ordered from Woodmizer so I had sets made by Jorsen and Carlson in Elk Grove Village IL.  I send all my knives to them for sharpening. If you do get a chip, you can shift 2 knives over 1/4" if you don't want to replace the set.  The first time it will take you over an hour to change a set.  I can change them in 30 minutes but I've had practice.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
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Offline logman

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Re: Red Oak posts and beams
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2023, 05:01:53 PM »
Thanks for the info Brad.  I think the planer is in but they are waiting on the bed extensions.
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