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Thread: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

  1. #1
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    Default Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    We just had a white oak dropped that died early last year (IIRC). Size at stump is slightly oval - 15" by 13" excluding bark.

    I don't mind turning red oak into firewood but being white oak I'm hoping this tree will find a home in a boat.

    I haven't built anything with steamed ribs, and won't be for quite a while - I have a couple SOFs and stitch and glue to take on first.

    So I'm asking for advice on how to have this tree milled. Is it viable as rib material after having been standing for a year? Will it still be viable for ribs once it has air dried? If I don't mill it for ribs, what size stock would you suggest to be useful in a sail and oar project? Or does this tree need to find a boat pronto?

    Thanks in advance,

    Steve

    IMG_7746.jpgIMG_7747.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    The seasoners rule of a year per inch of plank, plus a year, stands as true today as it ever did. If it has been standing dead for a year it has barely begun to dry, particularly with the bark on. I have felled standing dead oak 20 years old, which went into 40 - 50 foot boats. It still needed seasoning.

    Plank it, get some paint on the end grain, and even / odd stripes on the long grain, and sit pretty.

    Pretty tree.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    What size ribs? 3/4 inch or 6 inch?

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Recut the hinge wood before you paint it.
    A nice clean cut is much less likely to check.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Then paint the ends of the log right away instead of waiting who knows how long to paint the ends of the boards.

    For small boats you probably can't go wrong with 1".

    Green bends more easily than air dried which bends more easily than kiln dried. You could always submerge it in water for a few days before steaming. That helps.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Plank it, get some paint on the end grain, and even / odd stripes on the long grain, and sit pretty.
    Will do then. I'm not sure what you mean by even/odd stripes on the long grain, though. Can you explain?

    What size ribs? 3/4 inch or 6 inch?
    Whatever would be appropriate for something along the lines of a Catspaw Dinghy or as large as an Ilur. Is 3/4" a good size for ribs in this class? Should I mill a little larger, say 4/4 and then plane down at build time if called for?

    Having only built a cedar strip canoe, it's hard for me to picture all the use cases. I don't have many branches for knees, but I do still have a long trunk. Suggestions on thickness and lengths of planks welcome.

    Recut the hinge wood before you paint it.
    Thanks, will do.

    Pretty tree.
    I'd have felt like a murderer if it had been alive. That said, there's something about watching a flitch come off a sawmill. S4S lumber from a box store just feels like a product, watching it come off the trunk at the sawmill just really drives home the organic nature of it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Yep. Mill at 1" for maximum quarter sawn, sticker well and air dry.
    Gibb and Terry - thanks. I'll plan on 1".

    Any use cases longer than 10' off the top of your head? Trying to estimate the length of a gunwale to gunwale rib, but I don't even have the specific boat picked out yet. I don't normally think of oak for gunwales so I'm not planning on 16' planks.

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    I'd mill it to convenient storage lengths (at least long enough for ribs) and just plan on scarphing whatever lengths you'll need in production. Nice tree!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    I'd cut it off at that kink just past the 2 knots on the right. There may be more clear available above that. If so get that too. The mill probably can't saw from less than 3 feet which will be long enough for at least some of the frames and/or can be scarfed to the longer stuff if needed. You can ask the sawyer.

    I'm pretty sure, but not certain, that you can get everything you need for a Catspaw from 4/4. The keel might need thicker but you can laminate to that while laminating in the rocker. Check the plans, and paint the ends of the log with 3 coats of enamel, like tonight.
    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 03-08-2021 at 11:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    [QUOTE=BlueCanoe;6406226 I'm not sure what you mean by even/odd stripes on the long grain, though. Can you explain?

    [/QUOTE]

    Depending on how wet the wood is, and the environment (heat and dryness of the air it will dry in), only painting the ends may not be enough to slow down drying. You basically want it to dry as slowly and evenly as possible. To that end, after it has been planked into its sizes for drying, it can sometimes be worth painting the surfaces of the planks too, but not completely, as painting them completely could mean they never dry! For example, an 8 inch wide planks can have 4 x 1 inch stripes down it, leaving 4 x 1 inch stripes bare.

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Assuming you have a table saw that cuts 3 to 3.5 in in height my suggestion would be cut it at least 2 -3" in slabs. That way it will dry slower and you will have the option to get vertical or flat grain depending which way you flip the stock rather than have boards that are mostly flat sawn. And also assuming you're not cutting it up into boards to use as boards
    Denise, Bristol PA, retired from HVAC business, & boat restoration and building

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Depending on how wet the wood is, and the environment (heat and dryness of the air it will dry in), only painting the ends may not be enough to slow down drying. You basically want it to dry as slowly and evenly as possible. To that end, after it has been planked into its sizes for drying, it can sometimes be worth painting the surfaces of the planks too, but not completely, as painting them completely could mean they never dry! For example, an 8 inch wide planks can have 4 x 1 inch stripes down it, leaving 4 x 1 inch stripes bare.
    Hey. I've never considered that. Cool!

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Do you have a pond you can throw it in? It will season under water very slowly.

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    The Catspaw does have a steam bent oak plank keel. There are some threads on building the catspaw, in one of them the builder had some trouble getting an even bend, if I recall correctly. The finished dimension is probably under 1 1/2" thick, but I'm not positive.

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Might want to get it off the forest floor. Things can eat wood quick when spring/summer comes.

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Denise, Bristol PA, retired from HVAC business, & boat restoration and building

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    yer tree died last year.
    why ?a fungus from mars ?
    trees sent to the saw are best cut when they are living , but dormant , in the fall.
    it looks like fast growin piece o wood.
    red oak can be better than white , depending upon your understanding of oak....or boats.
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 03-09-2021 at 08:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Could have been any manner of things that killed it.. Root compaction, drought, heat, depression.

    There is no fungal stain in the wood that I can see, but you are right Bruce, it may have been fungus and it may still be in there. But saprophytic or sacrophytic? That is the question.

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    You can kill any fungus by steaming the whole pile. Get it right up to boiling and keep it there for a while. That will dry it out as well.

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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Could have been any manner of things that killed it.. Root compaction, drought, heat, depression.

    There is no fungal stain in the wood that I can see, but you are right Bruce, it may have been fungus and it may still be in there. But saprophytic or sacrophytic? That is the question.
    Why is that a question Martin?

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Newly dropped white oak in the Twin Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Why is that a question Martin?
    It's generally better to have a fungus that lives off live wood only.

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