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Thread: Blackjack Oak

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Parker County, Texas
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    Blackjack Oak

    I was wondering if anybody has any experience in turning blackjack oak. In the near future I am bringing in the main trunk, which is about 15' tall and about 34" in diameter, to my log yard of a tree that was severely storm damaged. Not sure on any branches but time will tell on that one. I know it is supposed to be some pretty hard stuff, but that does not always dictate how it is with turning. So, if there is anyone who knows anything about it, I would certainly like to hear from you on it. Thanks, Dave
    Create your own visual style... let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others. Orson Welles

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Haven't turned any blackjack oak, but I've turned some green California Valley Oak. (Or at least I think that's what the species was.) It turned OK, but it warped and cracked so badly during drying that I ended up throwing away 7 out of 8 bowls, and the one bowl that did survive ended up much smaller by the time I turned all the warping out of it. In my opinion, as turning woods go, oak makes wonderful firewood.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
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    4,352
    Don't know about the turning either, but my dad used to use a lot of them for fence posts.

    I've turned the local white oak here in TN after it has dried... if it's not a burl, doesn't turn too badly... my oak does have a lot of checks and cracks, so I spend some time filling and sealing them. I turned an oak burl that was pretty dry and it was a lot like concrete, but I eventually got it hollowed... I didn't get it as thin as I wanted, it was a fight to reach where I finally stopped.

    Be sure we get pictures of what you do.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clyce, Texas
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    Haven't turned any. Have a local furniture builder that uses some, with great effect. It finishes beautifully, can be some amazing color. In west Texas, we don't find many that size. I'm going to a nearby sawmill, where the local guy gets his, later this month to see if he has some turning sizes in stock.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    I have turned a few pens from it. But, would not try anything larger. Blackjack oak is a twisted, tortured wood with many knots. It might mill attractively. I used to cut and burn but splitting was always difficult. If you turn, let us know what you think.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Parker County, Texas
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    Thanks, guys! Sounds like it might be some interesting stuff to work with. Yeah, Chuck. Burls are usually pretty tough with most any wood. Bodark burls can be murder in the 10th degree. I turn a few pieces from live oak and had relatively good luck with it. Better results with red oak. Steve, if you are passing this way going to Fort Worth after I get it here, I'll give you a chunk of it, it you want. I don't think I am going to have any shortage of it.
    Create your own visual style... let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others. Orson Welles

    Anytime spent learning something, no matter how trivial it seems, is not a waste of time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
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    3,132
    Dave i've turned a little bit of white oak burl. Also red oak burl. Never thought it turned bad my self. Now it did warp real bad, but i was anticipating that and left it extra thick. Here's a couple pieces i did using White oak burl. O by the way if you can get it where you want it, it's some really beautiful wood, and in my opinion well worth it.Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
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    Dec 2006
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    Yorktown, Virginia
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    Lovely pieces, Stephen

  9. #9
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    Feb 2013
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    Clyce, Texas
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    Dave, let me know when you get it home and I'll stop by. Thanks, Steve

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
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    I'm not familiar with blackjack oak, but I have turned quite a bit of burr oak with quite a bit of success. It does warp quite a bit, but I like that as long as it doesn't crack to badly. Look forward to seeing what you can do with it.
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