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Thread: Oak question

  1. #1
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    Oak question

    I recieved a call tonight from my Step brother that some oak had been brought down up the street and asked if I could use some for turning. well I jumped on the chance and drove right over. The rounds were a bit bigger than I expected but we wrestled a couple into the pathfinder in the dark and drove them home with a slight glint of glee in my eyes as I finally have some fresh wood to play with on the lathe. When I arrived home and unloaded the rounds I noticed a slight darker color in the middle of the rounds and I got to thinking why were they brought down and if they are any good at all or did I just waste my time. Advice if there is any would be appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Oak rounds 009.JPG   Oak  rounds 007.JPG  
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  2. #2
    Cut them down the middle and remove the pith.

    Seal the ends and turn when ready.

    Oak because of it's coarse grain doesn't take fine detail but I've turned some. My wife loves the stuff I make from oak.
    Ken
    ------



  3. #3
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    The oak I've turned liked to move a lot when drying. Most of it warped, cracked, or both. (These were all pretty big pieces.) When it did survive the process, it resulted in a nice-looking finished product. Like Ken said, do get the pith cut out of those rounds and get it the rest sealed as soon as you can.

    And I wouldn't worry too much about the darker brown colors in the middle. Even if it is a disease or some other malady, it might end up looking good in the finished product.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  4. #4
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    Looks just like fresh cut oak is posed to.
    Nice haul
    I turn quite a bit of stuff from oak. But I only use seasoned or kiln dried.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I figured that this was the place to ask this. Ok this may sound like a stupid question but as I am new to turning i am allowed to ask a few. Seal it with what?
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Watson View Post
    Seal it with what?
    Nearly anything. AnchorSeal is very popular, but cheap latex paint (couple coats) works well, too. I've sealed some blanks with paraffin melted into mineral spirits - that worked very well. Gotta' work like BLAZES, though, 'cause it's gotta' go on HOT and the wood's COOL so it hardens nearly instantly.
    -- Tim --

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hofstetter View Post
    Nearly anything. AnchorSeal is very popular, but cheap latex paint (couple coats) works well, too. I've sealed some blanks with paraffin melted into mineral spirits - that worked very well. Gotta' work like BLAZES, though, 'cause it's gotta' go on HOT and the wood's COOL so it hardens nearly instantly.
    Thanks Tim.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Drew,

    Normally, when you cut the pith out, you would cut a 1” to 1 ” slab out of the middle, taking the pith in that cut. Because those are large logs, try going another inch or 1 “ beyond the pith and remove a 3” to 4” slab including the pith. Then cut the pith out of that slab and you will end up with two nice quarter sawn blanks.

    When you seal it, seal the end grain and about 2” down the end grain on the side. You don’t need to seal the whole log.

    Also, before you make your first cut, look at the rings and try to have the rings the same on each side of the center. If the rings are spaced far apart on one half and narrow on the other, then you will have uneven warping when it dries. If the rings are about the even on each side, you will have less distortion.
    Last edited by Chuck Rodekohr; 12-19-2009 at 02:35 PM.

  9. #9
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    Just thought I would add that the reason you are sealing the ends is so that as the log dries the water has to evaporate through the edge grain or sides. Hopefully at the same rate. If the ends are left unsealed the water will evaporate out the ends way faster than in the middle thus causing cracks. I will also add that sealing will not 100% prevent checking just slow it down.
    If you are going to air dry those before you turn them seal them and set them aside foe the next 5 years or so.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  10. #10
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    Drew Nice Score.

    With the burr oak here in IA, I've had good success rough turning it and putting it in brown paper bags. I check on it every couple of days and put it in a new bag if the bag is damp. If it seems to be drying to quick, I put the first bag into another bag (double bag). I love to turn oak, but do wash your hands right away with some orange goo stuff. The tanin will stain your hands. Also it will stain the bed of your lathe so I put down fresh paste wax before each session at the lathe. Good luck and make sure to post some pics of your results.
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