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Thread: Need recommendation for White Oak milling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Hatfield, AR
    Posts
    1,008

    Need recommendation for White Oak milling

    The only thing I know about milling is type of cuts. When it comes to the actual process I've only seen videos. My next door neighbor has a mill similar to a Wood Mizer (it may be one but I haven't seen it up close.)

    My Grandfather-in-law (when he was 89!) fell this white oak about 3 years ago for me and I'm just now getting to it.

    IMG_8547.jpg IMG_8548.jpg IMG_8549.jpg

    There are 5 more logs I can harvest that are the top pieces to these. I cut them at 80" so I could close the tail gate. I'm assuming flat/plain sawn is the best for logs of this size? How thick should I mill them? I can resaw in the shop if I need thinner stock. Since they've been on the ground for 3-4years, how long do you recommend drying them? This is a good reason to buy a hydrometer.

    Thanks for advice and let me know if you need more info.
    -Lud

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    4,268
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Ludwig View Post
    ... I'm assuming flat/plain sawn is the best for logs of this size? How thick should I mill them? I can resaw in the shop if I need thinner stock. Since they've been on the ground for 3-4years, how long do you recommend drying them?
    I'm a hobbyist and certainly no expert but I've cut white oak on my WoodMizer. The thickness you mill depends on what you want to use it for. I tend to cut a lot of 1" boards, random widths, for use around the farm - barn siding, perlins, and such. I don't usually make furniture but I do find white oak great for making a variety of things. I sometimes cut 3" thick or more for outdoor steps and benches. I usually try to make some thick pieces for woodturning stock. I find 2" slabs of most species useful - they can be ripped after drying into 8/4 boards, resawn, good for turning stock like platters, small bowls, 2x2 squares, etc.

    White oak, especially plainsawn, can warp so I'd sticker well with plenty of weight on top. Logs on the ground don't really dry much in a few years so air drying time might be the same as freshly cut. Thinner boards, of course, will dry quicker but a bit oversized will help get the desired final thickness if you have flatten warped boards.

    It's not too much more effort to get some nice quartersawn pieces, at least out of a few logs.

    Even though it's not summer I would seal the ends of the logs to help minimize end splits and checking.

    JKJ

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,094
    Justin, if any of the logs have a small end larger than 20" they would be a good candidate for quartersawing.

    If not, then flat saw them. I would suggest a mix of 20% milled for 8/4 (2-1/4" green when flatsawn), 20% as 6/4 (1-3/4" green), 30% as 5/4 (1-7/16" green) and the remainder as 4/4 (1-1/8" green).

    Wood dries very poorly in log form, so if you mill them now the 4/4 and 5/4 will be to 15% MC around next fall, and the 6/4 and 8/4 the following summer.

    End sealing is only effective if it is applied within 3 days of the end cut. If you want to apply end sealer now, then trim an inch or two off of the end of the log (until the cookies stay intact) and apply Anchorseal classic.

  4. #4
    With oak I say go quartersawn or go home. You're doing this for fun, so make the best wood you can get out of your logs.

    You can get a few extra quartersawn pieces and a bunch more riftsawn without _that_ much effort.

  5. #5
    Yes, too small for quartersawing. Just saw for the best grade. The sapwood may be punky, but the heartwood will be solid. Expect to see some insect damage like small black ambrosia beetle holes and flathead borers. Sticker the boards every 16" and air dry as normal under cover with good air flow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Hatfield, AR
    Posts
    1,008
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll get them cut up and sealed. I have multiple places I can store them for drying.
    -Lud

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