Red Oak - Albion, IN

Fort Wayne woodworker Live edge dining table wood slab 2.JPG

Milled July 9, 2019

Merry Lea Ave

This is my first red oak log, and unfortunately had quite a time getting it milled. 19’ long, 30” wide, and full of nails, nails, and more nails. It is actually pretty common for trees growing in urban areas to absorb steel and hardware in them. Fasteners holding clotheslines, hammocks, and signs when left alone and forgotten for years eventually disappear into the tree. Bullets can even be found lodged in the trunks of trees! If you look closely at the ends of the logs, you can see gray/black circles staining the wood. Those stains mean that there is steel lodged somewhere in the tree. Most sawyers avoid milling these logs altogether, but I generally take the chance since at least half of the log will be streak-free, great wood.

Nails and hardware are generally not too much of an issue to remove and work around when building with it. Just hammer/drill it out. However, the steel naturally wreaks havoc on chainsaw chains and bandsaw blades. Hitting steel is an immediate call for 30 minutes of downtime to swap a blade or swap/sharpen a chain. In addition to lost time, it can also be an issue using the wood in table builds since it is up to a client whether they like or dislike the black iron streaks apparent in the steel-ridden slabs - understandable. I happen to think it is a cool effect that tells a story about the life of the wood/tree.

These logs came from a contact I made in the fall of 2018. A man in the Albion, IN area responded to a craigslist ad I had posted. He lives only 10 minutes from my in-laws where my lumber stock lays drying - great opportunity, but I had been so busy in the shop at that time the lead fell through. Fast-forward to summer 2019, and I got a random call from this man’s daughter. She is building a house and had these two trees taken down.

One red oak, and one pin oak (both in the red oak family). Pin oak however, tends to posses a bit more wild coloring to them (that post is coming soon!) The 19’ length of this red oak log was cut into smaller 12’ and 7’ lengths.

Also, this log was quite a chore to move at probably ~200lbs per slab.

These slabs will be dry by summer 2021.

Thank you, Russell and Heather!