Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    29

    Default Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

    I understand there are a number of species of white oak around. This is one that I live near and may have access too. Any experience or opinions on the use of it in boat building would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    3,087

    Default Re: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

    was used for river boats in California white oak is boat lumber. exceptional in many ways (except weight)

    https://farwestforest.com/product-ca...nia-white-oak/
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,819

    Default Re: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

    Quercus lobata, Valley Oak is a member of the White Oak Family and grows in Southern and Central California. Due to its characteristic crooked growth, it is not a commercially viable wood. However, the crooks and bends make it ideal for wooden boat and ship building and many craft were built of it during the days of the gold rush and ranchos in that state. It grows primarily in valleys and gullies rather than in groves on flat areas making it difficult to fell and transport.
    There are several kinds of Valley Oak that cannot be classified as White Oak and do not posses the rot resistance that true Quercus lobata/Valley Oak has. I have long considered seeking out this wood for my own use in frame and other boat construction needs. Due to the crooked growth of this tree it is also difficult to dry making it necessary to use it for a semi or non commercial air drying facility that can be monitored to avoid checking of the stock due to lack of moisture control. The best way to obtain this wood is to find a land owner who would be willing to part with a tree or two. Often land owners will appreciate some clearing of trees that will open the land to more productive use.
    Jay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    8,951

    Default Re: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lindstrom, MN
    Posts
    2,238

    Default Re: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

    Well, yeah, but the OP did ask about valley oak.

    https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/...uelob/all.html
    WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Valley oak lumber has a propensity to crack and warp while drying, and
    is often stained by fungus. These problems, however, can be overcome,
    and there is a small commercial market for the lumber in the manufacture
    of cabinets. The wood is occasionally used for wine barrels.
    Historically, it was primarily used as firewood and as a source of
    commercial charcoal. Valley oak wood was also utilized in the
    construction of the steamboats that once ran the Sacramento and San
    Joaquin Rivers, and as keel blocks during World War II
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

    Okay thank you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,819

    Default Re: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

    The best caulking mallet, I ever used, was made of California Live Oak. I borrowed if from Alex Irving one day for a quick job I was doing while "Red Witch" was hauled out next to "Sparkle". Alex was the designer, builder and owner of the Double ended sloop "Sparkle"a boat that is enjoying a second lease on life here in Port Townsend.
    Alex was actually an aeronautical engineer who had a profound sense of how to make a boat go fast. His Live Oak mallet was also self made and had a louder ringing chirp than any mallet I have owned before or since. I like my Drew Mallet but that Live Oak one that Charley made was the king of them all!
    Jay
    https://calscape.org/Quercus-agrifolia-(Coast-Live-Oak)
    https://www.offcenterharbor.com/2015...igns-sparkle-s

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    653

    Default Re: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

    Would coast live oak work for boat frames? I am soon to move to the land of bay laurel and coastal oak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    The best caulking mallet, I ever used, was made of California Live Oak. I borrowed if from Alex Irving one day for a quick job I was doing while "Red Witch" was hauled out next to "Sparkle". Alex was the designer, builder and owner of the Double ended sloop "Sparkle"a boat that is enjoying a second lease on life here in Port Townsend.
    Alex was actually an aeronautical engineer who had a profound sense of how to make a boat go fast. His Live Oak mallet was also self made and had a louder ringing chirp than any mallet I have owned before or since. I like my Drew Mallet but that Live Oak one that Charley made was the king of them all!
    Jay
    https://calscape.org/Quercus-agrifolia-(Coast-Live-Oak)
    https://www.offcenterharbor.com/2015...igns-sparkle-s

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lindstrom, MN
    Posts
    2,238

    Default Re: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mercer View Post
    Would coast live oak work for boat frames? I am soon to move to the land of bay laurel and coastal oak.
    It (Edit: Quercus agrifolia, not lobbata) might be the best wood for a mallet, but what little else I can find says it's firewood, not lumber.
    https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/...ueagr/all.html
    Wood Products: Coast live oak wood is primarily used for fuel and can be managed for firewood production. Coast live oak is a good candidate for coppice management, as it sprouts vigorously from cut stumps. Few studies have been conducted on coast live oak response to thinning. Coast live oak stands on 4 sites on the central and southern California coastline responded to thinning with significantly greater basal area compared to unthinned stands .

    Some commercial charcoal is made from coast live oak wood. The wood is hard, heavy, and fine-grained, but it is unsuitable for lumber because it cracks easily and warps badly.
    Last edited by MN Dave; 10-18-2018 at 11:17 AM.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,819

    Default Re: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

    I have yet to work with any of the California oak trees so I am not able to comment on any questions about it's suitably for boat building. According to information on line in reference to Quercus lobata's durability when used for marine construction and boat building, it seems to have once been used quite a bit for that purpose.
    Jay

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    3,087

    Default

    Logging just like Wooden Boat building seems like it can be done by the average thinker, then they get into it....

    I've no idea if the OP has the equipment or ability but it takes a lot of effort to log timber into lumber of any usable size. Without the special machinery, trying to do it with hand tools can take a lifetime.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    15,196

    Default Re: Valley oak (Quercus lobata)

    I have used a bunch for kayak frames, and other steamed frames and coamings.

    You have to cut it yourself, or get it cut.

    Pick trees just in the foothills, not too high up, but not on the flood plain, either. They have the best wood.

    That is oak in the valley, proper. I know of some absolutely enormous trees.

    Peace,
    Robert

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •